ERIE, Colo. – The 14u Power Pool games got underway in Erie on Tuesday, with one game pitting the Atlanta Vipers against the BSC Bengals out of Long Beach, Calif., giving both teams the rare opportunity to take on quality competition from the other side of the country. The Vipers edged out the Bengals, 4-3, to advance to the first-place game of the Box D Bracket for the 14u Power Pool teams.
Both teams struggled to get anything going offensively in the first two innings, with both pitchers looking comfortable and working out of any traffic on the basepaths with relative ease. In the third inning, though, the BSC Bengals got on the board when Renay Chavez drove in a run on a groundball single. Chavez, the leadoff hitter for the Bengals, was productive all day in the leadoff spot, going 3-for-3 from the plate and drove in two runs.
In the bottom of the inning, however, the Vipers would answer. And then some. After a pair of singles and walk loaded the bases, catcher Avary Stockwell stepped up to the plate with one out and looking to seize the momentum back. Stockwell found the pitch she was looking for and laced a hard line drive double into right-center field, scoring all three runs. Following Stockwell, Cecelia Springfield kept the momentum going with an RBI double herself, giving the Vipers a 4-1 lead.
The Vipers displayed patience at the plate and speed on the basepaths and once again loaded the bases, prompting a pitching change from the Bengals. As Bella Settembro entered the game to pitch for the Bengals, the team faced a 4-1 deficit with the bases loaded and still only one out. Settembro stepped up to the challenge and induced a weak ground ball to the third baseman, who got the force out at home, before striking out the next hitter looking and getting out of the inning with just a 4-1 deficit.
The Bengals added two more runs in the top of the fifth inning, one from an RBI single from Chavez, and the other from a passed ball, but couldn’t close the gap.
With the win, the Vipers will take on the Batbusters Spingola Berger, while the Bengals will take on Finesse 14u – Langlois.