By Evan Tynan
LOVELAND, Colo. - As the Sparkler Juniors 14U tournament works its way closer to weekend play, two teams having early success matched up to see who would advance in Power Pool Bracket C. Texas Bombers Gold 14U HTX- Burgess was able to scrap together a late run to advance over EC Bullets 04 Hegood/Backets, 5-4, in six innings at Barnes Sports Complex.
Early on the EC Bullets looked like the team to beat after putting up three runs in the top of the second inning. Kit Heggood delivered a two-out, two RBI double to give the Bullets a 2-0 lead, and Emma Elrod added to it with a bloop single to center making it 3-0.
"We got down early and I told the girls it's gonna take more than three runs to win this ballgame," said EC Bullets head coach James Burgess. "The girls know that we are always capable of coming back and the bats are hot right now."
Outfielder Kayden Henry got the Texas Bombers on the board for the first time when she laced a two-out double that brought home two runs in the bottom of the third. It was Henry's alert base running that allowed her to make it to third base on a throwing error, giving three-hole hitter Katie Lott the opportunity to knock her in the next pitch and tie the game, 3-3.
Bombers reliever Halie Pappion escaped a bases loaded scare in the top of the fourth inning and Texas used that momentum to take their first lead of the game in the bottom half of the inning. Outfielder Seleste Compain led off the inning by reaching base and worked her way around to score on a wild pitch putting Texas up 4-3.
The game took a wild turn in the top of the fifth while Ava Brooke Stickland's sacrifice fly tied the game 4-4; the remaining Bullets baserunner tried to take home after an errant relay throw but was cut down at the plate to end the inning.
The Bombers Gold delivered in crunch time with the bases loaded in the bottom half of the fifth when Compain connected on a RBI single to center, giving the Bombers a 5-4 advantage.
Pappion shutdown the Bullets in the top of the sixth, going three-up, three-down to earn the save in the Bombers Gold win. Texas will play Saturday, July 6, in the next round of the Power Pool C Bracket in Erie, Colo.
"It's a new day." said Burgess of his team moving on in the tournament. "As long as we stay positive, have energy and we are up good things are going to happen."