The OC Batbusters won the ASA Girls’ 18-Under Fast Pitch National Championship after defeating the Worth Firecrackers, 9-4, in the championship game at the Don E. Porter ASA Hall of Fame Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Firecrackers finished second after a record of 9-2 in the tournament. 

The Firecrackers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning after capitalizing on two costly errors. Molly Bausher (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Lauren Schutzler (Monterey, Calif.) both reached to lead off the game on back-to-back errors by Batbusters third baseman Danielle Patrick. A sacrifice bunt by K’Lee Arredondo (Tempe, Ariz.) advanced both runners into scoring position. A walk to Megan Langenfeld (Bakersfield, Calif.) loaded the bases for Melissa Roth (Lakewood, Calif.) who answered with a two RBI single to right center. 

The Batbusters answered with a run in the second when Monica Harrison launched a solo shot over the left field fence to cut the lead in half. 

It looked as if the Firecrackers were taking control of the game in the third when they plated two more runs for a 4-1 lead. Roth walked and Sara Acosta (Anaheim, Calif.) came in to pinch run for her. A single by Sarah Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) moved Acosta into scoring position and a single to right field by Wendy Trott (Fountain Valley, Calif.) brought her across home plate. An RBI single by Michelle Schroeder (Yorba Linda, Calif.) scored Akamine to increase the lead to 4-1. 

The Batbusters scored a run in the bottom of the third and another run in the bottom of the sixth to reduce the lead to 4-3 but in the bottom of the sixth inning the momentum quickly turned in favor of the Batbusters. 

Five hits combined with two errors by the Firecrackers in the bottom of the sixth inning gave the Batbusters a 9-4 lead with only one inning to play. Stacie Chambers and Monica Harrison combined to drive in four of the six runs in the inning while Tiffany Huff (Saugus, Calif.) and Aja Paculba were credited with the other two RBIs. 

Monica Harrison was the leader at the plate for the Batbusters going 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs. Donna Kerr picked up the win for the Batbusters after allowing only one hit in 4.1 innings of work. 

The championship game was aired “Live” on ESPNU and will be shown again on ESPN2 at 12 ET on August 14th. 

CA Cruisers Place Third at ASA GOLD National Championship 

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.---Valley Breeze of Palomia, Calif. and the California Cruisers of La Palma, Calif., faced each other for the first time in the tournament to decide the third and fourth place positions in the 2006 Vontage ASA Girls’ 18-Under GOLD National Championship presented by Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. Both teams entered the consolation game with records of 5-2, after being eliminated from championship play by the Worth Firecrackers of Huntington Beach Calif., and the OC Batbusters of Santa Anna, Calif. 

The Cruisers had two huge offensive innings scoring a total of 16 runs while Valley Breeze was shutout after recording only one hit the entire game. The Cruisers offensive bats were on fire, ending the game in a run rule after the third inning with a 16-0 lead including 11 singles, two doubles, six walks and capitalizing on three defensive errors from the Valley Breeze. In the third inning the Cruisers scored nine runs, including a run off of three consecutive wild pitches. Both the Valley Breeze and the California Cruisers received berths into the 2007 ASA GOLD National Championship after finishing in the top four. 

Worth Firecrackers advance to championship game 

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.--- The Worth Firecrackers of Huntington Beach, Calif., continues to make the most of their trip to Oklahoma City for the ASA Girls’ 18-Under Gold National Championship. After being sent to the loser’s bracket in the third round, the Firecrackers played four games on Saturday including a 1-0 win over Valley Breeze of Palomia, Calif., to force an “if” game to decide who would move on to play the OC Batbusters of Santa Ana, Calif., in the championship game. 

In the “If” game on Sunday morning Valley Breeze jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning. The leadoff batter, Bianca Mejia (Sylmar, Calif.), doubled to left center and scored off of an error when Danielle Zymkowitz (West Hills, Calif.) hit a single to right field causing a throwing error by the Firecrackers first baseman. 

The rally continued when Valley Breeze catcher Samantha Marder (Calabasas, Calif.) tripled to right field to score Zymkowitz. An infield hit by Brittany Goodchild (West Hills, Calif.) scored April Rosas (Valencia, Calif.) who was pinch-running for Marder. A wild pitch later in the inning allowed Goodchild to score the final run of the inning. 

The Firecrackers bats were silenced until the fourth inning when catcher Melissa Roth (Lakewood, Calif.) reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on an infield error to cut the lead to 4-1. 

In the fifth inning the Firecrackers exploded for four runs on seven hits to take a 5-4 lead. Molly Bausher led off with an infield single and moved to second on an infield single by Lauren Schutzler (Monterey, Calif.). A double by K’Lee Arredondo (Tempe, Ariz.) scored Bausher while a single by Megan Langenfeld (Bakersfield, Calif.) plated Schutzler. On the next play, Langenfeld was cut in a run down trying to steal second but heads up base running by Arredondo, who swiped home, tied the game at 4-4. With the bases cleared Roth started another rally with a single to shortstop and advanced to second after an illegal pitch. A single by Ashley Hansen (Chandler, Ariz.) plated Roth for the final run of the game.

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