|West Bay Nuggets Compete at 16U Fastpitch Nationals|
Published: Friday, 25 August 2006 18:37
The West Bay Nuggets: back row L-R: Mac Pamanian, Barbara Barnes, Megan Ramirez, Sammy McConvey, Laura Cannon, Dan McCarthy, Gabrielle Reedy, Kiley Lonsdale, Stephanie Sorensen, Doug Spencer; middle row L-R, Joan Cannon, Sarah Neuhaus, Julie Lawson, Lacey Parodi, Jill Yastishak; front L-R, Kathy Fong, Collene Roe
Courtesy of Steve Sorenson
The East Bay-based Nuggets recently returned from Seattle and the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) 16U “A” National Championships. 136 teams representing 29 different states convened in Seattle July 31 through Aug. 6 to battle for the National Championship.
The Nuggets qualified for the tournament after winning the Oakland Metro Tournament in June. The Nuggets are comprised of 14 local girls including six Alameda High Varsity softball team members.
The Nugget team is comprised of Barbara Barnes, Joan Cannon, Laura Cannon, Kathy Fong, Sarah Neuhaus, Sammy McConvey, Megan Ramirez, Collene Roe, Julie Lawson, Kiley Lonsdale, Lacey Parodi, Gabrielle Reedy, Stephanie Sorensen and Jill Yastishak. The Nuggets are coached by Doug Spencer, Mac Pamanian and Dan McCarthy.
The Nuggets began play against the Coeur d’Alene Crush from Idaho. The team jumped out to an early lead when McConvey tripled in Joan Cannon, who had singled. In the second inning Sorensen doubled, driving in two runs and the Nuggets were on their way to a 6-0 victory. Jill Yastishak threw a complete game shutout, notching 10 strikeouts and giving up just two singles. The Nuggets hammered out 15 hits, led by Joan Cannon with three hits and Sorensen, McConvey, Megan Ramirez and Collene Roe with two hits each.
The Midland Magic from Illinois was next.
Again the Nuggets took an early lead, scoring three runs in the second inning sparked by a single by Kiley Lonsdale and a long home run to right center by Lacey Parodi. Joan Cannon had three hits and Lonsdale had two singles for West Bay. The Nuggets won with error-less defense and another strong pitching performance from Sammy McConvey, who scattered six hits and gave up two runs. As a result, the Nuggets won their pool, which gave them their first bracket play game against a lower-seeded team.
In the first game of the double elimination bracket play, the Tri-City Spirit, from Kennewick, Wash., sought their first win of the tournament against a Nugget team on a roll. The momentum continued in a 6-0 shutout victory for West Bay. Sarah Neuhaus pitched a complete game shutout while giving up two singles. Cannon had four of the Nuggets’ seven hits and batted .769 through the first three games of the tournament. Gabrielle Reedy contributed an RBI single in the 7th inning.
With the winner’s bracket getting tougher each game, the Arizona Hotshots looked to be a challenge. Before the Nugget bats could awaken, the score was 5-0 in favor of Arizona. Nuggets ace Jill Yastishak gave up the five runs on six hits while walking three in the first three innings. In the bottom of the 3rd the Nuggets exploded for eight runs and sent 13 batters to the plate. Playing small ball, almost all of the girls contributed, with Cannon continuing her hitting streak with three more hits, matched by McConvey and Collene Roe who also had three hits. Barbara Barnes had two hits and two RBIs. Stephanie Sorensen and Lacey Parodi added two RBIs each in the 10-5 comeback victory for the Nuggets. Yastishak recovered nicely, striking out seven of the last 16 batters she faced for the win.
Another tough Arizona team, the Killer Bees, had matched the Nuggets 4-0 start. The West Bay girls had seen the Killer Bees at the Colorado Fireworks Tournament in June, which the Bees won. Arizona threw their ace, Dallas Escobedo, and she was on her game, striking out 12. The Nuggets gave up two unearned runs, one in the first inning and another in the third to keep the game close but the Nugget hitters could not get to Escobedo. Cannon, Sorensen and Parodi had the only hits in the Nuggets’ 2-0 loss. McConvey earned the loss on no earned runs and after allowing just three hits.
The Nuggets dropped to the losers’ bracket and played their first inning against the Arizona Storm as winners, scoring three runs on four hits. Gabrielle Reedy provided the last RBI of the inning with a sharp single. Parodi tripled to start the 2nd inning but never crossed the plate.
Yastishak retired nine of the first 10 batters she faced. However, in the 4th inning, weak defense allowed the Storm to close the gap to 3-2. The Storm had a dramatic last-inning comeback to win in their previous game. The Nuggets wanted to avoid an instant replay but could not add any insurance runs. A defensive error in the last inning tied the game 3-3. Another error allowed the go ahead run to score. In the bottom of the inning a deflated Nuggets team could not answer and the dream of a National Championship ended.
The Nuggets ended up tied for 33rd out of the 136 team field. The Killer Bees, the team who bumped the Nuggets into the loser’s bracket, continued on, eventually playing and losing the championship game to the Orange County Batbusters. The Batbusters finished the tournament a perfect 8-0 for their second consecutive National Championship.