CHESTERFIELD, Mo.- With the rain coming down on the fields of the Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex, St. Louis Chaos- 14U, Fury Platinum- 14U, St. Louis Chaos- 16U, Panthers- 16U, St. Louis Chaos- 18U and the Ohio Hawks- 18U took the fields to compete Saturday for the 2018 JO Cup. Fury Platinum-14U, Panthers-16U, and St. Louis Chaos came out on top in their respective divisions, with all games decided by two or fewer runs.
In the 14-Under division's inaugural JO Cup appearance, Fury Platinum took home the cup, beating St. Louis Chaos 4-3. Fury Platinum began their Saturday with an "if" game play-in for the second championship game bid, beating Ohio Hawks in five innings, 9-0. Kendall Pitts of Fury knocked two home runs in, scoring or running in seven of the teams nine runs.
An hour later, Fury took the field against the home-favorite St. Louis Chaos, who secured their spot in the championship game Friday with a 9-4 victory over the Gametime Stars. Chaos struck first, bringing home their first run of the day in the top of the second off an outfield error by the Platinum, but Platinum came back in the bottom of the second with a one-out single from Presley Morris. The game continued back and forth until the bottom of the seventh inning when Fury Platinum walked-off with a single up the middle.
The 16-Under division's game was just as thrilling. Chaos earned the first run in the bottom of the second with a sacrifice bunt holding the Panthers scoreless until the top of the fourth inning. The Panther's first score came when Abbey Thomas came up with a big sac fly, tying the game at one run apiece. The game remained tied 1-1 through seven innings, pushing the championship matchup into extra innings. The Panthers came through with a single to score their placed runner on second in the top of the eighth inning and held Chaos scoreless in their half of the eighth.
St. Louis Chaos kept the JO Cup at home in a game that saw only nine hits and two runs, beating the Ohio Hawks 2-0. The game remained scoreless through the fifth inning, until Chaos broke the game open in the top of the sixth with a two-out double from Kelsey Lenox, bringing in two runs. The Panthers were held to only two hits throughout the whole game, unable to score a run off of Chaos pitcher Emma Nichols. The 18U Championship matchup was the only championship game at the 2018 JO Cup to end in a shutout victory.
The 2018 Junior Olympic cup is one of USA Softball's 100+ National Championships held each year, and each year over 30,000 players qualify to compete in a USA Softball National Championship. Cities from across America annually bid for these celebrated events, largely because of the economic impact they will make on their communities. For information on all of the 2018 USA Softball National Championships, including brackets, results and more, please visit TournamentUSASoftball.com.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 70 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million. USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fastpitch, slow pitch and modified pitch. USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the