2021 USA Softball Junior Olympic Cup | Championship Day Recap

2021 USA Softball Junior Olympic Cup | Championship Day Recap

Here's a quick recap of championship day for the 2021 USA Softball Junior Cup.

Jun 26, 2021 by Cori Kennedy
2021 USA Softball Junior Olympic Cup | Championship Day Recap

COLUMBUS, GA. – Sixty-three teams battled all throughout the week, narrowing the playing field to two final teams per division on the final day of the 2021 USA Softball Junior Olympic (JO) Cup. After three thrilling Championship matchups, a 14-Under, 16-Under and 18-Under Champion raised their trophies at South Commons Complex.

The Championship games kicked off this morning with the 14-Under finalists taking the field. Atlanta Vipers 14U Harris took the trophy with a 3-0 shutout win over Florida Impact Gold Ladd 06. In the 16-Under division, Hotshots Premier 2022 Alabama got down early but fought back to defeat Ohio Hawks 16U National, 5-3. The final game of the week ended in dramatic fashion as LLG DPS Corn rallied from behind to clinch a 6-5 victory over Atlanta Vipers 18U-Holbrook, securing their second consecutive USA Softball JO Cup Championship.

14-Under: Atlanta Vipers 14U Harris vs. Impact Gold Ladd 06  
Atlanta Vipers 14U Gold Harris struck first and never looked back. After a dropped third strike, Jordan Williams (Atlanta Vipers 14U Gold Harris) took off and reached first base before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt from Avery Callaway (Atlanta Vipers 14U Gold Harris). Williams scored the first run of the game on a single from Desiree Trudel (Atlanta Vipers 14U Gold Harris).

Both teams were quiet in the second inning as solid defense retired each side in order. Kaitlyn Everson (Florida Impact Gold Ladd 06) singled in the top of the third, but Hannah Cole (Atlanta Vipers 14U Gold Harris) took care of business in the circle and worked out of the inning without allowing a run. Izzy Carlyle (Atlanta Vipers 14U Gold Harris) drew a walk to start off the bottom of the frame for Atlanta Vipers and advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Williams. A single from Trudel plated Carlyle, extending the Vipers lead to 2-0.

Florida Impact got on base after Neveah Hayes (Florida Impact Gold Ladd 06) singled to left field to start the fourth. A sacrifice bunt and a single moved Hayes to third before Makenna Sturgis (Florida Impact Gold Ladd 06) was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Once again, Cole took back control and found a way out of the jam, leaving the inning unscathed.

The Vipers put two on with no outs in the bottom of the fifth after a single from Carlyle and Williams reaching on an error. In the circle for Florida Impact, Reese Gill (Florida Impact Gold Ladd 06) fired back with a strikeout and a fly out to end the inning.

A no-doubt, leadoff home run from Cadence Alberty (Atlanta Vipers 14U Gold Harris) gave the Vipers a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Cole retired Florida Impact in order to secure the Vipers 3-0 victory and the coveted title of 2021 USA Softball JO Cup 14-Under Champion.

16-Under: Ohio Hawks 16U National vs. Hotshots Premier 2022 Alabama
Ohio Hawks 16U National started the game hot, getting an early 2-0 lead on Hotshots Premier 2022 Alabama in the second inning.

Hotshots Premier fired back in the third with a rally that was sparked by back-to-back base knocks. Emmorie Burke (Hotshots Premier) crushed a double that one-hopped the left field fence, resulting in two runs to tie the contest. Hotshots Premier continued to chip away at the Ohio Hawks defense, tacking on two more runs in the fourth when Tenly Grisham (Hotshots Premier) laced a double to the outfield.

The Ohio Hawks put up a run in the bottom of the sixth to bring the score to 5-3, but were unable to produce anything else. Hotshots Premier's defense once again shut down Ohio Hawks in the seventh to win the game and the title of the 2021 USA Softball JO Cup 16-Under Champion.

18-Under: Atlanta Vipers 18U - Holbrook vs. LLG DPS Corn 18U
Tyesha Williams (LLG DPS Corn) drew a walk to start the game for LLG before advancing to third on a ground ball hit by Malaka Lanette (LLG DPS Corn) followed by an error. A single from Elisa Smith (LLG DPS Corn) brought both Williams and Lanette in to score, putting LLG up early, 2-0.

Jaydyn Goodwin (Atlanta Vipers 18U-Holbrook) knocked a single in her first at-bat for Atlanta Vipers 18U-Holbrook as did Makenna Segal (Atlanta Vipers 18U-Holbrook), but Lauren Wills (LLG DPS Corn) ended their rally by forcing a groundout to get out of the inning without a run scored.

LLG posted another run in the top of the second when Reagan Hartley (LLG DPS Corn) scored on a passed ball, extending their lead to 3-0. The Vipers answered back in a hurry, forcing two LLG errors in the bottom of the fifth that led to one run. The Vipers continued their tear, tying things up two plays later when Goodwin reached on an error to score two more runs. The rally was ended by a groundout, but not before the Vipers took the lead 5-3.

In the top of the sixth, LLG found their stride and put runners on base. LLG put even more pressure on the defense when Karlee Mae (LLG DPS Corn) stole home to bring her team within one run. A walk and a wild pitch to follow would put LLG up 6-5 going into the final inning.

The Vipers wouldn’t go down without a fight as Lauren Flanders (Atlanta Vipers 18U-Holbrook) singled in the bottom of the seventh to put a runner on base. However, Lauren Wiles (LLG DPS Corn) remained calm under pressure and forced a fly out to end the game and secure LLG’s second consecutive USA Softball JO Cup title.