Strong pitching, solid defense and a relentlessly aggressive offensive attack proved the perfect formula as the Bombers Elite defeated Infinity Shock, 9-3, in the 14U Jennie Finch Invitational championship game last night at Diamond Nation in Flemington.
Anna Dziecinny and Sarah Trosin combined on a four-hitter, striking out five and walking two while the Bombers Elite defense played an errorless game when it counted most.
Bombers Elite also competed in the 2017 Jennie Finch Invitational, finishing second. Bombers Elite coach Carlos Rodas indicated his players used that as motivation to take that next step this time.
“We rode Anna and Sarah all weekend and they were great,” said Rodas. “And Gianna King stepped in and ate up some big innings for us early in the day on Sunday.”
At the plate, the Rhode Island-based Bombers Elite presented an attack that put the ball in play to the tune of 13 hits and consistently forced Infinity Shock to make difficult plays.
“I think our small ball and the way we run the bases effected them,” said Rodas. “They are an excellent team, so I believe if we were not fortunate enough to succeed at that approach, it’s a different game.”
Bombers Elite (7-1) seemed to find success at every turn and underestimating it’s rock solid defense, particularly in the infield, would be a mistake. When a 14U team makes all the plays and gets effective pitching, they are extremely difficult to beat.
The Rhode Island squad scored six runs in the first two innings and five of them were delivered with two outs.
It was Dziecinny, the Bombers No. 3 hitter, who triggered the rally in the top of the first inning when she reached on an infield error with two outs. Dziecinny then raced all the way to third on Amanda McDonnell’s infield single. Trosin followed with a hard single through the left side to score Dziecinny.
Bombers Elite would strike for five runs in the second inning on six hits, two Infinity Shock errors and two stolen bases.
Maddie Wrench started it with a one-out double over third base and promptly scored on Rachael Sayler’s single to right field. Sayler stole second and scored on Amelia Murphy’s single for a 3-0 lead. Three more runs would come home in the inning as Nevaeh Caro reached on a bunt single and Dziecinny and McDonnell ripped singles through the left side.
Meanwhile, Dziecinny was stifling Infinity Shock (6-2) in the circle, shutting out the Albany, N.Y.-based team on one hit over the first three innings. Before Rodas put the remainder of the game in the hands of Trosin, the Bombers gave her three more runs to work with.
Jenna Altieri, Bombers Elite’s No. 10 hitter, got the rally going in the fourth with a hard one-out single to left field. Altieri then stole second and scored on Murphy’s double to left field. Caro singled home Murphy for an 8-0 lead and scored later in the inning on a throwing error.
Infinity Shock, which scored 61 runs in its eight tournament games, finally got its bats going in the bottom of the fifth when it struck for three runs on three hits.
Abby Hacker started the rally for Infinity Shock when she hit a bouncer deep in the shortstop hole and beat it out for a leadoff infield hit. It was only the second hit of the game for Infinity Shock and both were by Hacker.
Miranda King then drew a walk. Kylie McLaughlin followed with a one-out laser into right-center field that went for a two-run triple. Maddie Bland kept the rally firing with an RBI single to center field, trimming the deficit to 9-3.
But Trosin got the next two batters to bounce out to the left side as shortstop Murphy and third baseman Altieri handle their chances smoothly to put the game away.
“We have a big team, 15 girls,” said Rodas. “All 15 have been hitting. You can play 15 girls if you have defined roles and we have that. The girls have bought in and are playing great.”
It was the second championship in as many tournaments this spring for Bombers Elite, which outscored its tournament opponents this weekend 60-35. Infinity Shock held a 61-48 runs advantage on its opponents.
10U – NJ Mystics 5, Banshees Red 4: The NJ Mystics edged Banshees Red, 5-4, in the 10U Jennie Finch Invitational championship game. Ava Sweet of the Mystics was named the 10U tournament’s Most Valuable Player. The Mystics (6-0) outscored their opponents 56-8 while Banshees Red (4-2-1) held a 38-18 runs advantage on its opponents.
12U Blue – Jersey Girls ‘06 14, Vineland Pride 0:Jersey Girls ‘06 rolled to a 14-0 victory over Vineland Pride in the 12U Blue Jennie Finch Invitational championship game. Jersey Girls (7-0) outscored their tournament opponents 69-19. Vineland Pride (5-3) was outscored by its opponents 42-18.
12U Red – PA Venom Black 6, OC Bombers Black 3:PA Venom Black defeated OC Bombers Black, 6-3, in the 12U Red Jennie Finch Invitational championship game. PA Venom Black (7-0) outscored its opponents 64-21. OC Bombers Black (4-2-1) held a 56-39 runs advantage over its opponents.