By Will Harrigan
The Electric City Shock 12U squad came to Diamond Nation this weekend with only 11 players.
Having to play five games in two days would be required to win the Aces Stars & Stripes tournament, which meant a lot of innings would need to be logged by those players.
They showed no signs of slowing up in the final.
Bolstered by a few key hits from the top of their lineup, the Shock made sure the ride home to Scranton was a happy one as they notched a 6-2 victory over Finch’s Aces 12U to win the 12U championship on Sunday night.
In those five games, the Shock outscored their opponents by a 38-5 margin to finish 5-0, while the Aces finished with a 2-3 mark that included a pair of losses to the champions. With stellar pitching a constant throughout the tournament for the Shock, catcher Gabby Carra – the constant in that equation – was awarded tournament MVP honors.
“We came out here and really played well all weekend in all ways; pitching, hitting, and defense,” said Electric City coach George Bell. “Five games in two days is tough, but these girls play 65 games at least over the summer, so I think they’re probably well adjusted to it.”
Following a 15-minute rain delay in the middle of the first, the Shock struck first in the bottom of the first.
Riley Grembo and Ariella Bell would lead off the rally by each drawing a free pass on a 3-2 count.
Shock second baseman Avarie Roscioli would then cash in, lacing a line drive into the left-center field gap that split the Aces outfielders. That fortune allowed Roscioli to come all the way around, and the three-run inside the park home run instantly gave the Shock a 3-0 lead.
Roscioli would then drive in another run as part of a three run third inning, as she grounded out to third to score Bell. A batter earlier, Grembo scored on a wild pitch, the same way Carra would score for the Shock’s sixth and final run.
Gabriella Carra of Electric City Shock was named 12U Stars & Stripes MVP.
“The top of our lineup really came through for us in the last game,” said Bell. “When you get on base, good things usually happen. Five of the six runs we scored tonight came from 1-2-3 in the lineup.”
Meanwhile, Bell was terrific on the mound the first three innings, retiring all nine Aces batters.
Bell ran into a little bit of trouble in the fourth, as a leadoff walk issued to Aces left fielder Annalyse Little gave the Aces their first baserunner.
In what turned out to be their only hit, Nola Riley roped an inside the park home run – one that followed a similar trajectory to Roscioli’s in the first – to cut the Aces deficit down to 6-2.
With the time limit running out, the Aces needed to continue their rally right there in the fourth, but Bell recovered to retire the next four batters and put the game on ice.
The Aces Stars & Stripes featured a four-team bracket on the 12U side. Pool play was contested in round robin fashion on Saturday, with the playoffs held on Sunday.