COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Fireworks could be heard going off in the distance, but it was the late-game fireworks from Impact Gold 2k9 National, which knocked off Hotshots National ’09, 2-1, in the 12u championship game of the Colorado 4th of July event that stole the show.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning and having not threatened to score all game, Torie Turner stepped up to the plate with two outs and a runner on second base for Impact Gold. Turner found the pitch she was looking for and laced a line drive into center field to score a run and tie up the game.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Impact Gold found itself with runners on second and third with one out, giving them the perfect opportunity for the suicide squeeze bunt to score the game-winning run.
Playing under the lights after dealing with multiple lightning delays that pushed the championship game back, both pitchers put on a championship-worthy performance in a back-and-forth duel. In the top of the first inning, Impact Gold’s pitcher, Macie Bryant, quickly delivered a one-two-three inning, only for Hotshots’ pitcher, Kadyen Patin, delivered a one-two-three inning of her own.
It was just a sign of what was to come for the rest of the night.
Bryant pitched a complete-game no-hitter, walking just three batters and striking out 11, while Patin was equally nearly flawless, pitching the entire game and allowing four hits and four walks.
After cruising through the first two innings with ease, Bryant finally allowed a runner with a walk to Callia Carreon. Utilizing the rare opportunity to have a runner on base, Hotshots put pressure on Impact by sending Carreon to try and steal second base. The pressure worked as the throw to second base ended up getting through the infield and all the way to the outfield wall, allowing Carreon to get up and score, giving Hotshots a 1-0 lead despite not having a hit.
That’s where the game stood for a long stretch, as Bryant produced five one-two-three innings in the game and Patin held Impact Gold at bay until the sixth inning when Turner finally got the team on the board.
In the top of the seventh inning, Hotshots once again looked threatening, drawing a leadoff walk, and immediately advancing the runner to second on a sacrifice bunt. The Hotshots then stole third base before drawing another walk, having runners on a first and second with just one out. Feeling the pressure, Bryant once again came through in the clutch, striking out the first batter to get two outs.
On the next batter, Bryant threw a pitch in the dirt and Hotshots tried to take advantage by sending the runner from third, but Impact Gold recovered quick enough and tagged the runner out at the plate to preserve the 1-1 tie and keep the momentum.
Bryant was dominant throughout the entire tournament, pitching 34.1 innings in the tournament and producing six wins and 60 strikeouts with a 0.82 ERA.