The 8U Blue Angels have been on a rampage this summer, having won three out of three Silver bracket championships. Going for a fourth straight at the USSSA GA State Championship proved to be just a bit out of reach for these Cardiac Kids, but they didn’t go home empty-handed, this time securing the second place prize in the Silver bracket!
The girls endured the heat for three pool games on Saturday, earning one victory against Pike County and putting up a tough battle against Sandy Plains Blue Blaze, a perennial Gold bracket powerhouse. Then the real fun began on Sunday with the girls vying for another trophy in the Silver bracket.
The Blue Angels started the day off right by winning a high-scoring affair over the Thomaston-Upson All Stars, 17-8. The game was highlighted by an amazing over-the-fence grand slam by Piper O’Neill! Then the semi-finals pitted our girls in a rematch against the Pike County Lady Pirates in a back-and-forth nail-biter. After giving up an early lead, the Blue Angels fought back into the lead only to witness two more lead changes until the Pirates finally forced a tie in the last inning before regulation time expired. With their spirits down but not broken, the Blue Angels then mounted a 5-run rally in the top half of the “extra inning shootout”, only to see the Pirates retaliate yet again with five runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. In the second shootout inning, the Blue Angels scored only one more run. With their backs now against the wall, the Blue Angels put the defensive clamps down, allowing no more runners to cross the plate and thus sending the Pirates back to Pike County to tell the emotional tale of a 19-18 heartbreaker.
In the finals, it was the Blue Angels’ turn to be the underdogs in a re-match, this time facing their new nemesis, the Sandy Plains Blue Blaze. After staking the Blue Blaze to a quick 5-run lead, the Angels battled back on extremely solid defensive play, holding the Blue Blaze in their tracks with zero runs over the next two innings, while slowly chipping away at the lead. The Angels were within reach until the final inning when the Blaze ended the suspense with a walk-off four-bagger to secure a 10-4 victory and claim the golden rings for themselves. The NYO Blue Angels settled for the silver rings in second place, but not before playing their hearts out and earning the absolute admiration of their fans, families and coaches.
What a summer for these girls….. four tournaments entered and four championship games, yielding three first place finishes and a second place. Look out 10U, they’re coming for your trophies next year!!