The Claremont Gold All-Stars are in the house. And they never quit. Wednesday's game had all the drama and suspense of an episode of 24, complete with the surprise ending.
After the 15-0 mercy blowout on Tuesday, the second game offered a much-needed challenge to the squad. Opponent North Shore brought their A game. Sadly for them, C-Mont brought their A+ game.
After loading the bases in the bottom of the first, clutch-hitter Kalena hit a screamer just inside the third base line. Bases clearing triple and the team is up by three. Chandler battled in the second and third innings, giving up a run.
North Shore sent seven batters to the plate in the fourth, and tied the game on a passed ball and bases-loaded walk. Taylor came on in relief in the fifth and quickly recorded five K’s to get to the International Tie-Breaker.
In the extra inning, Claremont set them down 1-2-3. Then, in the bottom of the inning, Gianna went to 2nd, Katie K laid down a perfect bunt and reached 1st without a throw.
Gianna at 3rd, Elyse tried but couldn't get the bunt down, but Cady picked her up with a sharp come backer to the pitcher - out at 1st, safe at the plate. Ball Game!
Elimination brackets started on Thursday. The girls are getting used to the heat and the pressure. All three games have started at either 1 or 2 pm, and the temperature at game time was hovering around the 104 mark.
The Hanford Flames occupied the opposing visitors dugout, and their supporters were loud and proud. But Katie K worked the C-Mont crowd, started the wave, and got the fans pumped up.
The top of the first saw Savannah let a grounder slip past her, but these girls never get rattled. A strike-out and pop-up to Kalena bracketed a 9-3 put-out by Megan on a one-hopper to right. Order restored, time to bat.
Eleven batters came to the plate, highlighted by Chandler's two-out double to left, plating her first two RBI's of the tourney. 7-0, game on!
Chandler's Great-Grandpa Marlin Paine was as proud as can be. With his ever-present video camera recording the action, the gentleman from Caldwell, Idaho will have quite a highlight reel to show off to his friends.
Hanford's girls showed grit and toughness, with their pitcher taking a line shot in the shin off the bat of Cady, and their SS getting a bad bounce into the chin. Both remained in the game, and the crowd rewarded their determination with a loud ovation.
After a 1-2-3 top of the second, C-Mont sent another ten batters to the dish, scoring four. The bench was cleared, giving the starters a much needed break. Camille hit a based-loaded double, continuing her hot streak and giving her a team leading 6 RBI's for the week.
The Flames were burning out in the heat, and the burgundy and black were on a roll. Katie K came in and threw 13 pitches to strike out the side. Back to the batter's box, four more runs and it was mercy time again.
The bottom of the line-up produced as usual with a hit, an reach-on-error, and a couple of walks. Ambur brought in the game ender with a picture perfect slide, beating the tag off a passed ball. 15-0, mercy, back to the hotel pool!
The victory provided the girls (and parents and families!) a well deserved day off on Friday. Bowling, the Bio-sphere, and swimming were some of the activities enjoyed.
First game Saturday is 8am, and if the girls keep on winning, 2pm and 8pm. Already in the top 16 in this part of the country, the Gold All-Stars have put Claremont California on the softball map.