Island sports: Alameda Blaze 12U update
Pleasant Hill Softball Tournament
The Alameda Blaze 12-and-under softball team staged a big comeback in the championship game of the Pleasant Hill Softball Tournament only to fall just short of the win, coming in second out of 12 teams for the weekend of July 17-18. The Blaze are 26-8, earning a first or second place finish in every tournament they have played in this season.
Saturday, July 17
Alameda Blaze 7, San Mateo Slammers 4
The Blaze started strong and held off a San Mateo rally to take the win. The Blaze offense was led by Kennedy Hanson, Caroline Liu, Samantha Hugger and Sammy Williams. Hanson had a particularly strong game, going three for three with two runs scored. Pitcher Shannon Regan gave up only one earned run on four hits, but the Slammers took advantage of some Blaze errors to make the game tight. With the game tied 4-4 in the fifth, the Blaze scored three to take the win.
San Ramon Stompers 3, Alameda Blaze 2
The Stompers kept their foot on the Blaze with a 3-2 win. Alameda pitcher Sammy Williams overpowered most of the Stomper hitters, but also baffled others with change-ups to record seven strikeouts. But that was not enough, as the Stompers made some good plays that the Blaze didn’t, and that was the difference in this defensive battle. The Blaze mounted a comeback, scoring their two runs in the bottom of the sixth before their rally ended. The Blaze rally was a sign of things to come for the rest of the tournament.
Alameda Blaze 9, Pleasanton Phantom 2
Alameda scored eight runs in the first two innings and rode the three-hit pitching of Vivienne Saulovich to record a team victory. Kelley Desmond led the potent Blaze offense by going two for two with a home run and four RBIs. Kiara Proctor also knocked in a couple of runs, and 10 of 14 Blaze players had hits including Caroline Liu with two. Grace Oransky walked and scored a run in the decisive six-run first inning.
Sunday, July 18
Alameda Blaze 12, Sunnyvale Shockwave 6
The Blaze exploded for 10 runs in the second to knock the shock out of Sunnyvale. Julia Boyden went three for three and Jordan Cenidoza, Alanna Reyes, Caroline Liu and Kelley Desmond contributed two hits each to lead the Blaze barrage. Showing her speed on the bases, Meida Tautalatasi scored two runs and had a stolen base. Vivienne Saulovich pitched a solid game for the win, only giving up three earned runs.
Alameda Blaze 12, San Ramon Stompers 6
Alameda came out strong and took the stomp out of San Ramon to beat their rivals for the second time this season. The Blaze hit the ball well from the start and broke the game open with 11 runs in third and fourth to put the game out of reach. Sammy Williams was fantastic, going three for three and pitching to a six-hit win in the high heat. Alanna Reyes had two key hits and three RBIs and Kennedy Hanson showed slap hitting and speed as the Blaze ran away to a convincing victory.
Petaluma Steel Breeze 9, Alameda Blaze 8
After five games each in the high heat, the Breeze and the Blaze battled in the championship game with the Breeze coming away with the win. Petaluma took control of the game early with their pitcher firing fastballs and also hitting well, with a home run and a triple in her first two at-bats. The Breeze had an 8-2 lead going into the top of the fifth when the Blaze bats came alive with four runs on only two hits, the big one coming from Alanna Reyes on her two out double over the left fielder’s outstretched glove. The Blaze scored two in the top of the seventh to tie the game, with Alanna Reyes again providing the big hit with a two-run single to give her five RBIs on the day. Sammy Williams pitched valiantly and the Blaze defense came up with two tag outs at the plate in the last two innings, but the Breeze pushed a run across to win the game in the bottom of the seventh.