Eagles, Thunder Rebound
By KELLEY SMIDDIE
The Chattanooga Eagles snapped a four-game slide for local teams
in the Amateur Softball Association's 18-under Gold
fastpitch national tournament, and they did so in grand fasion.
Cynthia Polk and Peyton Rhodes teamed on a five-inning one-hitter
and seven Eagles contributed two hits apiece in an 8-0
victory over the Michigan Invasion in the next-to-last set of
games at Montague Park on Tuesday.
Each team in the tournament has a game remaining in pool play,
which concludes this afternoon. All teams shift to Warner Park
for the double-elimination tournament starting at 6 p.m.
The Chattanooga Mustangs opened the tournament with a loss to the
defending champion Gordon Panthers on Monday night,
then lost 3-0 to the Phoenix Destiny in an afternoon game Tuesday
at Warner Park.
The Eagles and the Tennessee Thunder, a team comprised of local
girls and some from the mid-state area, lost their openers by
the same score and in the same manner -- giving up a run in the
bottom of the seventh inning.
The California Belles beat the Thunder and the Northwest Outlaws
from Washington defeated the Eagles, each 5-4. With the
bases loaded after an intentional walk, a pop-fly single provided
the Eagles' downfall.
"I honestly felt like we shouldn't have lost this morning,"
Eagles coach Frank Reed said. "We were tied 1-1, then gave up three
runs in one bad inning. You just can't make mistakes in a
tournament like this. Everybody out here can play, or they wouldn't
"Our girls just have to get a little bit more motivated. There
are going to be a lot of 2-1 teams in pool play that are not going to
get a great seed."
Polk, who had gone 2-for-3 with a double in the loss, combined
with Rhodes for nine strikeouts and two walks in the victory.
Kelly Fox, Kristen Bell, Ryanne Harper, Dana Reed, Amanda
Woodall, Holly Speiser and Lacey Gardner had two hits apiece
for the Eagles. Fox, who had two RBIs, Bell and Harper each
doubled. Reed also had two RBIs and Woodall scored three
The Thunder bounced back and closed out the day's play with a 3-0
victory over the Polar Crush.
"I thought we played pretty well," Thunder coach Brent Bass said.
"I think we had the first-game jitters. The four early runs we
gave up hurt us, but we came back and hit the ball and tied it
"We're swinging the bat a lot better now. If we continue to swing
the bat and keep getting the pitching we're getting, we should
be able to compete with most anybody."
Jennifer Wright, who walked one and struck out nine, pitched six
innings of three-hit ball and earned the victory for the
Thunder. Erin Wright pitched a perfect seventh, striking out one.
Jackie McClain had an RBI double and Hillary Gipson and Ashley
Denton had RBI singles. McClain and Gipson each was
Gold Star Players: Goerl and Sorensen
The Orange County, Calif., Batbusters came within an out of
pitching back-to-back no-hitters Tuesday at Warner Park in the
Amateur Softball Association's 18-under Gold fastpitch national
The Batbusters' Keira Goerl and Dana Sorensen were among the
athletes with top performances in their first day of action.
The Batbusters beat the Phoenix Li'l Saints 3-0 behind a
no-hitter from Goerl, who a day earlier was honored as a Louisville
Slugger High School All-American by the National Fastpitch
Coaches Association in a luncheon at the Chattanooga Choo
Choo's Holiday Inn. The 'Busters then defeated the Indiana Heat
7-0, when Sorensen retired the first two batters in the seventh
inning before her no-hitter was broken up.
Each walked one batter and struck out 12. Sorensen also hit one.
Pool play resumes at Warner and Montague parks this morning at 9
and concludes with games beginning at 1 p.m. Teams then
will be seeded, a draw will be held and the double-elimination
format will begin at 6 p.m.