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Fallbrook 10U All Stars take second place in tournament

FALLBROOK – Over the 4th of July weekend, the Fallbrook 10U and 14U All Star girls softball teams played in the 37th Annual Freedom Tournament at Kit Carson Park hosted by the Escondido Girls' Softball League.

The tournament began with pool play on Thursday, June 30, and continued through Saturday, July 2 when bracket play started in the afternoon. Both Fallbrook teams struggled during pool play with the 14U team losing 4-8 vs. San Marcos on Thursday and 0-10 vs. Goleta on Friday. Fallbrook 10U lost 0-8 vs. Mira Mesa on Thursday and 2-10 versus Placentia Yorba Linda on Friday.

However, things began to turn around for both teams on Saturday when the 14U team chalked up their first win of the All Star season during the morning game versus Torrance, defeating the Los Angeles team 7-4. The Fallbrook 10U team followed suit and defeated a team that came all the way from Ventura County known as the Westlake Agoura Girls Softball (WAGS) 10U Hurricanes. They won 7-3.

With pool play out of the way, single elimination bracket games began Saturday afternoon. Fallbrook 14U faced off against Escondido Girls Softball giving them a hard fought battle, but ultimately losing 2-6, resulting in their elimination from the tournament. The Fallbrook 14U team has been led by the Warriors Junior Varsity coach, Jessica Yerger, who helped shape the team into a competitive force by the time of this tournament.

The 10U team faced a second WAGS team on Saturday evening that was a nail-biter to the end. The game got heated after four scoreless innings when a controversial call was made at home plate. In the fourth inning, a WAGS base runner caught in a pickle between third base and home was called safe at home by the umpire, only to be challenged by the Fallbrook coaches, then overruled and called, "out!" by the second umpire in the field, which left both teams scoreless until the fifth inning.

Then, Fallbrook 10U broke through and scored two runs. Pitcher Ada Porter shut out WAGS for five out six innings and ended the game in dramatic fashion with a strikeout, leaving three WAGS base runners stranded. The clip of the last pitch and celebration is on the league's Instagram @fallbrookgirlssoftball.

Ada struck out 11, only allowing three hits and one run. Millie Collins, Katelyn Nath, Azul Favela and Ada Porter all contributed with base hits. The win secured entry into the semifinal game on Sunday morning when they faced Mira Mesa again, which had shut out Fallbrook 10U previously on Thursday night.

Sunday morning's game proved to be just as nerve wrecking and dramatic as the previous game. Mira Mesa was the first team they faced in the tournament and they had difficulty batting against their pitcher. However, they had faced similar pitchers throughout the tournament and made adjustments. Just like the previous game, the pitchers battled it out for three scoreless innings, although Fallbrook had put the ball in play and left runners in scoring positions for the first two innings.

In the 4th inning, Fallbrook 10U again broke through and scored two runs with hits by #7 Katelyn Nath and #42 Azul Favela. With less than 10 minutes left in the bottom of the 4th and Mira Mesa up to bat, they tied the score 2-2 on passed balls at home, sending the game into extra innings.

The fifth inning began with the international tie-breaker rule in effect, which placed a runner on second base to start the inning. #3 Faith Smith was the runner on second base for Fallbrook. With a double hit by Itzel Favela, Faith scored and broke the tie, bringing #00 Maddison Bergeron Trujillo up to bat. Maddie then laid a textbook bunt down the first base line and sped off to first base safely. With Mira Mesa attempting to make the play at first base, Itzel scored at home to put Fallbrook up 4-2, giving the team the insurance they needed to secure a win.

Mira Mesa then had their last at bat when they were able to score one run before the Fallbrook defense closed the inning with a ground out to shortstop Millie Collins, who got the final out at first base and advanced the team to the championship game at noon. Pitcher Ada Porter struck out 11 batters and the team committed no errors. Maddie's bunt was recorded and posted to the league's Instagram.

Fallbrook 10U faced hard hitting Torrance 10U in the championship game and fell 1-11, however, they were more than thrilled to have advanced this far into the tournament and were filled with emotion as they received their second place trophies after the game. This team has been led by coaches Scot Porter, Ricardo Favela, Henry Favela, Lisa Sendre, Joel Castillo and Kourtney Lucy and they plan to play in tournaments until the end of the year.

Follow Fallbrook Girls Softball on Facebook and Instagram @fallbrookgirlssoftball to watch highlight clips and watch out for the opening of Fall Softball registration.

Submitted by Fallbrook Girls Softball League.


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