When the Tahlequah 10-under slow pitch softball team the Crush got ready to travel the 622 miles to Hobbs N.M. they knew they might run into a team they knew very well, the Tahlequah Lil Fillies, who also got a bid to the USSSAA Midwest Youth National tournament. However, they hardly could imagine that the would travel all that way to meet their hometown foes in the finals.

The Crush where set in the No. 2 position in the bracket and played the Diamond Backs in the first game of the tournament. They made easy work of the team 10-2.

On the other end of the bracket the Lil Fillies were set to play the Starz. The game was not a blow out, but the Lil Fillies moved on with a 9-6 win.

Round two paired The Crush up against a top team from Texas, ironically called Team Texas, The Crush did not have an easy time with the Lone Star foe, but again pulled out a win and a trip to semi finals. Earlier in the day the Lil Fillies had done the same by defeating the home team, the Hobbs Lady Rangers, 18-2.

The semi final was set with the two Tahlequah teams to battle it out over 600 miles from home. The two had to play to determine who would drop to the loser bracket.

The Crush struck early and often in the game. After a strike out to open the second inning, N’dea Murray hit a single into left field to get on base. Erica Cheater followed with double into left field scoring the first run. An error allowed Marisa Girdner to reach base and Cheater to score. The score was 3-0 after two innings played.

The scoring started again in the third inning when the Crush’s Megan Towie got on a base on an error. Matilda Birdtail blasted a triple into left field scoring the first run of the inning. Another run scored when Rhanda Walker reached on an error. Three more runs followed with singles by Caitlin and Murray.

In the fourth inning, Girdner reached on a single and later scored. Chloe Barker also singled and would later score. Then Kelsey Keys reached, followed by Towie to bring her home. Birdtail brought in the next run with a single to left, before the inning ended. The score was 12-0 after four innings.

In the fifth inning the Lili Fillies got a single by Melody Proctor. Then Sara Webb hit into a fielder’s choice, before Amy Tiger blasted a triple to score their only run of the game. However, it was too little too late. The game ended with a score of 12-1.

The Lil Fillies then dropped to the loser’s bracket to face the Diamond Back team the Crush had started the tournament against. They did way easily with the New Mexico team 19-3, landing them back in the championship game against the Crush. The Lil Fillies would have had to win two to capture the championship.

The got things started again with a single by Chuculate, followed by a single to left by Towie bringing home a run. Birdtail rounded out the hits and later scored on an error. The Crush held a 2-0 lead after the first inning.

It was the Lil Fillies that answered in the second. Kayle Gonzalas led off with a single, before Victoria Newton hit into a fielder’s choice. A double by Melody Proctor brought home a run, but the inning ended shortly after. The Lil Fillies had narrowed the score to 2-1 after two innings.

The Crush went back on a roll in the third with a double by Chuculate and Towie. The two scored putting the Crush up 4-1.

The Lil Fillies closed the gap once again in the fourth inning after a single from Sydni Rainbolt and Gonzalas. Newton also managed a single but was unable to score. The score stood at 4-2 after four innings.

The fifth inning saw three more runs from the Crush. Towie hit a double followed by a single from Birdtail. Another double, this time by Mylee Hewitt, set up singles by Rhanda Walker and Murray to round out the inning.

After a scoreless sixth inning the Crush took over, scoring 12 runs in the seventh inning for a 19-3 win and the national championship.

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