Mighty Chicks need extra inning to corral Broncos in title game

August 21, 2008 

Chicks are on top of the slowpitch pecking order

Although the Sierra Women's Slowpitch Softball League struggled to put enough teams together to play this season, its determination paid off Saturday when the Mighty Chicks squared off against the Raymond Broncos for the league title.

The usual carnival atmosphere made the hot day bearable.

While the players come together to have a good time, they also are seriously competitive, especially the rivalry that has developed between the Chicks and the Broncos that seem to go on year after year.

The two teams, that have rosters salted with veteran players, are friends off the field, but there is no love lost when they take the diamond opposite each other.

Saturday, after the dust settled, the Mighty Chicks had prevailed, taking the first two games of the three series to claim the trophy


"When plan "A" didn't work, we went to plan "B" but it didn't work for long either." ~anonymous Bronco player

The Raymond Broncos and the Mighty Chicks squared-off Saturday at the Ahwahnee Elementary School softball fields in the best of three, Sierra Women's Slowpitch Softball League 2008 championship series and as usual it was memorable.

When the dust settled, the Mighty Chicks had defeated the Broncos 11-5 in game one and then 15-14 in game two, taking seven innings after trailing by seven runs. According to long time player Patty Mottola, the Chicks emphasize team defense, an almost unheard-of strategy in slow-pitch softball. "It's been fun playing this season," Mottola said. "These kids are good athletes and enjoy playing, which has made it a fun season."

Game one, Mighty Chicks 11, Raymond Broncos 5

Pitching was not either team's strong suit for either team as the Chicks pounded out 24 hits and the Broncos nine hits with six walks.

The Chicks sole pitcher, Miranda Hackworth was banged-up with an elbow injury and had a tendency to throw a lot of balls. Raymond would rely upon Alice Higman, the league's most dominating pitcher over the past few years.

The Chicks jumped right on Higman in the first inning of game one, scoring five runs with one out. Raymond came right back with three runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning making the score 6-3 after one.

Hackworth walked four batters and surrendered a fifth inning single to Sarah Williams in the fifth but the tight Chicks did not allow a runner past second base until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Broncos scored a pair of runs on consecutive singles by Carolynn Long, Kate Saubolle and Tracey Brechbuehl.

Hackworth aided her own cause with a three-for-three performance with three RBIs. Sher're Hendricks, Long and Saubolle had two hits apiece.

Raymond Broncos 14, Mighty Chicks 15 (seven innings)

A third game appeared likely after four innings of game two with the Broncos jumping on the Chicks for 11 runs in the fourth inning to stretch its lead to 11-5 with Plan "A," patience and "don't swing at anything outside the strike zone," said Mary Beth Wright.

The plan appeared to work with Hackworth throwing again in game two, pitching outside and walking 11 batters.

But the Chicks, with veteran players Mottola, Steinkraus, Hackworth and Randii Avina kept the team focused and began chipping away at the Broncos' lead scoring six runs over the fifth and sixth innings. The Chicks scored two on a Miranda Hackworth double in the fifth and three more on consecutive singles by Mottola, Amy Smith, Amy Stephen, Heather, MJ Markley and Dee Kamalani in the sixth to tie the game and send it into extra innings.

Raymond loaded the bases off Hackworth in the top of the seventh inning but could only score a single run to take a 14-13 lead.

Avina led off the seventh with a single and Miranda Hackworth followed with an infield hopper to set the stage for Margina Jones and Heather Osborne singles to score the winning runs.

"It was fun playing today but I wonder what would have happened if we had had to play one more game?" Mottola said. "This has been a very long day."

From the bleachers

Alice Higman pitched in all three games for the Broncos. Miranda Hackworth was selected by her teammates as the Chicks' Most Valuable Player. Hackworth pitched three complete game victories and was nine of 10 at the plate with 11 RBIs.

Saubolle was 7-11 at the plate, scoring four runs and had five RBIs and Williams had seven hits in 10 at bats and scored three runs for Raymond.


- Mighty Chicks 11, Broncos 5 (Game 1)

MIGHTY CHICKS

Player AB R H BI Hackworth, Heather...... 3 1 2 1 Markley, MJ.............. 3 0 1 1 Kamalani, Dee......... 3 1 2 1

Steinkraus, Beth..... 3 2 2 1 Avina, Randi........... 3 2 2 1

Hackworth, Miranda.... 3 1 3 3 Gonzales, Melissa.......... 3 1 2 1

Jones, Margina............. 3 0 2 0 Osborne, Heather......... 3 0 2 0

Mottola, Patty........ 3 1 3 2

Stephens, Amy............. 3 1 1 0

Smith, Amy.................. 3 1 2 0

Totals....................... 36 11 24 11 BRONCOS

Player AB R H BI Calhoun, Kitty............ 3 0 0 0 Williams, Sarah...... 3 0 1 0 Wright, Mary Beth........ 2 1 1 0 Hendricks, Sher're...... 2 1 2 0

Long, Carolyn....... 2 2 2 1

Saubolle, Kate............ 3 1 2 1

Brechbuehl, Tracey....... 3 0 1 1

Higman, Alice........ 2 0 0 1

Moore, Ester............. 1 0 0 0 Silva, Stephanie............ 3 0 0 0

Totals...................... 24 5 9 4

Score by Innings R H E

-------------------------------------------

Chicks................... 602 300 - 11240

Broncos.................. 300 002 - 5 9 0

-------------------------------------------

LOB - Chicks-7; Broncos -7. 2B - M. Hackworth, Kamalani, Steinkraus, Avina, Saubolle. 3B - M. Hackworth, Long. BB - Calhoun, Wright, Hendricks, Higman, Moore 2.

Pitching

IP R H BB K

Hackworth (W) 6 5 9 6 2

Higman (L) 6 11 24 0 0

Umpire - Pete Jara


Broncos 14, Mighty Chicks 15 (Game 2)

BRONCOS

Player AB R H BI Calhoun, Kitty............ 4 2 2 0 Williams, Sarah...... 4 2 3 0 Wright, Mary Beth........ 3 1 1 2 Hendricks, Sher're...... 3 1 1 2

Long, Carolyn....... 4 2 2 1

Saubolle, Kate............ 5 1 3 2

Brechbuehl, Tracey....... 3 2 2 2

Higman, Alice........ 2 1 2 2

Moore, Ester............. 4 1 2 2 Silva, Stephanie............ 1 1 0 0

Totals...................... 33 14 9 13

MIGHTY CHICKS

Player AB R H BI Hackworth, Heather...... 4 2 3 0 Markley, MJ.............. 4 2 3 0 Kamalani, Dee......... 3 1 2 1

Steinkraus, Beth..... 4 2 3 2 Avina, Randi........... 4 2 2 0

Hackworth, Miranda.... 3 2 3 4 Jones, Margina............. 4 1 2 1 Osborne, Heather......... 4 0 2 2

Mottola, Patty........ 3 1 2 2

Stephens, Amy............. 3 1 2 0

Smith, Amy.................. 3 1 2 0

Totals....................... 39 15 26 12

Score by Innings R H E

-------------------------------------------

Chicks.................. 100 1101 1 - 14 9 0

Broncos................. 005 2 33 2 - 15 24 0

-------------------------------------------

LOB - Chicks-5; Broncos -10. 2B - M. Hackworth, Wright. 3B - M. Hackworth. BB - Williams, Wright, Hendricks 2, Long, Brechbuel, Higman 2, Silva 3.

Pitching

IP R H BB K

Higman (L, 0-2) 7 15 26 0 0

Hackworth (W, 2-0) 7 14 14 11 3

Umpire - Pete Jara

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