Colerain Township, Oh.—Kelly Cable hit a sizzling .770 and pitcher Liz Andres limited three double elimination round opponents to a single run to lead Godbey Law/Jake’s Automotive to a first place finish in the women’s division of the 11th Annual USSSA City Slam May 25-28 at Mid-America Ballyard.
Godbey/Jake’s got an early wake-up call in the six-team affair, losing to SOS 12-11 in the first of two pool play contests. But they bounced back to even their record with a 15-4 spanking of Final Score, then romped unchallenged through the tournament’s double elimination round. The champions recorded back-to-back 10-0 shutout wins over Ross Store-N-Lock and Mishaps Happen, then polished off SOS 13-1 to avenge their lone setback. All three wins came via the mercy-rule, and Godbey/Jake’s never trailed in the double elimination round.
The winners pocketed $500 cash along with t-shirts and a first place trophy.
Chemistry and experience helped carry Godbey/Jake’s to the title, said manager Bernie Gierach.
“The big thing with this team that makes it special is our team chemistry and we have a ton of experience,” said Gierach. “We have some veteran players and some younger girls who are new to this team who bring speed and enthusiasm.”
Timely hitting was another key to his team’s success, said Gierach.
“We had a lot of timely hitting going backside with two outs,” said Gierach. “We go 1st to 3rd a lot and if a runner is on 1st base, we’re going to go backside with less than two outs.
“Our goal is to get ten runs and see what happens,” said Gierach. “We scored ten runs in every game except the first pool play game. We gave up four runs on mental errors in that game and we don’t normally give away runs. But we gave away four runs in the 2nd inning that should not have happened and they beat us 12-11.”
Kelly Cable, who led Godbey/Jake’s in hitting with a hefty .770 weekend, was named tournament MVP.
“The biggest reason was her batting average,” said Gierach. “She was way above everybody else. Plus she played out of position. She started at 1st base, then took over 3rd, and it didn’t affect her hitting. She made the plays she needed to make over there.”
Joining Cable on the All-Tournament team were Crystal Wilson (.650), Liz Andres (.640), Sarah Melvin (.600), Annie Neumann (.540) and Bridget Wegman (.530).
“Crystal was selected for her glove and consistent hitting,” said Gierach. “And Liz was named for her pitching. I don’t think she walked a batter the whole tournament, and she also batted .640. That’s not too shabby.”
Sarah Melvin “gives you everything she’s got,” said Gierach.
“Our middle is so strong with her at short and Crystal Wilson at 2nd. They’re just so solid,” said Gierach.
Annie Neumann and Bridget Wegman were named primarily for their defense.
“Annie is the fastest outfielder we have, and we have a real quick outfield with her and Bridget in the middle,” said Gierach. “We also named her for her batting average.
“Bridget didn’t hit as well as she did last week in Nashville, but she’s going to get on base and she has a great glove in the outfield and a good arm, and plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played,” added Gierach.
After splitting two pool play games – losing to SOS 12-11 and then routing Final Score 15-4 in five – Godbey/Jake’s met Ross Store-N-Lock in the first round of the elimination tournament. After a sluggish start, in which they put up just one run in each of the first two innings, then didn’t score in the 3rd and 4th, Godbey/Jake’s finally took control with two in the 5th and six in the 6th. Jodi Girard’s rbi double in the first proved to be the only run her club would need, as pitcher Liz Andres pitched the first of her two shutout wins. An inning later Kelly Cable singled in the second run. Jacque Gorbics made it a 4-0 game with a two-run double in the 5th. Then in the 6th Girard collected two more rbi’s with a single and Annie Neumann closed out the scoring with a two-run double, giving her team a 10-0 mercy-rule win.
Girard and Crystal Wilson banged out three hits each, and Kelly Cable chipped in with two hits.
Andres posted her second shutout against Mishap Happens in game two, also by a 10-0 score. A fielder’s choice by Tonya Woodruff put her club on the board in the 2nd. Crystal Wilson doubled in two runs and scored on a Jacque Gorbics base hit in the 3rd. Punky Kater and Sarah Melvin each contributed an rbi single in the 4th as the lead swelled to 6-0. A two-run single by Kelly Cable capped off a four-run 5th. Mishap Happens almost averted being mercy-ruled in the bottom of the 5th, as they juiced the bases with no outs. But the next batter hit a one-hopper to pitcher Liz Andres, who fired home to catcher Tonya Woodruff for the force out. Woodruff then threw the ball to Kelly Cable at 3rd for the second out, and Cable then threw a strike across the infield to 1st baseman Jacque Gorbics to complete the triple play and end the threat.
Punky Kater, Melvin, Gorbics, Andres, Woodruff and Cable combined for a dozen hits to pace the offense.
That pitted Godbey/Jake’s against SOS in the finals, where the eventual champions avenged their pool play setback to SOS convincingly in a 13-1, five-inning drilling. Liz Andres nearly recorded her third shutout in a row, as her team plated one in the 1st, five in the 2nd, one in the 3rd and six in the 4th before SOS finally pushed across a run in the bottom of the 4th. Crystal Wilson drove in the first run of the game with an rbi single in the top of the 1st. A two-run single by Kelly Cable highlighted the 2nd. Godbey/Jake’s finally broke the game open in the 5th with the help of a two-run double by Bridget Wegman. Tonya Woodruff and Annie Neumann followed with rbi singles to cap off the inning.
Wilson went 3-for-3, and Sarah Melvin, Liz Andres, Wegman and Woodruff shared eight hits.
Was Godbey’s/Jake’s surprised to walk through the tournament’s double elimination bracket with such ease?
“We were probably favored to win, but we didn’t expect to there to be that much difference as far as run differential,” said manager Bernie Gierach, whose team outscored their opponents by a combined margin of 59-17. “Ross is a solid team, and usually SOS gives us good games. We caught SOS down. They went extra innings before they got to the finals.
“Our defense is just so solid,” said Gierach. “We don’t make mistakes. And if we score ten runs, we’re going to win a lot of games.”
Gierach concluded by acknowledging his team’s sponsors and the tournament operators.
“We want to thank our sponsors – Godbey Law and Jake’s Automotive – and Mid-America for a nice awards package,” said Gierach. “Kelly Cable won an Easton rolling bat bag and a batting glove and an Easton bat. That’s a nice package for an MVP.”