Twelve Bridges? seventh grade defies odds to claim softball championship

Titans stun Creekside Ranch
By: Staff Report
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The Twelve Bridges Middle School seventh grade softball team battled into an extra inning against previously undefeated Creekside Ranch to eventually beat the Raptors 16-13 for the Foothills Intermediate Schools Athletic League postseason tournament championship last month. The Titans came in as the No. 3 seed following a 6-4 loss to Creekside Ranch in the final regular season game. That kept the Raptors undefeated and dropped Twelve Bridges to 4-2 on the season. To reach the championship game, the Titans shook the ice off their bats and hammered No. 2 seed Antelope Crossing 13-4. Contributing to the victory at the plate were Abby Rowe (3-for-3), Kelsey Blaylock (2-3) and Claire Soderberg (2-3, including a double). Olivia Shank hit a home run and Tia Hollmer tripled. Following the semifinal win Twelve Bridges had just minutes before taking on Creekside Ranch in the tournament finale. ?We were definitely the underdogs going into the playoffs seeded No. 3 and with the girls having very little experience playing softball,? said TBMS head coach Kim Moss, who added that many of her players were new to softball in spite of being accomplished athletes in other sports. ?They already had a competitive drive that made coaching these girls particularly fun,? Moss said. Although the Raptors took and early 2-0 lead, the Titans? hitters came alive in the third inning to go up 5-2. Powering TBMS were Kara Baichtal (home run), doubles by Shelby Knafla, Shank, Blaylock and Soderberg and singles by Gabby Barquet and Emily Fried. Creekside Ranch fought back to take an 8-5 lead in the bottom of the fourth but it would be short lived. In the top half of the fifth inning, Hollmer powered a home run to lead a five-run rally. Adding to the numbers were walks given up to Baichtal, Soderberg and Kiana Naitagaga plus singles by Fried, Rowe and Knafla. Again the Raptors would rally to tie the game 10-10 and send it into extra innings. But Twelve Bridges would post an insurmountable lead in the top half of the inning to claim the championship. ?I can proudly say they?re just a great group of girls with a lot of heart!? said Coach Moss. Getting hits for the Titans in the final stanza were Blaylock, Soderberg, Fried, Hollmer, Rowe and Sydney Ebert. Defense closed out the game when Ebert ended a Creekside Ranch three-run rally by cutting off a potential hit at second base and throwing out the runner at first to end the game. Twelve Bridges committed only one error in the contest. Coach Moss also extended her gratitude to the girls? parents and to her assistant coaches Mike Fried and Scott Blaylock. Foothills Intermediate Schools Athletic League Seventh Grade Postseason Softball Tournament Twelve Bridges 16, Creekside Ranch 13 Seeding 1. Creekside Ranch Raptors 2. Antelope Crossing Cougars 3. Twelve Bridges Titans 4. Olympus Spartans Titans Kelsey Blaylock ? pitcher Claire Soderberg ? utility infielder Olivia Shank ? third base Tia Hollmer ? center field Abby Rowe ? left field Gabby Barquet ? right field Shelby Knafla ? utility Emily Fried ? first base Kara Baichtal ? shortstop Kiana Naitagaga ? catcher Sydney Ebert ? second base Kayla Wehner ? scorekeeper Head Coach: Kim Moss