Tharptown comes from behind to win Cherokee tourney

By Bart Moss for the FCT

 

The Tharptown Wildcats had to climb out of the loser bracket to win three straight games and, in the process, lay claim to the championship trophy. The Wildcats lost to Sheffield in the opening game of the Cherokee tournament, then, after defeating Waterloo, beat Sheffield in two straight games to win the championship.

“I could not be prouder of a group of girls then I am of this group,” said Tharptown Coach Tanna Benford. “They showed so much grit and determination this weekend – coming out of the loser’s bracket and having to beat Sheffield twice to win the championship.

“About half our team fought through injuries the entire weekend,” Benford added. “We had three players hit their first home runs ever, and we came from behind in our last three games to win, including a five-run rally in the last inning of the championship.”

Benford said she believes this tournament could go a long way toward building the confidence her team needs to be successful over the long term.

“There were a lot of girls who made big plays for us,” said Benford. “It was young and old making big plays in critical situations. We didn’t have to rely on one or two people to pull us through. It was a total team effort.

“This team has a chance to be special if they keep working hard and relying on each other.”

Game One: Sheffield 9, Tharptown 4

Freshman Aly Vandiver hit a solo home run in the opening game tournament loss to the Sheffield Bulldogs. Kaylee Bain and Taylor Cameron led the way at the plate with three hits. Brooke Daily had two hits in the game as well.
The game was tied 5-5 going into the last inning before the Bulldogs scored four runs in the seventh inning to get the win and send the Wildcats to the loser’s bracket.

Game Two: Tharptown 4, Waterloo 3

Seventh grader Taylor Cameron got her first varsity win inside the circle for the Wildcats against the Waterloo Cougars. Cameron had five strikeouts in the game.

Kaylee Bain had two doubles and a single. Brooke Daily had a double. Klaudia Harris, Olivia Ergle, Aly Vandiver and Shaylee Wieting each had a hit in the game.

Game Three: Tharptown 15, Sheffield 4

Olivia Ergle got the win for Tharptown in the rematch against the Sheffield Bulldogs. Ergle struck out five Bulldogs in the game.

Kaylee Bain led the way at the plate for the Wildcats with four hits. Aly Vandiver hit for a double and a single. Ergle had a double at the plate. Shaylee Wieting, Klaudia Harris, Ameliah Dawson, Cara Ergle and Taylor Cameron all had hits in the game.

Championship Game: Tharptown 7, Sheffield 5

After climbing their way out of the loser’s bracket into the championship game, the Tharptown Wildcats had to climb their way out of hole late in the game to win the championship. Trailing 5-2 in the final inning of play to the Sheffield Bulldogs, Shaylee Wieting doubled and Ameliah Dawson walked to put runners on first and second base. Brooke Daily stroked a hit to score Wieting. Taylor Cameron singled in Dawson to pull the Wildcats to within one of the Bulldogs, 5-4. With two outs, Aly Vandiver got a hit and RBI to tie the game 5-5. Kaylee Bain singled in the go ahead run, and Wieting knocked in another run to give the Wildcats a 7-5 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.

Cameron came in relief of Ergle in the circle to close out the game for the Wildcats, forcing three pop-ups to retire the side.

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