Firebirds 14U-Sable wrapped up their strong year by claiming the USA Softball 14U Class A Eastern Championship this weekend in Loudoun.
The team swept their three pool games on Thursday by a combined score of 21-5, earning them a first-round bye in the double-elimination tournament. The Firebirds used the bye to their advantage and beat the always-strong Delaware Cobras, 8-0, advancing them to the winners bracket semifinals and giving them the rest of Friday off.
The Firebirds drew Pennsylvania Outlaws National on Saturday. To that point, the Outlaws had won their four games by a combined score of 49-5. Once Lara Schuerhoff drove in the second Firebirds run of the top of the first inning, Kaylie DeChicchis had all the cushion she needed. She pitched 7 innings, striking out 7 and allowing just one run in the 5-1 victory. The win advanced the Birds to the winners bracket final on Sunday morning.
DeChicchis pitched another gem against the Generals, striking out 8 over 6 innings. The Firebirds held a tenuous 2-1 lead going into the fifth inning, when the Generals scored 2 to take the lead. That lead was short-lived, though, as the Firebirds scored twice in the bottom of the inning to go up 4-3, which ended up as the final score. With that win, the Firebirds earned a place in the championship game. Without a loss yet, they would need to win just once to claim the championship, but their opponent would have to beat them twice to claim the title.
After defeating the Wheatland Spikes, the Michigan Generals returned for a rematch (or maybe two) against the Firebirds for the championship. The game was never really in doubt. Maya Sable (4 IP) and Lindsay White (3 IP) combined to allow just 7 hits and 2 runs over 7 innings, backed up by a defense that didn't commit an error and turned two double plays. Bella Mistretta scored 3 times and White went 3-4 with 3 RBI to pace the offense in the 8-2 win.