OC Bombers are champs

| 10 Aug 2017 | 11:38

The Orange County Bombers, a 16U fast pitch softball team with members mostly from throughout Orange County, won the 16U-B USSSA (United States Specialty Sports Association) Fast Pitch World Series Tournament in Orlando, Florida.
The tournament was held from July 10 to 16 and was hosted by Osceola County and the ESPN Wide World of Sports. Teams came from all over the United States, and some from as far away as Venezuela and Canada. Twenty-one teams participated in the 16U age group in the tournament.
The Bombers started off slowly, losing 4-0 to the Loudoun Inferno in their opening game. A quick team meeting before their next game helped to right the ship, and it would prove to be the last loss for the Bombers in the tournament. They were dominant in their next two pool games, beating the St. Louis Pirates and Indiana Illusion 8-0 in both games. The Bombers finished 2-1 in pool play and claimed the #2 seed from their pool and then began tournament play, a double elimination affair where if you lose twice, you go home.
The Bombers stayed in the winner's bracket, beating the West Ga. Express 3-2, the BlastersX - Illinois 8-3, and the Long Island Chiefs Select 10-9.
In their semi-final against the Hickory Hornets - Maryland, Goshen's Jenny Lawless doubled home Alex Fogg with the game-winning run, giving the Bombers a 3-2 win and sending them to the championship game.
They faced the Long Island Chiefs Select in the final, but fell behind 5-1. It looked bleak until the Bombers began mounting a comeback. Key hits by Tara Danilak, Jayna Celano, Jayda Roman, Casey McKnight and Maddie Pacione helped give the Bombers the lead.
From there, the Bombers' pitching again proved to be the difference - the Bombers liberally used several pitchers while the Chiefs stayed with only one. Maddie Pacione got the final out and the Bombers won 8-6 to take the championship.
Bombers' Manager Elena Fogg of Warwick credited her pitching staff for being able to survive the heat and humidity of Orlando and help bring home the trophy.
Last year, the team competed in the World Series, held at Myrtle Beach, as a 14U team, and finished third. One big difference: the pitchers.
"Last year we had three pitchers; this year we had six pitchers," said Fogg. "It made a difference with all the games and the heat."
Courtney Cienki of West Milford, N.J., was selected most valuable player by the team's opponent in the finals, the Long Island Chiefs Select.
The USSSA Fast Pitch program used a five-game guarantee format in its World Series Tournament. Teams were seeded into pools based on their USSSA ranking points and played a round robin. All teams were seeded into a double elimination championship bracket following pool play.