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Worth/Northern Diamonds Champions At Rockford

Women's C/D/E Equalizer Tournament At Forest Hills Diamonds

CHampions Worth / Northern Diamonds

ROCKFORD: The Worth/Northern Diamonds from Mc Henry went 4-1 to capture first place at the USSSA Women's Class C/D/E Equalizer Tournament held at the Forest Hills Diamonds in Rockford on July 23rd and 24th. Hot Chocolate (4-2) from Detroit, Michigan finished in second place, High Voltage (4-2) from St. Charles took home third place, Rosati's Of Wheaton (3-2) from Warrenville was fourth with Ispen International (2-2) from Belvidere and Add-A-Bath/Demarini (1-2) from Gurnee tying for fifth place at this tournament
The ladies from Worth/Northern Diamonds opened the tournament by receiving a first round bye before taking on and defeating Cooks Grading from Waukesha, Wisconsin by using a five run first inning to propel them to this 15-5 victory. The top of the order for the Worth/Northern Diamonds Molly Gillespie, Erika Bonelli, and Rachel Prushinski combined to lead the way going 12-14 with eleven runs scored. Christina Chase added 4-5 game with 4 RBI to aid in the wining effort.
In their second contest of this tournament it was the Worth/Northern Diamonds winning big 11-2 over Add-A-Bath/Demarini. The Worth Northern Diamonds were led in this game by the hitting of Chase and Deanna Maday who both went 3-4 with 3 RBI.
This win put the Worth/Northern Diamonds into the winner's bracket championship game were their opponent would be Hot Chocolate. In the winner's bracket final, the Worth/Northern Diamonds had to spot Hot Chocolate five runs under the tournament's equalizer rule, but they used their team defense to shut down the ladies from Michigan the entire way winning 15-5 in five innings. The Worth/Northern Diamonds were led at the plate during this win by the hitting of Prushinski, Melissa Swanson, and Kate Lootens who all had three hits each. This also win sent the Worth/Northern Diamonds into the shade for an hour while Hot Chocolate had to play again in the heat needing to win to earn a second chance at the Worth/Northern Diamonds ball club.
After winning the loser's bracket final, Hot Chocolate came out hitting in the first inning of the Championship game scoring nine runs in that first inning, combining those nine runs that they scored with the five runs that they were spotted under the equalizer rule proved to be too much for the Worth/Northern Diamonds to over come in this game as they lost to Hot Chocolate 14-7 force the need to play the 'if necessary game' in order to determine which of these two ball club would be the champion of this tournament. The Worth/Northern Diamonds were led in this loss by the hitting of Prushinski who had three hits.
A fired up Worth/Northern Diamonds ball club took the field for the 'if game'. Hot Chocolate scored three quick runs that were added to the five run spot under the equalizer rule giving the Michigan ladies an 8-0 lead entering the bottom of the first inning. The ladies from Worth/Northern Diamonds said enough of this and show case their own offense in the bottom of the first inning scoring fourteen runs to take a six run lead after one inning of play. The ladies from Worth/Northern Diamonds continued to hit and took their defense up a couple of notches leading to a 26-13 win in four and one half innings of play by the run rule. The top hitter in this game for the champions, Worth/Northern Diamonds were, Vickie Schultz 3-3, Jen Schultz 4-4 with 4 RBI, Chase 3-4, Maday with 5 RBI, and Prushinski with 6 RBI.
The Worth/Northern Diamonds earned $275 to wards USSSA C Nationals, on Labor Day in Canton, Michigan. For the weekends Worth's leading hitters were Rachel Prushinski .667 with 11 RBI, Christina Chase .647 with 11 RBI, Vickie Schultz .600 with 2 RBI, and Jen Schultz .588 with 5 RBI. On the defensive side the Worth/Northern Diamonds were led by second baseman Erika Bonelli and both pitchers Melissa Swanson and Sarah Armantrout. Head coach Rod Neubauer said, "Don't be fooled by the offensive numbers. While it was our best hitting weekend by far, Melissa and Sarah, combined with our defense was the reason we won. We held Cook's to 5 runs and Add-A-Bath to 2 runs. Trust me that's amazing, those two teams can flat out hit. Hot Chocolate was no slouch either; they scored runs at will against the 'C' teams all weekend."
Hot Chocolate made it to the championship game by opening the tournament with big 14-4 win over Bad Influence in the first round of tournament play. Hot Chocolate improved to 2-0 with a 15-5 win over High Voltage in the second round of tournament play. High Voltage had received a first round bye to advance into this second round contest with Hot Chocolate.
Now playing in a semifinal game on Saturday afternoon Hot Chocolate won over Ispen International 21-11 to move the Michigan ladies into Sunday winner' bracket undefeated game.
On Sunday Hot Chocolate's day did not start off as they had hoped it would as the ran into a buzz saw named Worth/Northern Diamonds losing 15-5 in five innings of play.
Hot Chocolate now would have to win three straight games in a row on a very hot (over 100 degrees of heat) day to win this tournament. The Michigan ball club started out to de just that as they handed High Voltage an 18-4 defeat to send them home with third place but more importantly this win earned them a second chance to the Worth/Northern Diamonds and the tournament title.
Hot Chocolate made a statement to the ladies from Mc Henry by pounding out an impressive 14-7 victory to force the need to have the 'if necessary game' played in order to determine which of these two ball clubs would leave as the champion.
Hot Chocolate jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first inning before the ladies from Worth/Northern Diamonds hit them with a huge haymaker scoring fourteen runs of their own to take the lead which they steadily increase on their way to a 26-13 win in the deciding game sending Hot Chocolate back to Detroit with second place from this tournament.
Hot Chocolate did not provide Illinois Softball Report with any team information, stats, highlights or quotes on how they were able to finish in second place at this tournament.

USSSA Women's Class C/D/E Equalizer Tournament
Forest Hills Diamonds, Rockford
July 23rd & 24th, 2005
1
Worth / Northern Diamonds
4-1
2
Hot Chocolate
5-2
3
High Voltage
4-2
4
Rosati's of Wheaton
3-2
5t
Ipsen International
2-2
5t
Add-A-Bath / Demarini
1-2
7t
The Corner Pub
2-2
7t
Bad Influence
1-2
9t
Cook's Grading
1-2
9t
Dilligaf
0-2
9t
Neighbors Bar & Grill
0-2
9t
Anderson Blaze
0-2




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