The Ottumwa 14U squad captured their second tournament title and extended a red hot summer with a true team concept. A ‘Bulldog’ team that has been playing together since they even started playing organized team sports put together another fantastic run over the past weekend.
The Ottumwa squad blanked the Osky ‘Rebels’ in their opener on last Friday 5-0, downed the Johnson County ‘Jags’ (4-1) and Davenport ‘Falcons’ (4-2) to cap a perfect pool play run Saturday and then dominated two bracket play opponents on ‘championship’ Sunday.
Besides a six-run triumph over the Firecrackers in the title game, Ottumwa also shutout the ‘Slammers of Centerville 6-0. All in all, it was a perfect balance of timely hitting, solid defense and excellent pitching.
“It’s really about the 11 girls I got playing for me,” Greiner said. “They’re a great group of girls. Seven of them I’ve coached now for five years, so they’re a good nucleus of Ottumwa girls. Four of them are going to try out for Ottumwa softball and another three are another year away, but it’s really about that. When we put this team together as parents, it was about the kids and it is still is about the kids. They’re a good group and they make the magic happen out there.”
The entire weekend proved to be about the magical moments young softball players could produce, especially as the tournament drew to its dramatic conclusion. While Ottumwa’s 14U team proved to be the only home team to make it to the finals, there were plenty of cheers echoing all throughout Greater Ottumwa Park on Sunday afternoon during the 10U and 12U championship rounds.
No game in the entire tournament proved to be as thrilling as the game that decided the 12U division between unbeaten Knoxville and upstart Mount Pleasant. The ‘Hot Stix’ lost in pool play to the ‘Panthers’ on Saturday, 9-1, leaving the Henry County squad left with the task of winning three elimination games on Sunday.