Bulletin Staff Report
GARLAND — The Brownwood Heat piled up eight victories in 10 games and finished as the runner-up at the 36-team ASA 12U Southern Nationals, held here July 31- Aug. 5.
The Heat roster consists of Sydnie Darden, Sydney Laws, Cherita George, Jocelyn Woolf, Jenna Chastain and Nathalie Delatorre from Brownwood; Aubrey Horton and Preston Smith from Early; Keelee Allen from Bangs; Mason McGill and Sealie Tiner from Abilene; and Stacey Underwood from Hico.
Scott Laws, Scott Darden and Keith Woolf served as team coaches.
The Heat opened ASA Nationals action with with a pair of pool victories over the Rowlett Diamonds, 7-2, and the Allen AXE, 8-0.
Brownwood’s first bracket game was an 11-0, four-inning triumph over the Dallas Panthers.
The Heat sent 12 batters to the plate and scored eight runs in the first inning, before tacking on three more runs in the fourth.
Darden, Laws, Underwood and Tiner contributed two hits apiece offensively.
In the circle, Laws tossed a one-hitter, striking out five with no walks allowed.
The Heat won its second bracket game by a 6-4 count over the Mesquite Lady Jaguars.
The Heat trailed 2-0 after two innings, but Brownwood answered with four runs in the third.
Back-to-back RBI singles by Laws and Tiner scored McGill, who singled, and Darden, who walked, to even the score at 2-all.
Underwood then ripped a two-RBI double to left field to plate Laws and Tiner with the go-ahead runs.
The Heat expanded its lead to 6-2 with two more runs in the fourth.
Darden’s RBI double drove home George, who singled, and back-to-back singles by Laws and Tiner pushed Darden around the base paths.
Mesquite scored twice in the fifth inning, but the time limit expired during the Lady Jaguars’ final at-bat.
The Heat continued to move through the winners’ bracket as they scored 11 unanswered runs to rally for a 16-10 win over the De Soto Longhorns.
Down 10-5 through three innings, the Heat put together the biggest comeback of the tournament. Brownwood sent 14 batters to the plate in the top of the fourth and scored 11 runs to take a 16-10 advantage.
Darden led the Heat with a 4-for-4 effort — all singles. Underwood added three hits, Tiner and Delatorre recorded two hits each, and Laws, Woolf, Allen, and Smith all had one hit each in the slugfest.
McGill and Smith also had RBI singles, while Underwood and Woolf drove in a run apiece as well.
With only four teams left undefeated in the winners’ bracket, the Heat missed out on its bid for a fourth straight bracket play victory, falling to the League City Legendz, 4-2.
The Legendz jumped out to a 4-0 lead after three innings, but the Heat got on the board in the fourth.
Allen singled home Underwood, who reached on a base hit and moved to third on a pair of wild pitches.
Brownwood then crept to within two runs in the fifth inning as Laws and Tiner singled, then Horton walked to load the bases. Underwood then singled home Laws, but the Heat could do no more damage.
The Heat began its trek through the elimination bracket with a 5-1 victory over the Oklahoma Groove.
Brownwood took a 1-0 lead in the first on Delatorre’s RBI single, which drove home Laws, who singled.
After the Groove pulled even thanks to a pair of Heat errors in the third inning, Brownwood erupted for four runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Doubles from McGill and Darden, and singles from George, Delatorre and Laws produced the runs.
The Heat then eliminated the San Antonio Hitt, 2-1, to advance to the finals of the losers’ bracket.
Trailing 1-0 after one inning, the Heat answered with an RBI single from Underwood that knocked in Delatorre, who doubled.
Brownwood then scored the decisive run in the third inning as Darden singled, then stole second and third base before coming home on a wild pitch.
Underwood went the distance in the circle, allowing the single run on three hits.
The Heat emerged from the elimination bracket and qualified for the national championship game with a 7-5, come-from behind win over the Pearland Power.
Down 5-2, the Heat scored four runs in the top of the fourth inning to grab the lead.
Darden’s two-RBI double scored McGill and Horton, who both singled, to close the gap to a single run. Delatorre then doubled home Darden with the tying run prior to scoring on a wild pitch to push the Heat in front, 6-5.
Brownwood added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Chastain, who led off with a single, scored following back-to-back bunts by Laws and Tiner.
Laws earned the win in the circle, working all seven innings and shutting out Pearland over the final three.
Brownwood faced the League City Legendz for the second time in the national championship game and the Heat were dealt an 11-2 defeat.
The Heat jumped out to an early lead, scoring twice in the first inning. Underwood’s two-RBI double scored Tiner, who singled, and Delatorre, who reached on a ground-rule double.
Brownwood maintained its lead until the fourth inning, when League City scored eight times on only three hits. The Legendz added three more runs in the the fifth inning to seal their victory.