TAI\Easton stakes claim as California's Best by winning State ‘C' Title
By Softball West
HAYWARD, CA - TAI/Easton, playing out of Southern California ventured North and proceeded to add another notch to its belt. The number one ranked ‘C' team in California continued its impressive 2005 season by winning the State ‘C' title in Hayward over an imposing field of competitors. The Hayward State ‘C' title gave TAI/Easton wins at both the Southern California and Northern California ASA State tournaments. With this title in their championship trophy case there is little argument about who the best ‘C' division team in California is for 2005. TAI/Easton is the first team to win both of the State tourneys since the ASA split into Northern and Southern sections.
This title run was not an easy one for TAI/Easton as they fought their way through a myriad of top-level softball teams to overcome. TAI's tournament title run started off with a notice to the rest of the draw that they brought their bats with them as they routed Bucks/Bully's from Reno, NV by the score of 21-1. Game two saw TAI earn a decisive win over defending national champ APS/Vanguard, by the score of 12-2. After that was the veteran team of MAC Construction, a team of experienced players noted for their reputation of playing smart and fundamental softball. TAI prevailed 10-9 thanks to a big home run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Next up was Ripstick, one of the top Northern California teams playing today. These teams have a developing recent history between them as Ripstik pounded TAI in their first meeting in Redding earlier this summer. TAI remembered that and decided not to let that happen again, scoring five in the first inning and posting a six spot in the second frame. TAI went on to pound Ripstik 24-11.
This set up the long awaited rematch of TAI and Lockdown, another one of Norcal's best ‘C' teams. Lockdown came off a routing of Ripstick and rolled into the championship game against TAI, but would have to win both the final and the ‘if game' against TAI to call the title their own.
In the championship game Lockdown stayed hot with an impressive offensive explosion as they run ruled TAI by the score of 25-9 in five innings.
Down to the ‘if game' for both teams, TAI bounced back. Lockdown tried to jump out early in an effort to keep the pressure on TAI but was only able to push two runs across in the top half of the 1st inning. TAI came back in the bottom of the first and served notice that the first place trophy would be theirs on this day by putting up 11 runs.
Although Lockdown had some chances throughout, it was the TAI defense that was able to stave off the valiant Lockdown squad and maintain a comfortable lead throughout the remainder of the game to become the ASA ‘C' California State Champions with a winning score of 17-7.