RAVENSWOOD - Good players show up in big games. Kendall Bowen did just that for her First Federal Wildcat team as they beat Lloyds Electronics in the 2013 (9-12) Ravenswood Little League Softball Championship on May 31.
Bowen wasn't alone in her actions. She had help from her teammates. Mykayla Smith led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk and later in that inning stole home to give the Wildcats a 1-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the fourth, Bowen led off with a single that was voided when Alexis Decareaux reached on a fielder's choice. Rylin Tabor then mashed a double to score Decareaux. After the second out was made, Destiny Thomas laced a daisy cutter to right field to plate Tabor and give the No 1 seeded Wildcats a 3-0 advantage.
Bowen had retired the first 13 Lloyd's Electronics batters when with one out in the fifth frame when Lloyd's Skylar Mace reached on a fielding error to spoil the perfect game. Mace aggressively stole second and third base and eventually gave Lloyd's their only run with a crafty, finely executed delayed steal of home.
Jala Sayre, who walked after Mace reached base tried the same move but was called out at home. Mace pitched a fine game in her own right as she struck out the side in the fifth inning for Lloyd's, leaving her team one last shot at glory in the top of the sixth.
It was not to be, Bowen struck out the first hitter she faced and induced two routine ground balls to Tabor at second base, which she fielded cleanly and executed textbook throws the First Federal teammate Logan Eades, putting the Tigers in the catbird's seat.
Mace hurled nine innings and whiffed nine Tigers, she surrendered three hits, four walks and three runs. Bowen went six innings, struck out 11 batters, surrendered four walks and no hits while giving up an unearned run.
In the game the Tigers were supported by stellar defense. There were several fine plays made on the diamond by Mykayla Smith, Rylin Tabor and Logan Eades. Amazingly, Lloyd's Electronics won three consecutive games in the losers bracket to launch their team to the championship game. The double elimination tournament took six days to complete and had four of eight games decided by one run.
2013 Regular Season Results - First Federal (The Wildcats) (14-2) manager Jeff Bowen. 2. Tudors (11-4) manager John Heath. 3. Lloyds Electronics (8-6-1) manager Zac Casto 4. Dr Dees (3-11-1) manager Johnny Manns. 5. Star Plastics (1-14) manager John Farra.
"This was the third season that we have had the numbers to be self sustaining where we didn't have to travel to find competition and all of our games were played in Ravenswood. We had our own league. We had 4 teams in 2011 and 2012, and added a 5th team here in 2013," said Tigers manager and league vice president Jeff Bowen.
Page 2 of 2 - "This is also the third season in which we have had a season ending tournament to decide the league champions in softball."