The Lowcountry Storm 18U softball team coached by John Powell went 4-1 and captured the Blue bracket title over the weekend at the USSSA Summer Series Championships in Lexington.
Storm was one of three teams tied at 1-1 after pool play, but only one could snag a spot in the Red bracket, and the runs allowed tiebreaker sent Storm to the Blue bracket. Lowcountry made the most of it, winning three straight in bracket play to claim the title.
Storm opened pool play with a 5-2 win over Team SC (Amell), as Gabby Ximenez allowed two unearned runs over two innings to earn the win and Cierra Kinlaw pitched two scoreless frames for the save. Caleigh Powell blasted a three-run homer in the first inning.
Pool play concluded with a 7-1 loss to Carolina Fire, as Storm was unable to overcome a six-run second inning. Makenzie Bailey drove in the only run for Storm.
Kinlaw tossed a five-inning complete game to lead Storm to a 3-2 win over Tri-County Rattlers in their first bracket game, as she allowed two runs and four hits while striking out five. Bailey and Madison Sanchez each had a hit and an RBI.
Storm had little trouble taking down Thomson Yarddogs in their second bracket game, winning 7-2 behind a 15-hit attack led by leadoff hitter Raven Dunham, who was 4-for-4 with a double and an RBI and scored twice. Ximenez was 2-for-3 with three RBIs, and Bailey, Ijah Williams, and Lexi Perry each added two hits. Kinlaw again went the distance in the circle, striking out 10 and allowing two runs and six hits over six innings.
Storm closed out the title with another 3-2 win over Tri-County Rattlers capped by Powell’s walk-off two-run single in the bottom of the fifth. Durham had another big game at the top of the lineup, going 3-for-3, and Kinlaw and KK Bradshaw combined to get the job on the mound with Bradshaw earning the win in relief.
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