Members of the ASA-sanctioned 16-under national-championship Stampede girls softball team are with the team they beat in the finals, the TNT Twisters from Kankakee. | SUBMITTED PHOTO
WANT TO JOIN
Next year, the Stampede will play in the 18-under age group. Tryouts are Saturday and Sunday from 9-11 a.m. at Mundelein High School. The manager is Dave Parney.
Updated: October 8, 2013 2:39AM
“Two towns, one team” has added another phrase: national champions.
The Stampede is a 16-under travel softball team featuring girls from two towns — Antioch and Mundelein — who are playing together this summer for the first time and, quite obviously, playing very well.
It’s played under the “two towns, one team” banner all season, and last weekend, brought the Amateur Softball Association-sanctioned Class B North Division national title back to Lake County by capturing the 32-team tournament that was held in downstate Pekin.
ASA has four national tournaments for Class B teams based on region of the country. There also was a North Division national tourney for Class A teams that was held in Minnesota. The Lake County Freedom out of Lake Zurich and the Stingers from Vernon Hills played in that, but neither team survived pool play.
In its tourney, the Stampede had no such problems in pool play, beat the Nemesis from St. Louis 6-2 and the Dominators from the Pekin area 6-4.
In the double-elimination part of the playoffs, the Stampede beat the Geneseo Xtreme 4-3 in the Round of 16, routed the Lisle Slammers 15-3 in the Round of 8, and then routed the Xplozion from Columbus, Wis. in the semis. In the next game, The Stampede beat the TNT Twisters from Kankakee.
But the Twisters then came out of the loser’s bracket and beat the Stampede 3-0 to give each team one los and set up a winner-take-all final. In that game, the Stampede won 4-0 — KOing team that had routed it 9-0 in the finals of a Chicago Metro tournament last month. The Twisters had players from Herscher and Kankakee Bishop McNamara high schools.
The Stampede roster featured girls from Antioch and Mundelein who played against each other in younger age divisions, and decided to play with each other starting this summer.
The ace pitcher for the champs was Mia DiCara, who had a 6-1 record and one save in the team’s eight tournament games. She’s from Mundelein and Carmel High School. DiCara hurt her glove hand on the final day when she was hit with a liner up the middle, but persevered and finished with a shutout. Nicole Parney got the win in the Stampede’s other win.
“We played unified and solid in eight games,” said Stampede hitting coach Eric Skoog, noting the team averaged nine runs a game until the final day.
Among the tournament highlights:
■ Right fielder Tori Avis saved a pool-play win with a shoestring catch for the final out with the tying runs in scoring position.
■ Emma Bartz blasted a three-run homer to key a 6-4 win.
■ In erasing a 3-0 deficit and beating the Xtreme 4-3, Maddie Hart had the game-winning RBI, and Jessica Tyrell had a pair of hits.
■ Against the Slammers, Hannah Skoog was 4-for-4 and Amanda Diaz threw some serious leather in the field.
■ In the first win over the TNT Twisters, Hart had the game-winning RBI and Jessica Petersen was 3-for-3.
■ In the championship game, DiCara fanned six.
The Stampede are managed by Dave Parney, with Joe DiCar serving as bench coach and pitching coach.