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Softball made its return to the area this past weekend, and it busted the doors wide open. Thunder Elite hosted a 92 team tournament spanning from 10U to 18U. Teams from all over Ohio, and some from Pennsylvania we’re competing at four different venues throughout the area.

I have a few takeaways from not only the games I watched, but also the updates I saw from a lot of these team’s wonderfully run social media pages. The first takeaway looking at the scores of the games this weekend it was clear offense was not a problem. On bracket play Sunday alone there were 24 games that had at least one team in double digit runs. I was expecting pitchers to have an advantage in the first weekend back. It doesn’t look like that was always the case.

The most competitive and thrilling game of bracket play Sunday came in 10u where the championship game between Thunder Elite 09 and Ohio ICE purple. Thunder Elite took a 5-4 lead in to the bottom of the 7th, only to see ICE tie things up. Then ICE walked it off for a 6-5 win.

Ohio USSSA Pride Scarlet showed how potent it’s lineup is over the weekend as they hit 6 HR’s as a team on Saturday. 3 of them by Josie Spano. Tori Long and Sydney Mercer also went yard. Mercer added another home run on Sunday. The Prides lineup is powerful.

(Courtesy Ohio USSSA Pride- Scarlet)

Maddy Taylor From Austintown Fitch got her first home run of the summer over the weekend for the Lasers. She’ll be someone to watch as the summer goes on. An absolute division 1 type talent.

(Courtesy Britton Taylor)

Other Championship scores: in the 12u division Silver Creek Prospects beat RC Venom 13-7. In the 14u Lake Erie Warhawks beat Wolfpack 06 10-0. 16u saw the Garroway Outlaws beat USSSA Pride Scarlet 8-3.

I personally was watching the 18u part of this tournament. It was full of high school seniors that may have been the last chance to see play in the area. The Ohio Warriors were the local team in the bracket. Mostly made up of either seniors or juniors, their lineup is loaded with local talent. I was impressed with Bri Callow out of McDonald who took most of the pitching duties over the weekend. Kaili Gross is also a pitcher on their roster, but wasn’t quite warmed up to pitch this weekend. Bri also showed great strength at the plate. Some other prominent names on the Warriors roster are Ally Nitolli, Cam Latanzio, Brooke Bobbey, and Abby Farber all out of Poland. Lexi Diaz our of Mooney gives them tremendous speed. Delaney Early out of East Palestine is a high quality slapper in the lineup. They have a cannon behind the plate in Lauren Maughan out of Boardman. The Warriors went 3-0 in pool play on Saturday. They earned the two seed in bracket Sunday. With a bye, the win their first game on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Predators. The Warriors were up 4-1 for most of the game, but had to hold off a rally in the final inning to win 4-3. In the 18u championship they played the Pittsburgh Passion who upset Parma in the semis 10-8. The Warriors fell behind early but kept clawing back. Trailing 11-4 in their final at bats the Warriors scored 5 runs and had the tying runs on base before falling 11-9.

It was a great weekend of softball. The guidelines set down by the Ohio Heath Department were followed at the games I attended. It was a refreshing sense of normalcy.

This weekend there are tournaments at Boardman’s Field of Dreams, and McClure Park In Canfield. I will try to hit them both weather pending and have another travel ball recap next week.

Below are highlights of the Ohio Warriors Bracket Sunday games.

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