When it comes to the girls T-ball league at McMinnville Civic Center, nobody was better than Collins River BBQ.
The team completed an undefeated run Monday night at Jim Mansfield Field with a 19-9 victory over C&B Construction in the tournament championship game. It was the third straight victory – all by run rule – by Collins River BBQ in the league tournament.
Collins River BBQ advanced to the championship game following wins over Jones Nursery and C&B Construction in the earlier rounds. Collins River BBQ beat Jones Nursery 19-7 and C&B Construction 26-7 to find its way into the finals.
C&B Construction had to battle out of the loser’s bracket to make the championship game, which it did when the team toppled Jones Nursery 24-20.
With the final stage set Monday night, Collins River BBQ had no interest in playing more than four innings – like it had in its previous two wins.
C&B Construction took a 4-0 lead in the top of the first as Olivia Eckel, Elizabeth Lescarini, Amber Hobbs and Elizabeth Bryant each got hits and came around to score. Aubry Oleksik added a RBI hit in the frame, though it would be the final time the team led.
Riding the powerful offense that had led it to big wins early in the tournament, Collins River BBQ took the lead for good with seven runs in the bottom of the first.
Collins River BBQ came up with a string of seven straight hits to start the game. Ashlynn Hillis started the streak, with Hailey Lee, Maggy Whiles, Kia Ann King, Kaidence Crouch, Lily Rains and Ruby Denning following suit. Brianna Jones also reached base in the first inning, though she was stranded were tagged out on the base paths.
Last batter Callie Roberts brought in the team’s final run of the first inning on a hot shot through the right side of the infield.
Collins River BBQ followed by displaying the dominant defense which helped the team hold each of its opponents to single-digit run totals. Collins River BBQ was able to record a rare 1-2-3 inning, allowing the home team to get back to hitting quickly.
Collins River BBQ added six runs to its lead when Hillis, Lee, While, King, Rains and Denning reached base on hits and scored in the second inning.
Lescarini broke C&B Construction’s scoreless streak when she scored in the third inning on a single by Amber Hobbs, but it was the team’s lone run in the frame.
Collins River BBQ took a 13-5 lead into the bottom of the third, but came out with a chance to end the game in four innings.
Aiding the run-rule cause were six runs in the bottom of the third inning. The top of the order was on fire again as Hillis, Lee, Whiles and King each reached base in order. Rains and Denning added RBI hits later in the inning before Roberts put the team up 19-5 with a hit as the team’s last batter.
C&B Construction knew going into the fourth inning it needed five runs to continue the game, but the squad only scored four. Oleksik, Kennedy Lytle, Ally Grizzle and Haley Smith singled and scored, but Collins River BBQ recorded the final out before C&B Construction could extend the game.
Addy Belle Cocke, Gabby Washer and Emma Kirby helped C&B Construction reach the finals with big hits throughout the tournament, including having three hits apiece in a 14-12 victory over Pioneer Pediatrics in the tournament opener.