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Moore, Barton Lead Tiger Fitness Comeback In Legends-USSSA “E” NIT At Lincoln Park; Pitching, Defense Key Six-Game Run Through Losers’ Bracket

Columbus, In.–Pitcher Tim Moore held his team’s eight victims to single digit scoring, and Angel Barton anchored the defense and batted .613 to lead Tiger Fitness to a first place finish in the Legends USSSA “D” National Invitational Tournament June 27-28 at Lincoln Park.

Tiger Fitness rallied back to win six games in the losers’ bracket en route to the title, double-dipping Bad Seeds 13-1 and 17-5 in the finals.  John Staples/It’s All Good Softball had knocked the Northern Kentucky club into the losers’ bracket in a third round 10-4 contest.  It was the only game in which the champions yielded double digit scoring.

Tiger Fitness went 8-1 to best a 26-team field and won three games in their final at bat in capturing their second National Invitational crown of the month.  And just as it carried Tiger Fitness to their first title, pitching and defense were the keys to Columbus as well.

“We played excellent defense,” stated Tiger Fitness manager Stephanie Sebastyn.  “The outfield made some amazing plays, and Angel Barton (ss), Jeff Henry (mi) and Bobby Kindoll (2b) turned quite a few double plays in the infield.  And Timmy Moore pitched really well.  With the exception of the game we lost, he held everybody under ten runs.  That was huge.”

Barton was named tournament MVP.

“He played amazing defense,” said Sebastyn.  “He is a huge asset for us at short.  He picks everything.  He also hit very well, including several clutch hits.”

Paul Laible led Tiger Fitness with a .636 average.  Jimmy Gentry followed at .621, Barton batted .613, Josh Kinnett .607, Moore .593 and Brian Parrish .583.  Dane Lantry hit .875 in three games.

Laible, Kinnett, Moore, Davey Johnson and Robert Kindoll joined Barton on the All-Tournament team.

Tiger Fitness jumped out to a 10-3 lead after three innings in game one, then eased to an eventual 13-7 victory over VIP Softball.  Dane Lantry got his club on the board with an rbi single in a four run 1st, then Paul Laible and Lantry each contributed a two-run double in a six-run 2nd.  Lantry collected two-more rbi’s on a sac fly as Tiger Fitness scored their final three runs in the bottom of the 5th to build an eight-run lead at 13-5.

Jeff Henry was perfect in three at bats to pace the offense.

Next Tiger Fitness knocked off Greater Cincinnati rival Cincy Blazers 6-2 in a defensive struggle.  The Blazers held a precarious 1-0 lead through three, but in the top of the 4th Tiger Fitness struck for four runs, taking a 2-1 lead on Jeff Henry’s two-run double.  Dane Lantry followed with an rbi double and Angel Barton an rbi triple to cap off the four run inning.   Tiger Fitness tacked on a run in the 5th and then another in the 7th on rbi singles by Brian Parrish to close out the scoring.

Kinnett and Parrish shared six hits for the winners.

John Staples/It’s All Good stopped Tiger Fitness 10-4 Saturday, leaving the eventual champions facing a six-game trek in the losers’ bracket.

Sunday morning Tiger Fitness went to work.  First they used an eleven-run explosion in the top of the 7th to break a 7-7 tie and shake off Wilson Concrete 18-7.  Wilson had just scored three in the 6th and four in the 7th to knot the score.  An rbi double by John Schwalbach broke the tie.  Josh Kinnett followed with a two-run double to make it 10-7.  Later in the inning Paul Laible landed the knockout blow with an inside-the-park slammer.  An rbi triple by Angel and a Timmy Moore sac fly made the finals 18-7, as Moore shut down Wilson in the bottom of the 7th.

Davey Johnson, Bobby Kindoll, Barton, Moore and Schwalbach combined for fifteen hits.

Tiger Fitness’ offensive momentum continued in game five, as they used a nine-run 3rd and an eight-run 4th to overpower Southern Indiana Softball Club 17-2 in five.  An rbi single by Casey Stewart gave his club the lead for good at 3-2 in the 3rd.  Paul Laible’s two-run double and a two-run single by Angel Barton were the big blows in the 4th.

Bobby Kindoll, whose two-run single erased a 2-0 deficit in the 3rd, banged out four hits, and Davey Johnson, Brian Parrish and Barton chipped in with three apiece.

Tiger Fitness needed extra innings to escape with a 10-9 victory over Lynn’s AC in game six.  With the scored tied at 8-8 after eight, Davey Johnson got things underway with a leadoff single in the 9th.  Bobby Kindoll hit into a fielder’s choice, went to 2nd when Brian Parrish walked, then scored the go-ahead run on a Casey Stewart double.  A two-out rbi single by Paul Laible gave Tiger Fitness a much-needed insurance run, as Lynn’s AC pushed across a run in the bottom of the inning before succumbing 10-9.

Johnson, Parrish, Jimmy Gentry, Laible, and John Schwalbach combined for fifteen hits to fuel the offense.

John Staples was poised to make it 2-0 against Tiger Fitness in the losers’ bracket finals, as they held a 9-7 lead through six.  But in the top of the 7th, Davey Johnson sparked the winning rally for the second game in a row with a leadoff single.  A Bobby Kindoll base hit and a base-on-balls to Brian Parrish set the stage for a Casey Stewart sac fly and the lead was cut to one.  Jimmy Gentry followed with an rbi single to tie the score, then, after a Paul Laible base hit, Jeff Henry singled home the go-ahead run, and an Angel Barton sacrifice closed out the scoring.  Tim Moore shut down John Staples one-two-three in the bottom of the inning after issuing a leadoff walk.

Johnson, Parrish, Laible and Henry each went 3-for-4 to help their club avenge their third round loss.

Tiger Fitness would not be challenged again as they roared into the finals against Bad Seeds.  First they jumped out to a 9-0 lead with four runs in the 2nd and five in the 3rd and never looked back in a 13-1 rout.  Josh Kinnett’s two-run single capped off the four-run 1st.  Angel Barton’s two-run triple was the big blow in the 3rd.  A three-run 3rd made it 11-1 and Bad Seeds never recovered.

Jimmy Gentry, Barton, John Schwalbach and Kinnett shared a dozen hits.

Next Tiger Fitness erupted for eight runs in the 1st and four in the 3rd to forge a 12-1 lead and seal a 17-5 victory in the second finals.  Casey Stewart put his club on top for good with at 2-1 with an rbi single in the bottom of the 1st.   Later in the inning Jeff Henry singled home two runs to make it 5-1 and John Schwalback capped off the inning with a two-run double.  Rbi doubles by Timmy Moore, Davey Johnson and Brian Parrish accounted for Tiger Fitness’ three runs in the 3rd.  The champions closed out the scoring with two in the 4th and three in the 6th.  Jeff Henry’s two-run triple highlighted the 6th.

Paul Laible and Angel Barton pounded out four hits each for the champions.  Johnson, Jimmy Gentry and Henry went 3-for-4.

Tiger Fitness manager Stephanie Sebastyn said her club simply refused to quit when they trailed in the late innings.

“They never gave up,” said Sebastyn.  “A lot of games were really close and they were able to come back in the end and put up runs when they needed to.”

After losing their third game to John Staples, Sebastyn said her team was “disappointed,” but not discouraged.

“We let them back in the game and gave it to them,” said Sebastyn.  “And we didn’t hit well with men on base.  We left so many guys on.  We just didn’t realize how many games we were going to have to play with the three-game guarantee bracket.  But we showed up at 8 AM and were ready to play.  We played six games on Sunday.”

Getting past Lynn’s AC and Wilson Concrete was pivotal to Tiger Fitness’ run through the losers’ bracket, commented Sebastyn.

“Lynn’s AC was the best team we played.  That was a huge win for us to be able to beat them in extra innings.  They’re a great team.  Another key game was when we needed to put up eleven runs in the top of the 7th to beat Wilson Concrete.”

Sebastyn said it was very gratifying for her team to win two NIT’s during the month of June.

“We stayed in the winners’ bracket in the first one, but in the second one we had to work our butts off.  Our team demonstrated how much heart they had to come back and play that many games in one day.”

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Posted by on Jul 4 2009.
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