The Antioch West Little League Sr. A's softball team recently capped a tremendous season with a District 4 Tournament of Champions title.
The team dropped just two contests during the regular season, as the superb pitching performances of starter Allison Snedden and relievers D.J. Foster, Brittany Gilbert and Mandy Shipp made life miserable for opposing batters. The quartet combined to strike out 177 batters in just 17 games, and the dominant pitching was supported by an offense that routinely posted double-digit run totals.
Shipp set the table from the leadoff spot all year, and cleanup hitter Paris Prado and Gilbert, who batted eighth most of the season, did a phenomenal job, along with the rest of the Angels, in driving in their teammates. The potent Angels offense averaged 17 runs per game over the course of the year.
Snedden and Foster combined to strike out 30 batters in the Angels' three T.O.C. games, and the offense continued to produce at a torrid pace, driving in 31 runs in support of the two pitchers, propelling the team to a home win over Pittsburg and big wins at Martinez and Clayton Valley to put the finishing touches on a memorable, magical season.
Nearly every Angel crossed the plate at least once in the team's opening-round win over Pittsburg at the T.O.C. Second baseman Nicole Cleary led the offensive charge, going 3-for-4 at the plate, and the Angels cruised to an 11-1 victory.
Snedded, who made a rare appearance behind the dish catching for Foster, was the star in the team's tough second-round win over Martinez. She not only went a perfect 3-for-3 with two RBIs at the plate, but she gunned down a pair of runners in key situations to squash Martinez rallies, leading the Angels to a 5-2 win and a showdown with Clayton Valley in the title game.
Although the Angels struggled to score against Martinez, the offense burst to life in the championship game. Clayton Valley hurler Kari McHenry struggled through a Zito-esque performance, as the bottled-up Angel offense roughed her up for nine runs in the fourth inning. Shortstop Sandra Freeman did the bulk of the damage, going 4-for-4 with a double, three runs scored and a pair of RBIs, as the Angels soared to a 15-5 win and a T.O.C. crown.