STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
Marble Falls softball players Piper Guenter and Maddie Hartley helped their Texas Blaze Elite Pogue select team to a runner-up finish in the gold bracket of the Triple Crown Sports 14-and-under World Series in Reno, Nevada, on July 23-27.
The Blaze, based in Crawford, lost 3-0 to Batbuster Gomes Brooks of California in the title game after winning nine consecutive contests in a tournament that drew 89 teams from across the country.
The Blaze is a select team made up of players from several different communities.
“It was fun seeing different teams from other states and showing them how good we can play,” Guenter said.
Guenter, who will be a freshman at Marble Falls High School, had a two-run homer in a 7-3 win against San Antonio’s Texas Blaze Tejada to begin championship series.
Pitcher Hartley, who will be an eighth-grader this year, had 24 strikeouts and gave up 13 earned runs in 49 innings.
Hartley said she didn’t have an issue with pitching that many innings but noted she took good care of herself and rested as much as possible.
“I felt good,” she said. “I’m used to pitching lots of innings in a row. I also didn’t think about it; I just thought I had to do it for my team to be successful.”
Texas Blaze Elite defeated Nemesis Elite of California, 3-0; Rockets Clovis of California, 7-3; Vendetta Upshaw of Arizona, 12-2; So Cal Choppers of California, 7-6; USA Athletics Flores of California, 7-2; American Pastime 04 of California, 8-3; Power Surge of California, 13-5; Texas Blaze Tejada of San Antonio, 7-3; and Nevada Batbusters, 6-0 during the tournament.