The Triple Crown Fastpitch staff divides and conquers all summer long to produce the best of the best youth fastpitch tournaments and national events across the map. The 2018 summer has been no different.
Triple Crown traveled south July 19-22 for the Southeast Nationals in Alpharetta, GA and the Southwest Summer Nationals in Austin, TX. Both events were 5-game guarantees with 12u, 14u, 16u and 18u age divisions competing.
The Southeast Nationals featured 45 teams from eight different states. Despite a few weather delays, the event was smooth sailing to the end, and a few local Georgia teams stayed hot throughout the weekend and ultimately claimed titles.
The solid competition led to three of four age divisions going to the “if” game to decide the champion. The 12u Atlanta Vipers were undefeated up until the championship game, however, they were able to hit the reset button and defeat the Batbusters in the “if” game to win it all.
The 14u EC Bullets dropped one game in pool play but had a smooth 4-0 bracket run to become National Champions. The 16u lineup turned into a battle of the Firecrackers; the GA Firecrackers fell short 5-3 in the semis to the AL Firecrackers, which sent them to an elimination game. GA rose to the occasion and defeated the Monarchs to make it back to the finals against AL. They eventually beat the AL squad twice to be crowned champions.
In the 18u division, the Atlanta Vipers and Pinellas Warriors had a similar story. The Warriors gave the Vipers their first bracket play loss on Saturday, sending them to fight through the loser’s bracket. The Vipers won four straight games on Sunday, capped off by topping the previously undefeated Warriors twice in the championship round.
2018 Southeast Nationals Champions
12u: Atlanta Vipers 06 Callaway
14u: EC Bullets Carver 04
16u: Firecrackers - Sewell Premier
18u: Atlanta Vipers – Jiles
The Southwest Summer Nationals completed its fourth year as a top tier event that is anchored by the excitement and energy of Austin, TX – the best food and live music scene in the United States! This year, over 120 teams competed for the Nationals title and enjoyed all that Austin and central Texas has to offer.
The 12u Texas Dirt Divas ’05 had a great run, finishing 6-1 on the weekend and even upsetting their elder Texas Dirt Divas ’06, 5-4 in bracket play. In 14u, the Texas Blaze Futures delivered a perfect 7-0 record to earn the crown.
After going 1-1-1 in pool play, the Diamond Sports Hotshots Futures lit a spark in bracket play to win the 16u title game in shutout fashion, 8-0.
The 18u division featured 33 teams and broke into a silver and gold bracket after pool play. The Firecrackers ELP were undefeated all weekend long and walked away with the gold bracket title after an impressive nine-game winning streak. In the silver bracket, the Texas Glory STX dropped their first bracket play loss in the championship 2-1, but came back in the “if” game to win a nail biter, 1-0 over Texas Premier Gold.
2018 Southwest Summer Nationals Champions
12u: Texas Dirt Divas ‘05
14u: Texas Blaze Futures
16u: Diamond Sports Hotshots Futures
18u Gold: Firecrackers ELP
18u: Silver: Texas Glory STX
The Southeast Nationals and Southwest Summer Nationals were exactly what you hope to see from a “Nationals” event; elite competition and close matchups. Congratulations to all of the 2018 National Champions and thank you for playing your hearts out!