The Cal's Angels 13-U softball team had an unfortunate loss on Saturday, May 24, in the first round of bracket play, putting the team in the loser's bracket of the Waukegan Memorial Day Classic USSSA double elimination tournament.
The girls had to be back at 7 a.m. Sunday for an 8 a.m. game and long road to the championship game of a 19-team tournament.
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Cal's Angels won the game 6-2, beating Wheatland, then had their only break for the day before facing McHenry at 11:30 a.m.
Cal's Angels went on to beat McHenry, Northern Ice, The Phoenix, and the Bordertown Bandits leading into the semi-championship game at 6:30 p.m.
Cal's Angels squeaked out a 2-1 win against the LT Blazers with Libby Zoppa making it happen on the mound and solid defense by the team.
With a small break and everything they had, Cal's Angels moved on to the championship game at 8:15 p.m. to face undefeated State Line Fury.
Lu Latoria came out on fire, pitching for Cal's Angels but a couple of errors gave State Line Fury a run in the first inning.
Cal's Angels battled back in the second inning, with Hannah Cozzi leading the rally with a hard hit produced error, followed by a walk by Ally Suyak, a sacrifice bunt by Alana Macri, a soft hit to third single by Maddie Ebeling and a line drive by Cate Poplar to center field to score all 3 runs.
Cate went on to score giving Cal's Angels a 4-1 lead. The Fury scored 2 runs in the fourth inning and 1 more in the fifth inning to tie the game.
No answer from Cal's Angels in the fifth inning but Cal's tried hard in the sixth, loading all bases with one out, but could not produce a run.
It was 3 up, 3 down for SLF at the top of the seventh and the Cal's Angel's started off with a single to left center by Gi Velazquez, a fielder's choice hard hit to second base by Ali Cellini and a bunt single by Maddy Stout.
With runners on first and third, Janelle Ulaszek hit a hard ground ball up the middle and the Fury second baseman made a diving stop, tagging Stout for out at second, but Ulaszek made it safe to first while Cellini scored to clinch the win for Cal's Angels.
Upon presenting Cal's Angel's coach Phil Latoria with the championship trophy, the tournament director stated, "This was a long, hard road and I haven't seen many teams do it but I have seen it done and when I have, it is amazing to see the endurance necessary to go 7 games in 8 time slots."
Coach Phil Latoria summed up the weekend with this quote, "I'm very proud of what the girls accomplished! The girls picked up each other up all day and night. Great attitude and effort lead them to a successful tournament!"
In early 2013, the St. Charles Comets and Cal's All-Star Angel Foundation announced the Comets are now an operational division of Cal's Angels. The Comets fastpitch softball teams will complement Cal's Angels continued growth in supporting youth softball and baseball. It brings 10 teams and more than 100 families to join the fight against childhood cancer. Visit stccomets.com.