The Oak Park Falcons 12U travel team capped off their season with a first-place finish in the Carol Stream Gold Medal Classic. The team was strong in all facets of the game, finishing 5-0 in the tournament. The girls played small ball when needed - laying down a number of excellent bunts - and also hit with power, blasting a home run as well as multiple triples and doubles.
Pitchers Eliza Endless and Bridget Coty combined for two no-hitters, including one in the championship game. But it was the team's stellar defensive play that set them apart from the competition.
The championship game was full of defensive highlights, including: an unassisted double play by Melanie Range at first base; Jenna Baig throwing a girl out at first base from center field after gloving a wicked line drive on one hop; and most amazingly, the final play of the game - Grace Criminger, at catcher, picking up a dropped third strike, throwing to Bridget Coty at first for the second out of the inning and Bridget returning the ball to Grace, who tagged out the tying runner (who was attempting to steal home from third) to preserve the 4-3 lead and end the game.
The team played in five tournaments, taking first place in two and advancing to the semifinals in two others.