On Saturday, July 12, 2014, the
Brookline Little League Association's 12-Under girls softball team made
their third trip in three years to PNC Park, this time to meet Elliott in
the Pittsburgh Citiparks B.I.G.
Cup title game.
Brookline had beaten Elliott to win
the coveted Cup in 2012, only to reliquish it last year after a heartbreaking
one-run loss to Swissvale. This time, the girls were primed and ready to regain
that championship swagger from two seasons ago.
Brookline's girls were all business at
practice on Thursday night before the big game.
The team arrived at the
ballpark in grand style, with a chauffer-driven limousine. The gates
opened at 9:30am and the Brookline crowd took their place in the bleacher
section underneath the PNC Park scoreboard. Fans placed
decorative and encouraging signs along the railings in support of
their favorite players.
The game was played in left
field of the Major League stadium. Home plate was positioned on the warning
track against the wall, with the playing surface entirely on the outfield
grass. The atmosphere was electric as the players took the field.
The team picture taken before the
start of the 2014 Pittsburgh Mayor's Cup championship game.
Brookline batted first. Hannah
Lacek got things started with a lead-off walk, then worked her way
around the basepaths to bring home the game's first run. Elliott evened
the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the first.
The sticks came alive in the second
inning as Brookline posted five runs to take a commanding 6-1 lead.
Pitcher Ava Barrett was fantastic through the next three frames, posting
scoreless innings. She limited the Elliott bats to mostly ground balls and
the infielders played superb.
In the meantime, the Brookline bats
continued to pound away at the Elliott offerings, increasing the lead
to 9-1 after four innings. All of Brookline's hitters were making
good contact, banging out sixteen hits before game's end. The Elliott
fielders had their hands full.
Catcher Kayleigh McDermott has quite
a view of the ballpark from her position behind home plate.
Pitcher Ava Barrett and the Brookline defenders played an excellent
A pitching change in the bottom
of the fifth led to a pair of Elliott runs, prompting Barrett's return
to the mound. Ava yielded a run in the sixth on two hits, but otherwise
shut the door on the opposing batters.
Elliott came to the plate in the
bottom half of the final frame down by the score of 9-4. A grounder to
second base was fielded cleanly by Mikaela Vogel and a fly ball to
left field was caught by Breanna Stocke, setting the stage for the last
A long fly ball, this time to left-center
field, was promptly bagged and tagged by Hannah Lacek for the third and final out.
Brookline players and fans erupted in joyful celebration both on the field and in
the grandstand. It was a hard fought and well earned victory.
Brookline's coaches and their champion
players mingled for a moment near the pitcher's mound, then took their place
along the basepath for the customary handshakes, followed by the trophy
presentation. This was a cleanly executed, error-free ballgame. Elliott played
well, but could not overcome Brookline's gritty defense and free-swinging
The Brookline and Elliott teams played
a great error-free game. Fine plays were made on both sides.
Manager Tara Garrubba was handed
the Mayor's Cup trophy by B.I.G. League Director Joe Defeo, then the
players received their individual medallions. Brookline's champions
had once again earned a spot on the prestigious Cup.
winners include the 1995 12-Under boys, the 2012 12-Under girls and the 2012 15-Under girls. Others to reach the title game were the 1994 12-Under boys,
2013 12-Under girls and 2013 15-Under girls.
The members of the 2014 Brookline
12-Under Mayor's Cup championship team are: Ava Barrett (#31), Mikaela Vogel (#22),
Hannah Lacek (#4), Breanna Stock (#18), Haley Schubert (#15),
Cheyenne Pierce (#24), Hailey Clouse (#9), Haley Harper (#2),
Piper Algas (#6), Vanessa Hudson (#11), Haley Parker (#1),
Cameryn Davis (#99), Katie McHenry (#00), Grace Warner (#74),
Kayleigh McDermott (#12). The coaches are Tara Garrubba,
Jill Vogel, Michelle Auge and Jim Pierce.
Note: Mikaela Vogel and Ava
Barrett were both members of the 2012 12-Under Mayor's Cup title
team as ten-year olds. These girls have the distinction of being
Brookline's only two-time champions.
Ava Barrett and Mikaela Vogel.
The 2014 Mayor's Cup Game
Click on images
for larger pictures.
Clint, Milan and Tony from the
Brookline Recreation Center --- "Congratulations Girls! Brookline will
always be #1."
* Photos provided
by Clint Burton *