Black Ice wins second straight majors title
The Black Ice may have only finished 5-4-1 during the regular season, but they sure picked the right time to turn things around.
Melissa Smith pitched a one-hitter and catcher Kim Smith threw out the opposing team’s only three baserunners as the Black Ice won their second straight High Sierra ASA major championship with a 12-0 win over the Blue Flames on Wednesday at Field of Dreams.
Melissa Smith struck out nine batters a day after Chelsea Bartlett was just as dominating on the mound in the Black Ice’s 9-0 semifinal win over the Red Heat.
“That was huge to have our catcher throw out three runners trying to steal because it changed the other team’s whole strategy,” Black Ice assistant coach Mike Guarino said. “We’ve just had two dominating performances in a row by our pitcher and catcher in the playoffs.”
Guarino and head coach Vince Smith have developed quite a dynasty for themselves. In addition to leading their teams to the past two major championships, their team also won the minors championship three years ago.
Part of their coaching dynasty has been the result of quality players. And they were all on display against the Blue Flames.
Melissa Smith only faced 19 batters in six innings and had a no-hitter brewing until the Blue Flames’ Missy Miller singled in the bottom of the fifth. By that time, though, the Black Ice was already leading 5-0.
Jenny Williamson, Ashley Killeen and Brittany Rohrich all singled in the first three innings, while Killeen scored two of the team’s first five runs and the other two players each scored once.
“Our team wanted this and in two games we played really hard and got what we deserved,” Killeen said. “We were able to show off our skills.”
The Black Ice continued their offensive outburst in the sixth inning, when they scored seven runs off three hits. Killeen, who went 2 for 3 in the game, hit an RBI single to score Summer Anderson, while Bartlett and Melissa Smith also added run-scoring hits for the Ice.
Bartlett’s RBI triple scored Kim Smith from second base and made it 9-0. Bartlett, Melissa Smith and Krissy Guarino all scored later in the sixth inning to complete the scoring.
“I think our team did a good job of hitting and the fielders also did a good job,” Melissa Smith said. “We really wanted it.”
The Blue Flames got one runner on base before Melissa Smith struck out the fourth batter of the inning to end the game.
“Melissa pitched a great game and the fielders played a great game,” Krissy Guarino said. “Our hitters also played a great game and Chelsea had a really nice hit. Everyone did a good job.”