Tidal Waves Have Great Experience despite Loss at NSA Nationals
Carlson, Rich, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Rich Carlson Daily Herald Sports Writer
The excitement of playing in a national tournament turned into nervousness for the Crystal Lake Tidal Waves Under-18 softball team, and it cost them an opportunity to show the rest of the country how talented they are.
The Tidal Waves were eliminated from the NSA National Tournament in Rock Hill, S.C., with back-to-back losses last week. The Tidal Waves fell 4-0 to the North Washington Outlaws and 7-3 to the Virginia Lady Eagles.
"I could chalk it up to nerves, but I'm not sure, because these girls have been playing (softball) for a long time," said Tidal Waves coach Dave Pickens.
The Tidal Waves committed 13 errors in two games. They committed 8 in the first loss and 5 in the second loss. Slow starts and poor hitting also hindered the Crystal Lake team. They trailed 3-0 and 4-0 in the first innings respectively and batted just .183 as a team.
"We lost it in the very first inning," admitted Pickens. "After they calmed down and got their heads back in the game, they did well, but it was tough being down 3-0 when we didn't even get to bat yet."
Becky Miller and Sarah Majkrzak each went 1-for-2 to account for the only offensive production in the opening loss. Michelle Puzzo suffered the loss despite allowing just 3 hits over 4 innings.
Katie Pickens led the Tidal Waves against Virginia. She went 2-for-3 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI. Puzzo and Kelly Landers each went 1-for-3 in the loss. Katie Widmayer, one of two Harvard Sting players to join the Tidal Waves to give them a 12-player roster, started the second game and was knocked out after one inning. Shannon Everett tried her best to hold the Lady Eagles in check, pitching 4-hit ball over 4 1/3 innings.
Despite the quick exit, the Tidal Waves enjoyed themselves at the tournament.
"It was a good tournament," said Dave Pickens. "They had 192 teams in the 18-and-under division and 688 teams total, so it was a great experience as far as the opening ceremonies and seeing other teams and watching other teams play. There were all good teams there. I didn't see any teams that shouldn't have been there. …