PARK CITY, Utah — Things started about as well as one could hope for the Berthoud Spartans U-14 softball team at last week’s Triple Crown World Series. But it’s the way the 33-team tournament ended that, unfortunately, is what will be remembered.
Berthoud was placed in the six-team A pool of the week-long competition, going 3-1 to take first place entering the 18-team elimination round. Only two other teams — the Salt Lake Slam and AZ Quicksilver — had a better run differential after four games than the plus-14 the Spartans put forth, and only five teams — the Slam, Quicksilver, Desert Blaze, Rollin wit Rush and Colorado Majestixs, out of Loveland, had a better record than Berthoud. But back-to-back losses in the 18-team double-elimination bracket ended Berthoud’s run.
Berthoud opened the tournament with a 7-5 victory over IV Dynasty, out of Calexico, Calif., on July 14 before coming back later in the day to rout Bad to the Bone of West Jordan, Utah, 10-2.
The Spartans dropped their only pool-play match on July 15, 3-2 to Cal Thunder of Chinio Hills, Calif., but came back less than two hours later to post a 6-0 win over Shedevils of West Valley City, Utah, to secure first place in the A pool.
The top three teams in each of the six pools qualified for the championship tournament.
After receiving a first-round bye, Berthoud was upset by the OC Magic, the No. 3 seed from Mission Viejo, Calif., out of the Pool D, 10-0. The loss dropped the Spartans into the loser’s bracket where it was eliminated from the field with a 3-2 upset loss to Freeze Blue, the No. 3 seed in Pool C from Buda, Texas.
The New Mexico Sundancers of Rio Rancho, N.M., the No. 2 seed out of the F pool, overcame a 1-0 loss to Team Renegade to score a 5-2 victory, its second in three games between the teams, to win the tournament.