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Tampa team captures national softball title

Maddie O’Brien’s two-run double keyed a four-run fifth inning Sunday as the Tampa (Fla.) Mustangs defeated the Elyria (Ohio) Sun Dogs 7-5 to capture the championship of the ASA/USA Class A 18-and-under national softball tournament at Majestic Park.

O’Brien’s bases-loaded double plated Kirsten Bembnowski and Alyese Stapf. Brittany Knipp scored on the play when she slid home and kicked the ball out of Elyria catcher Jen Bower’s mitt. O’Brien came around to score when the ball rolled to the backstop, giving Tampa a 6-0 lead.

Bembnowski started the scoring with a two-run home run in the second inning. Kayla Murray added a pinch-hit solo homer in the sixth.

Tess Sito’s three-run homer in the seventh brought the Sun Dogs within two, and when Devan Boggs followed with a double, Elyria brought the tying run to the plate.

But Tampa reliever Olivia Kline got a groundout to shortstop to end the game.

The Mustangs, whose roster includes Palo Verde graduate Amanda Montalto, were the only squad in the 140-team field not to lose a game in bracket play.

Elyria lost its opening bracket-play game before rattling off 12 straight victories — including four each on Friday and Saturday and two on Sunday — to reach the final.

Contact reporter Bartt Davis at bdavis@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5230.

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