By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
After the final out, celebration and photos, Taylor Ebbs tweeted “Best day of my life.”
The McNary sophomore had just won one of the most decorated softball tournaments in the country.
The NW Bullets, a travel team in Tualatin, defeated the OC Batbusters 7-1 to win the Premier Girls Fastpitch 14U Platinum Championship Saturday, Aug. 4 in Irvine, Calif.
Ebbs was 2-for-3 with a triple in the final game.
“This is one of my dreams and my goals and I accomplished my goal and my dream came true,” Ebbs said. “We really showed ourselves and how we play as a team and we showed how well we can do and our potential. We’re just really proud of each and every person on that team for stepping in and doing their job.”
After three pool play games, the double elimination tournament started with 66 teams on Tuesday, July 31. The Bullets shut out their first two opponents 5-0 and 8-0 on Tuesday but had to come from behind on Wednesday to stay in the winner’s bracket. Trailing 5-4, the Bullets scored three runs in the top of the seventh to defeat Acers Express 7-5.
The Bullets then topped Salenas Storm 2-0 on Thursday. Ebbs made a catch in deep center field for the first out in the bottom of the seventh.
“I didn’t think I was going to catch that ball,” Ebbs said. “It was behind me and it was in the right field gap. It was about five feet from the fence and we were playing pretty far in so I kind of snow coned it.”
The Bullets led from start to finish to defeat the Arizona Athletics 6-3 on Friday morning to advance to the semifinals.
Ebbs was 3-for-4 with a run and RBI in the victory.
Playing the winner of the loser’s bracket, the undefeated Bullets had two chances to beat Universal Fastpitch to advance to the finals. And the Bullets played like it, falling behind 9-2 after two innings.
“I think we were just tired,” Ebbs said. “Once we realized what was at stake, we got back in it and played our game.”
The Bullets answered with four runs in the third, three in the fourth and one each in the fifth and sixth to come from behind for an 11-9 win.
“We realized that the pressure wasn’t on us,” Ebbs said. “We have a lot of fight and I think that our fight just kicked in and helped us out.”
The Bullets, coached by Kayla Rice, have girls from Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
Ebbs has played for the Bullets for five years and in the PGF tournament for the past three summers. The 2018 14U squad is the first Bullets team to win the championship.