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Braves refocus and blast way to Coyotes Fourth of July Tournament Championship

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

The Pala Braves, 2011 Coyotes’ Fourth of July Tournament champions.

BEAUMONT, CA – The Pala Braves weren’t too pleased with their performance and they knew that if they didn’t improve – and quickly – a prestigious tournament championship was about to slip away.

So the Braves held a team meeting before the start of the “if necessary” game and went on to blast the Morongo Hostiles 14-0 to claim the championship of the 2011 35th Annual Coyotes Men’s Fourth of July Fastpitch Softball Tournament, Sunday, at Valdivia Field in Beaumont.

“We met between the games and we talked about getting back to playing fundamental fastpitch and quit swinging for the fences,” said Cody Maxcy, the Braves manager and catcher. “We got more patient waiting on pitches, and we played a lot smarter.”

But in that first game, the Hostiles were the better ball club, coming out on top 8-5 to force the if necessary game.

“The pitching and defense came through for us in that game,” said Hostiles manager and second baseman Ike Norte. “We just ran out of gas in the second game, but we played well, and this was our highest finish ever in the Coyotes’ tournament.”

In the second game, the Braves jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Theron Cueva and Maxcy led off with back-to-back walks, and Tommy Herrera was hit by a pitch. Then Chris Devers RBI single and Anthony Lofton’s infield ground out scored both runs. And that was all the run support Jerome Morrison would ultimately need as he tossed a four-inning mercy-ruled shutout to pick up the win.

Morrison allowed but one hit – a second inning double by Anthony Loza – in earning his third win of the tourney. Morrison pitched every inning of the tournament for Pala in leading the Braves to a 3-1 record, and was named the Most Valuable Pitcher for his efforts.

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