Sophia Fanucchi won five games, including the championship contest, as the San Carlos Force 14U's softball team won the USSA California State Championship over the weekend at the Twin Creeks complex in Sunnyvale.
Fanucchi, who was named the tournament MVP, helped the Force down the Burlingame-based California Gamers, 10-3, in the title contest.
The Gamers proved to be the stiffest competition, handing the Force its only loss of the double-elimination tournament. The teams meet three times, with the Force winning twice.
The Force emerged as a No. 3 seed after Friday's pool play and won twice on Saturday.
In Sunday’s first game, the Force beat the Modesto Tri County Smash 7-4 as Angelina Castillo earned the win, backed by an 11-hit attack. Lauren Racioppi had three hits, with Claire Casey, Jenny Joyner, and Jess Adair each contributing two hits.
The Force met the Gamers in the semifinal game, with the Force scoring nine runs in the first two innings en route to a 10-5 victory.
The Gamers came out of the losers' bracket to take a 9-0 decision over the Force, forcing one final game for the championship.
Fanucchi went the distance to earn her fifth win of the tournament and the Force collected 14 hits with Racioppi getting four of them to go with three RBIs.
"Our girls have been working hard in practice preparing for tournament play and deserve all the success coming their way," Force coach Bob Fanucchi said. "I’m very proud and honored to be able to coach them."
Racioppi led the team with 17 hits, including a home run, over the weekend. Adair was right behind with 15 hits.
Catcher Kelly James caught the first eight games, fighting the heat and an injury. Kaitlyn Johnson caught the championship game.
The Force won their fourth tournament title of the summer and will try for another one in Hayward beginning July 21. That will be in preparation for the USSSA Western World Series in West Covina, which runs July 30-August 5.
The San Carlos Force 14Us are Jessica Adair, Brooke Bagot, Claire Casey, Angelina Castillo, Jennifer Donohue, Sophia Fanucchi, Kelly James, Kaitlyn Johnson, Jennifer Joyner, Lauren Racioppi, Terez Touhey and Alexa Sisneros.
Most of them will be sophomores in high school, with Carlmont, Sequoia, Notre Dame (Belmont) and Woodside represented. All but one lives in San Carlos.
Head coach is Bob Fanucchi and assistant coaches are Brian James and Gib Racioppi.
Editor's note: The San Carlos Force 10U team also advanced to the state tournament, to be held in San Diego beginning July 19. The team is holding a Hit-A-Thon on Thursday to help defray costs of the trip. More information will be made available.
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