In its 4th year, the ABR/USSSA Junior All-State Games was the premier showcase event in the Midwest for players ages 9 thru 14 this last weekend. We saw some outstanding plays throughout the weekend from players representing a variety of states. The Woodside Sports Complex couldn’t have made a better host with their facility. Our attendance was fantastic, attracting people from all over the Midwest to come see the best players compete; and they certainly weren’t disappointed!
This event featured extra- inning ballgames, see-saw battles and walk-offs throughout this three-day showcase event. Showcasing over three hundred of the best players from throughout the Midwest we had plenty of great plays, awesome pitching performances and big hits.
In the nine year-old division round Northern Illinois faced Nebraska. This was the 3rd matchup between the two teams; Team Nebraska losing earlier to Northern Illinois in the winners bracket fought back in the losers bracket to face them again in the Championship. Team Northern Illinois knew going into the game it would be tough to beat Team Nebraska 3 times. Somehow Coach Wilson from Team Northern Illinois pulled it off late in the game to have a comeback victory going undefeated in the tournament.
The ten year-old division Northern Illinois Red played Team Wisconsin for the 3rd time of the tournament, facing each other in pool play, going head to head in tournament play, and then again in the Championship. Team Wisconsin had high hopes going into the game being undefeated in the tournament and already beating Northern Illinois Red twice. However Coaches knew it would be tough to beat them a third time. Both teams running out of pitching forced both teams to score runs and it just so happened Northern Illinois Red bats were out and they pulled off a victory.
The eleven year-old division Team Iowa pulled of an extra inning victory in the 8th against Team Northern IL Blue in the Semi- Final, to face Team Northern IL Red. This was a tough age bracket with teams being very competitive, featuring close games throughout. When all was said and done Team Northern IL Red took home the rings with a great performance in the Championship against team Iowa.
The twelve year-old division Team Iowa was victorious over Northern IL Blue. Team Iowa hit the ball well all weekend and showed it off once again in the Championship. Both teams fought hard and Team Iowa had just enough power and pitching left over to take home the championship.
The thirteen year-old division Southern Illinois fought back from the loser’s bracket to face Team Nebraska in the Championship Game. Team Nebraska looked eager to bring home the rings all day on Sunday. They fought in some good battles, but were determined to win; and they did just that. Team Southern IL put up a fight, however Team Nebraska pulled off the victory with a great pitching performances throughout the day.
The fourteen year-old division featured a showdown between two Illinois teams, one from the South and the other from the North. Southern Illinois hit the ball great all weekend and continued it in the championship. Both teams fought hard however Southern Illinois made Northern Illinois go deep in their pitching bringing out there sticks late in the game to take home the RINGS!
There were many outstanding performances by all the players on these teams. We all had a great time and can’t wait for next year. USSSA is excited about this event for next year as we anticipate the event getting even bigger and better. Which State will bring home the trophy for 2015? Until next year……