ALTON –Tweet it as Sweet 16 for Westco, a local softball team.
Westco used a 16-run first inning Friday to rout Stewart’s Auto Body of Jacksonville, 24-0, in the three-inning opening game of the Illinois Amateur Softball Association Class C Co-Ed Tournament at Moore Park.
“That was a good start,” Westco manager Travis Cook said. “We came out and jumped on them and that’s the way you want to start a tournament.”
Two-time defending state champion Ball Park Motors of Virginia also began its tourney play the proper way. It fended off local team I’d Hit It, 11-7. In other early games, local team Cutting Edge defeated LJW Tax Service, 6-4, and Miss-N-Hitters of Carbondale clubbed Chaos, 21-3.
Then Cutting Edge won for a second time by beating Streder Mechanical, 11-7. Fourth Street Lanes topped Balls Deep by a 12-6 score. Chaos came back to down LJW Tax Service, 13-3. 4R's Barbecue outlasted K&V Steel, 16-10; Danville Lineoff outscored the Woodchuck's, 18-16 and Construction Nation shaded Cat Daddy's, 15-14.
In late games, Streder Mechanical defeated Balls Deep, 16-15; K&V Steel bested the Woodchucks, 12-7 and Cat Daddy's hammered Stewart's Auto Body, 18-0.
Competition resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday on four fields. The title game of the double-elimination tourney is scheduled for 7 or 8 Saturday night, with the champion advancing to the nationals in Rolla, Mo.
Winning pitcher Jason Adair tossed a shutout and went 3-for-3 with two home runs, a double and four RBIs for Westco in its lopsided win. Haleigh Jenkins was 3-for-3 with three RBIs, Ryan Brown collected two hits and five RBIs, while Cook contributed three hits, including a home run.
“We’re a team that hits line drives and can always score runs,” Cook said. “We know each other because we have played together for a few years. We have versatile players and we play good defense.
“I like our chances. Absolutely.”
The 2014 team, sponsored by Sports Tap of Alton, finished second to Ball Park. And the 2012 squad, named Revolution, won it all.
“There are a lot of good teams in this tournament,” said Derek Edwards of Westco. “But our goal is to win state. We need to keep hitting and keep playing good defense – the normal stuff that you need to win.”
Teammate Katie Wilson added, “We have a lot of good guys and girls on this team and we play together in the same league. Everybody can hit and play solid defense.”
Travis Steer of Ball Park Motors put on a hitting show in his team’s win over I’d Hit It. Steer, an all-tournament selection last season, slugged three home runs and drove in five runs.
“Travis is quite a ballplayer and he delivers,” Ball Park manager Dan Lindley said.
Jono Thies hit a pair of three-run home runs for I’d Hit it, but Ball Park prevailed.
“They have a good team,” Lindley said. “I think this tournament is deep in good teams every year. There are about four or five of them that are about the same. So the one that gets the lucky breaks is the one that’s going to win it.”
Ball Park is seeking a three-repeat and today’s schedule, which could showcase 25 games, will tell the tale.
“It never gets old,” Lindley said about winning at Moore Park. “And I think we will have something to say about who wins it.”
The remainder of the field includes Cat Daddy’s, Construction Nation, Fourth Street Lanes, Balls Deep, Streder Mechanical, Danville Lineoff, Woodchuck’s, K&V Steel and 4R’s Barbecue. Danville finished fourth and Cat Daddy’s took sixth last year.