~ Big Kahuna’s ~
The Big Kahuna’s, a first year 10u team, representing Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, finishes their season as the Runner-Ups in the 2005 AFA ‘A’ Nationals behind Texas Glory 94’ after a hard fought battle to the very end. The Kahuna’s started out the tournament going undefeated in pool play and winning a ‘bye’ in the first round of bracket play. The team faced the Olathe Rockets in the 1st bracket game and stayed on top winning 5-0. The 2nd round of bracket play, they faced the Texas Glory 94’, this game was never close, Glory came out on top in the 2nd inning and for the Kahuna’s the multiplying errors just allowed Glory to run away with the win and dropped us into the losers bracket, not a good place to be in this early in the tournament, but the girls knew they were better than what they showed and the coaches and parents believed they could come back and finish strong. We were going to have to play and win 5 games to win this Championship but the road was not going to be easy. The 1st game to the finals, the girls faced “All Mixed Up” a team from Texas they have never played before, but it didn’t matter, they had to play every game with all their heart and determination to keep moving up and they did it. Next up was “Fusion” a team from Oklahoma this was a close came, but the girls came through again with the win and moved on to face “TNT” another Oklahoma team we have faced a few times this year, and although they’ve been close games, we have not been able to beat them, but this time was different, we scored early in the game and played tough defense to come up with the win and move on to the Championship game. At this point, the girls have already played 3 tough, emotional, nail biting games in 100+ degree weather, but the parents kept the cheering section loud and strong to keep them pumped up. The first game was a pitcher’s dual until the 7th inning, again with home team advantage, the girls pulled it out with a 1-0 win, but although we were all excited and elated, they had to turn around and play again. Both teams were exhausted, the Glory had 2 players down earlier in the day to heat exhaustion, but they came back strong to contribute in the final game and the Kahuna’s had to dig deep inside to go another 7 innings before they can really celebrate. The parents still cheering, some had lost their voices by now, but we had to keep going right along with our girls. The Glory came out strong, striking first with 2 runs, both teams played tough defense to keep the game close, the Kahuna’s got a rally going and came back to tie the game, they had some close plays and calls that didn’t go their way, but that’s how it goes sometimes. The Glory put some base runners on and got back on top 3-2 and the Kahuna’s kept fighting back, but couldn’t get the bats going as they did earlier in the tournament. The Glory kept a tight defense and scored again. The Kahuna’s gave it all they had left, but came up short and losing 4-2. Emotions were high on both ends; tears on one side and joy on the other, both teams showed great sportsmanship by players, coaches and parents, and although there can only be one team to win the finals, this game had two winners. Texas Glory 94’ and the Big Kahuna’s 94’ are two teams who represented their states with heart and pride and demonstrated what Champions are made of….
Submitted by Jackie Evans