Article By: Aaron Rivera
The All-Star game gave us exactly what we hoped to see, big plays from the biggest stars. The tone was set immediately by catcher Ashley Razey who made a diving play from her catching position to catch a foul bunt, then go on to hit two home runs and earn the MVP for the Teal team. Savannah Horvath never allows her name to be forgotten on the score sheet though, as she had a Grand Slam into left that preceded a Razey solo-shot. Teal had the advantage on the other side with Allison Lipovsky and Alexis Bonanno who put down batters like always. Gold team had some spectacular plays themselves, including a great running catch from Maddy Grimm, and the crowd-rousing double from Saraland, AL local Makayla Reed that kicked off the offense for Gold. Libby Sugg would get Gold’s MVP designation with a 3-run shot and a strong defensive showing.
With a power-packed All-star game in the books, we will look ahead to the final weeks of the season. On the 15th there is a game to make up due to the weather on the 12th, afterward we will see two sets of doubleheader matchups in the coming weeks: E1 Pro Ballers will face Moh-Beel! USA while The Field sees Performance Lab for three final times, before an end of season 5-game run of E1 Pro Ballers vs Performance Lab, and Moh-Beel! USA vs The Field.
Playoff positioning hangs in the balance for every team in the league, but the implications in the middle will be the most interesting to watch. Moh-Beel! leads the league by 4 games and Performance Lab sits ahead of the two third-place teams by 4 games of their own. Four games sounds like a lot, but Performance Lab plays the league leaders, then the eight remaining games against the two teams hoping to pull up into the second-place playoff bye. They just split a two-game series with The Field before the All-Star game, giving them a 4-2 head-to-head, while also having a 3-1 victory against the E1 Pro Ballers. They can guarantee some level of playoff bye by winning all nine (easy enough right) but even splitting the remaining games they can punch their ticket as winning just one of the games against The Field will keep that team behind Performance Lab. If that’s all they come away with against the Field, they’ll need something in the E1 series and/or help from Moh-Beel! USA to keep back E1.
Chaos is Moh-Beel! USA’s best friend in the coming weeks: a jostling for second would keep their first place position safe (holding a 5 win in the h2h over PL regardless of the 15th.) At this point nobody is eliminated from first place, but the two teams at the bottom need to make up for lost time and essentially win out, the Field has a bit of a better chance since at this point they still have the chance to win tie-breakers with every team (2-4 to PL, 4-4 to E1, and 0-4 to MBU). E1 needs a lot of help, but they are ultimately queens of their own destiny, as snapping their skid is the best shot they have at not playing the wild card game. Performance Lab sits only 4 back, and can make it three by winning on Monday.