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TITANS, PANTHERS SET FOR TITLE SHOWDOWN

Can Tiyan beat Brinnlyn Hardt?

By Nick Akimoto

The Guam High Panthers and the Tiyan Titans will face off in the ISA Softball Championship after winning their semifinal match ups Tuesday night at the Okkodo Field.

The Titans earned their chance at the trophy with a 14-13 victory over the JFK Islanders with a walk-off single in the seventh inning.

The Panthers took care of business and secured a 12-2 victory in their rematch with the Academy Cougars to earn a chance to repeat as champions.

The two squads will face off this Saturday at 2 pm at the Okkodo field. Both team finished the season with 6-1 records, however, Tiyan picked up a forfeit win over Guam High a few weeks back when the Panthers were playing in the Far East Tournament. The Titans’ lone loss was to the Cougars.

PANTHERS VS COUGARS

Player of the Game: Guam High pitcher Brinnlyn Hardt

ALL ‘HARDT’
To earn their ticket to the championship, the Panthers had to face off against the Academy Cougars in a rematch of last year’s title game. While the Panthers got the better of the Cougars in their regular season match, they were fully aware of the danger that the Cougars placed on their playoff chances.

Sophomore pitching star Brinnlyn Hardt has been crucial to a strong Guam High squad all season, but Hardt was especially important in the Panthers’ semifinal game, striking out thirteen batters in a shortened five-inning game.

It was her third straight no-hitter, according to the Stars & Stripes.

“I’m not surprised at all because [Brinnlyn] is just a really good pitcher.”

– Panthers catcher Rebecca Rapier who sat behind the plate and received all of Hardt’s pitches

Not only was Hardt essential to keeping the Cougars’ offense at bay, she also contributed in a big way at the plate by hitting a shot over center field to bring in an inside-the-park grand slam.

Hardt was not the lone contributor to the Panthers scoring, as Rapier and Brianni Soto both helped. Rapier would make big hits to collect three RBI’s and Soto would run in a solo in-the-park home run after she blasted one over the Cougars center fielder as well.

“This is a tough game that we’ve been waiting for. We were all looking forward to this game. I’m very proud of myself and the team,” said Hardt about her performance on the night.

Brinnlyn Hardt smashes one for an in-the-park grand slam. (photo by Cam Santos)

TITANS VS ISLANDERS

WALKING OFF TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP
The Islanders jumped out to a four-run lead in the first inning as they looked to upset the top-seeded Titans. Tiyan was unable to respond, and after the Islanders brought in one more run in
the second inning, the Titans found themselves in a 5-0 hole.

But with a chance at the trophy being on the line, the Titans responded in a big way.

Tiyan exploded in their second chance at-bat, scoring 10 runs in the second inning. After holding the Islanders scoreless, the Titans tacked on three more runs to make it 13-5.

JFK refused to quit, however, as they tightened up their field defense to stop the Titans while chipping away at the deficit. After six innings, JFK had brought in six more runs to close the lead to 13-11.

The Islanders went up to bat first and brought in two runs to make the game 13-13, shifting the pressure onto the Titans. In the bottom of the seventh, the Titans hit a walk off single to put away the JFK Islanders and punch their ticket to the championship.

“I’m really proud of [my team] for pushing hard and working through. Props to JFK for bringing in the heat,” said Titans starting pitcher Zoey Indalecio.

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COMING SOON …

Guam Track & Field National Championship May 26

All-Island Wrestling Alumni Tournament June 8

QUICK HITS

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Congratulations @seadancer_bailey
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The St. Paul Warriors are the 2024 IIAAG Boys Middle School Basketball League Champions! The Warriors defeated the 2nd seed Andersen Dragons 60-47 to cap off their undefeated season.
Mario Bork led the Warriors with 20 points in the championship game.

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