The Lady Seminoles Legends battled their way out of the losers bracket and roared back to win the NASA Women’s Legends softball championship Aug. 11 in Choctaw, Mississippi.
The team won its opening game and lost the next one, but then reeled off five straight wins to claim the title and finish with a 6-1 record.
The Lady Seminoles’ championship performance highlighted a strong tournament overall for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, whose seven teams compiled a 25-13 record.
The annual two-day, double-elimination tournament for adults was hosted by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and featured five divisions and more than 70 teams representing MBCI, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Poarch Band of Creek Indians. MBCI teams won three championships: Natives (Women’s), Suicide Squad (Co-ed) and Native Legends (Men’s Legends). Poarch Creek’s Sneeky Creek won the Men’s title.
The only loss for the Lady Seminoles Legends came against the Cherokees’ C-Nation early in the tournament, but the Lady Seminoles regrouped and notched wins against the Choctaws’ Battitudes and Shockerz and a 12-11 thriller against Poarch Creek’s Lady Legends to set up a rematch against C-Nation.
Coming out of the losers’ bracket, the Lady Seminoles forced the “if needed” game in convincing fashion with a 17-4 triumph and then blanked C-Nation 14-0 in the winner-take-all finale.
Despite high temperatures and playing five straight must-win games, the Lady Seminoles Legends persevered all the way to the winner’s circle.
“It was the determination in the girls, each and every one of them. It was extremely hot, but they had heart and determination,” said Brighton Recreation Coordinator Salina Dorgan, who assisted the team which was coached by Richard Osceola and Joey Micco.
The tournament was a marathon for Lady Seminoles such as Susan Davis, Rita Gopher, Wendi Riley, Carla Rodriguez, Billie Tiger and Laverne Thomas, all who did double duty by also playing for other Seminole teams in other divisions. Many played in the Women’s Division (18 and up) for the Lady Seminoles’ squad which also had an impressive tournament that included five straight wins sandwiched around a pair of losses. They finished third.
Also in the Women’s Division, Onna B’s, another Seminole team, started strong by winning three in a row, but then dropped two straight, including an elimination loss to the Lady Seminoles.
In the Co-ed Division, the Natives, which was organized by Jaryaca Baker, returned to Florida with a trophy thanks to finishing runner-up. They won their first three games and finished with a 4-2 record.
Other Seminole teams in the Co-Ed Division were the Florida Natives, which started with three straight wins and finished 4-2, and the Seminole Sluggers, which went 0-2.
In the Men’s Division, the Seminoles’ Hayla Boyz won their first two games and advanced all the way into Saturday evening’s ‘Final Four’ before being eliminated by Sneeky Creek. Hayla Boyz finished with a 3-2 record.