Flash Staff Report
(July 19, 2017) — Halfway through their third game in the Texas Teenage 10U softball championships in Mildred Wednesday, the Dublin Dominators (16-0) found themselves in a most unfamiliar position.
Knowing their chances would be few against ace pitcher Kiersten Fincannon, Rogers got bold on the bases with two outs in the top of the third. A runner dangling between third and home got away for the first run of the game, and Dublin trailed for the first time of the entire summer season.
But it was just 1-0, and Rogers never scored again on Fincannon, while her catcher, Chloe Cisneroz, spearheaded Dublin’s comeback with four runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Chloe belted a two-run double to give Fincannon more security than she would need in a 6-1 win that advances Dublin to a winner’s bracket semifinal against the Belton Bomb Squad at 9 a.m. Thursday.
The third win of the tournament matches a Dublin record set last year by the Dominators. Before they won three in the same event last summer, no Dublin softball team had ever own single game in a TTAS state tournament.
“The first four innings of that game were so intense. It felt like a high school playoff game,” Dublin head coach Tommy Cisneroz. “It was one of the most fun games I’ve ever been a part of, and I’ve been part of a lot of games.”
His daughter played a pivotal role in making it fun for everyone in the Dublin delegation.
“Chloe gave us one of the biggest hits of the season when we needed it most to break the game open,” said Chloe’s dad, Coach Cisneroz. “And because of that, she drew a walk in next at bat to help us score.”
Not to mention making one half of the key defensive play when she took a pitch from Fincannon and fired to second in time for Avery Williams to make the other half of the play by tagging out a baserunner attempting a steal with two runners on.
“That shut down their momentum and then Kiersten took over again,” said Coach Cisneroz, noting that Fincannon, who allowed only one hit in t ]he opening two games, struck out eight in the third round battle.
“That’s just Kiersten being Kiersten in the circle and Chloe being Chloe behind the plate,” said the proud dad and coach. “Kiersten located the ball well and Chloe did a great job framing pitches and getting us strike calls from an umpire who wasn’t giving us those calls before. She listened to him and learned where he wanted the pitch and how he wanted to see the ball framed and she did it. That’s not bad for a 10-year old catcher.”
And the Dominators aren’t bad for a 10U softball team.
If they go without a loss, Dublin is three wins from a state championship. They face another tough opponent, the Belton Bomb Squad, in a winner’s bracket semifinal at 9 a.m. Thursday, much earlier than their three 4 p.m. starts to begin the week. Dublin will also play twice for the first time of the tournament on Thursday, though a win would give them a layoff of nine hours and change.
The winner’s bracket final begins at 8 p.m. Thursday, with the victorious team taking three major advantages into the final pairing at 6 p.m. Friday. They’ll be rested and confident with two chances to get the last win they need.
“This is a total team effort, and by team I mean the girls, us as coaches, and all the the girls’ families who are here with us,”said Coach Cisneroz. “Some of the parents who know their stuff have been helping scout opponents, and if I’m not seen there by the other coaches, and we’re still getting a good scouting report, then those guys don’t have any idea what we know.
“And then when it’s our turn to get on the field, they cheer so loud it’s like we’re back in Dublin.”