The magic number is one.
That's right.With one more victory Larry H. Miller Toyota's fastpitch softball team will capture the International Softball Congress World Tournament championship.
Saturday night at the Diamonds of Champions, the Salt Lake City team (74-8) continued its championship march, defeating the Sioux City Gateway 2000 Soos, 5-2, before over 9,000 disappointed hometown fans.
No other Utah fastpitch softball team has ever advanced to play in the ISC championship game, which starts at high noon (MDT). For the championship in the double-elimination tournament, Miller Toyota will face the winner of the today's preceding game between the Toronto Gators and Sioux City. And the winning team must beat Miller twice to claim the crown.
And, of course, it will also be a first for Miller Toyota's remarkable pitcher Peter Meredith, who has won all five games in the ISC and set a ISC career tournament record for victories.
Meredith pitched Miller Toyota to the ASA championship game in 1992, but never the ISC World Championship.
"We're where we want to be," said Meredith. "We're in the driver's seat and everyone has to come to us. We still have to come out and play ball tomorrow. They're not going to just give it to us.
"There are some errors (three) on the board tonight. We've got to play good and sound fundamental softball. But we still came out and slapped the ball well, and look at the scoreboard. We won."
Since losing the Pioneer Days championship, Miller Toyota has won 24 straight games, and Meredith (32-4) has been victorious in 16 of those games.
And also, four of those wins have come at the expense of the Soos (66-18).
"I would have to say that we've dominated them (the Soos) this year," added Meredith. "Actually, Dewey (Dwayne Dyck) had shut them out the other three times.
"Tonight was the first time that we've faced `Whitey' (Mike White), and he's one of the best. In the last two games, we have faced two of the best (Mike Piechnik, and White), and beat them both. It hasn't been an easy ride to the championship game for us, either."
Miller Toyota came out swinging the bats but left six runners stranded the first two innings. Still, the Salt Lake City club led 1-0. Tommy Montgomery's RBI single scored Mike Aranzullo, who singled to lead off the second inning.
They added one more run in the fifth inning, with Brett Alvey's fielder's choice RBI scoring centerfielder Gary Daniels, who had singled to lead off the frame, and went to third on a two-base error.
But Miller Toyota put the game away with a three-run sixth inning. Catcher Kenny Garinger singled up the middle and came home on Aranzullo's RBI single.
Aranzullo, who went to third on another Sioux City error, scored on Pete Spoerl's double, and he came home on Brian Lehrman's single.
And in the seventh inning, Boyer blasted a triple against the fence in right field, and attempted to stretch it to an inside-the-park home run, when Aranzullo showcased his arm, nailing him at the plate.