Rain throws tourney a curvePublished 8:07pm Thursday, July 11, 2013
Once again the rain threw the ENC Babe Ruth state softball tournament a curve on Thursday as heavy afternoon showers washed out the second half of the day’s schedule.
It was the second time this week that storms forced a halt in the action. On Tuesday pool play was suspended due the inclement weather but a sunny Wednesday helped the tourney play catch up.
“We’ve had a couple of tough days with the rain but (Wednesday’s) good weather allowed us to catch up a little bit,” said Washington Girls Fastpitch Softball League president Greg Dority. “We’ve played about 65 percent of the games of the games in the tournament and we’re confident that with a little bit of a break in the weather we can finish on schedule.”
Thursday morning began with the completion of pool play as the Washington 10U All-Stars suspended game versus East Beaufort resumed. Down 3-0, Washington rallied to take a 12-10 victory over the East Beaufort All-Stars to advance to bracket play.
Savanna Craft was sensational she struck out 12 batters in six innings to get the win. Grace Bumpass went 1-3 with a home run, while Mary Emma Holscher, Melanie Winstead, Sydney O’Neal and Grace Paszt each had a hit.
The Washington 12U All-Stars also benefited from some good pitching as Abbigail Tucker threw a four-inning no-hitter against Dare County in their 12-1 victory.
Blake Swanner went 2-3 with a double, while Maggie Craig was 2-2 with a double. Mary Baylor Dixon, Tucker, Devin Bunch Haylee Simpkins and Grace Lassiter added a hit each.
Though pool play was completed, rain was a persistent threat and by mid-afternoon the sky darkened and the downpour began. The fearsome storm forced the powers that be to quickly call it a day.
“We were making good progress on the games and suddenly we took heavy rain and wind,” Dority said. “So it was a no-brainer to call it early and get our out of town guests back to their hotels and get our volunteers rested.
“… In any tournament with weather challenges there is a lot of pressure to make the right decision in a tight time frame. … Some of the feedback we got from our out of town guests was that they were appreciative that they would have an opportunity to get back to their hotels and get rested up for the evening.”
When the storm struck athletes and fans alike ran for tents and any other cover they could find to stay dry and wait out the storm. Though several spectators were soaked, the rain did not dampen their spirits as some of the athletes sang during the rain delay while others embraced it and could be seen splashing in the puddles.
Dority said if all goes well, the plan is to get back to the fun and games on the diamond today.
“The best case scenario is that bracket play will resume (today) at noon,” Dority said. “There is a possibility that (Thursday) will be a washout. However, in this case with the strong effort our volunteer base has put out a night’s rest, and possibly a day’s, rest would be good for the workers who are just killing themselves to help us get this tournament put on.”