East Beaufort All-Stars finish strongPublished 9:59pm Thursday, August 8, 2013
Some timely hitting and sturdy pitching allowed the East Beaufort 16U All-Stars to take third place in the Wilson Cup bracket of the Babe Ruth World Series in Wilson on Wednesday.
After struggling in pool play, the All-Stars clubbed their way to three straight victories on Tuesday, which allowed them to wrap up their summer on a high note with a third-place finish.
East Beaufort Softball president Butch Oliver said that the experience of playing against some of the best teams in the country was an excellent one for the All-Stars.
“I think it was great for them,” Oliver said. “I think it was a great opportunity for them to go the World Series and it’s just an opportunity that not many girls get. For these group of girls to come back and step up and compete and finish well in the Wilson Cup was really big for them.”
Coached by Tony Stanley, Danny Marslender, Edwin Spencer and J.W. Cleary, the All-Stars won the District 6 tournament to advance to the state tourney, where they received an invite to play in the Southeast Regional and then the World Series.
The All-Stars lost some heartbreakers in the pool play portion of the World Series, but found their stride in the Wilson Cup.
East Beaufort’s bats returned to form on Tuesday as the All-Stars ripped off three straight wins by topping Nash Central 12-1, Willingboro (N.J.), 13-6 and Cashie 16-15.
“All the games they played were close games. They lost some 3-0, 1-0 ball games early but they played well and represented us well,” Oliver said. “(In the Wilson Cup) the biggest improvement was in our hitting. In pool play they kind of struggled getting the bat on the ball, but they really picked their hitting up in the Wilson Cup.”
The All-Stars got several big time performances at the plate as Taonya Stanley hit a team-high .500 and drove in a team-best 11 runs during the Series, while Ashley Paszt hit .462 with four RBIs and a team-high five doubles. Quortasia Clark batted .333 for the All-Stars and led the team in runs scored with nine and Mariah Stanley batted .259 in the Series and drove in seven runs and scored six times.
Remarkably, the All-Stars used only two pitchers in the World Series as Taonya Stanley threw 47 innings in eight games and Mariah Stanley hurled 10 innings in four appearances.
“Taonya and Mariah Stanley both pitched for us and Taonya did most of the work,” Oliver said. “(Taonya) pitched about 90 percent of our games and Mariah came in to give her a bit of a break. Mariah’s been dealing with an ankle injury, which is why she didn’t pitch as much.
“But, Taonya has been a workhorse. She works hard on the mound and she was one of our strongest bats.”
Both Taonya and Mariah were stellar on the mound. Taonya struck out 24 batters in 47 innings and finished with a 1.66 ERA, while Mariah fanned four in 10 innings an ended the World Series with an ERA of 2.00.
Oliver said overall, the World Series experience will help the All-Stars grow as softball players.
“It opened them up to a whole different world of ball,” Oliver said. “You’re playing teams from all over the country and it gave them an opportunity to meet and play girls all the way from Washington to California. I think it was just a great opportunity for them.”