Area stars shine

Published 1:35 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Last week the area displayed its softball strength as it placed eight girls on the Region 1 team, which competed in the 2011 Powerade State games.
Making the trip to the games this year was Northside catcher Jena Payne, third baseman Caroline Slade, infielder Britney Alligood and all-purpose player Jordan Woolard. Joining the Northside stars were South Creek catcher Kimberley Mobley and shortstop Taylor Johnson, Riverside OF/SS Dasia Moore and Washington fireballer Rebekah Langston.
Though the area players performed well, the Region 1 squad struggled as a unit and returned home with an 0-3 record. However, the State Games aren’t all about winning and losing, mostly, it provides the girls on the team a chance to play softball in front of college scouts in a highly competitive atmosphere.
“It’s a great experience for the players to travel to somewhere else and play at a higher level,” said Region 1 assistant coach Louise Beirne, who is also an assistant coach for Northside.  “The facility we were at was a great facility that would help them get used to playing at the college level.  The State Games gives coaches and scouts a souvenir handout with the name and number of every player and the school to contact them at.”
Beirne said several area players made their mark at the games.
“Players who really stood out would include: Dasia Moore, all the coaches were impressed with her.
Taylor Johnson, who is an outstanding shortstop who pitched some too. Rebecca Langston who is a strong left-handed pitcher who really carried the team. Kimberly Mobley and Jena Payne both caught pitchers they are not used to in unbearable heat. As always, we had great defense by Caroline Slade and an outstanding performance by Jordan Woolard, who played first base for the first time and also played some shortstop and did a little pitching.”
Beirne, who has been on the State Games coaching staff for the past three seasons, said that overall, the experience was great for everybody.
“The team really connected and worked together, considering that they are players who are usually playing against each other,” Beirne said.  “They enjoyed each others company and worked together well for a team that only had three practices to prepare.”