Tourney to be continued
Published 9:17 pm Saturday, July 21, 2012
WINTERVILLE — It’s been a wet and wild 48 hours at the Babe Ruth Southeast Regional for the Washington All-Stars.
On Friday, the 10U All-Stars held a 5-1 lead over rival Pitt County after three-and-a-half innings before an afternoon thunderstorm sent three people to the hospital and postponed the remainder of the day’s softball schedule.
The affects of that were felt on Saturday as another afternoon storm made for a bizarre turn of events that forced the 10Us to travel to Tarboro to play their third game of the evening.
The Babe Ruth rulebook states that no team can play more than three games in one day, so in order to avoid potentially breaking that rule on Sunday the tournament officials located what was presumed to be a drier field at the Tarboro Indian Lakes Park Saturday night, where the 10U All-Stars played their third game of the evening against Glenn Allen (Va.).
The game was scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. an ended past deadline.
An 8:30 p.m. start time is not completely uncommon in the travel softball circuit, but with the 10Us having to finish out the remainder of their game against Pitt at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning, and then having to start their third game of the evening 12 hours later, the day was a long and draining one to say the least.
“They’re very tired and I hope I can keep them awake and that everybody plays. The rulebook does not allow four games in a day so they’re trying to push this last game so that there will be only three teams (Sunday) and they won’t have to play four games and they can finish out the tournament,” Washington 10U coach Dallis Tucker said before the Glenn Allen game. “I thought this was going to be all about the kids. That’s the spiel we got upfront but the way they have conducted this tournament I don’t really see that standing as a high priority.”
The long day no doubt taxed the team but Tucker said when it’s time to play ball he will urge the All-Stars to focus on the task at hand.
“They just have to clear their mind and play some ball,” Tucker said. “We’ll play it no different than any other game. We’ll get them fired up and cheering in the dugout.”
On Saturday, the action resumed at approximately 8:30 am. under an overcast sky that loomed over a damp playing field as the 10Us looked to defend their 5-1 lead in the bottom of the third.
With the game being cut in half, capturing momentum early would be key and the Pitt County All-Stars had it all on their side as they took advantage of Washington miscues to tack on two runs and cut the deficit to 5-4 after three full innings.
“In that first inning I think my girls were still tired. We made three basic errors, maybe we were just fatigued,” Tucker said.
While Pitt threatened in each at-bat, the same could not be said for Washington as it failed to get a runner past second for the rest of the game.
Desirre Mourizzio paced Washington with two hits, while Elizabeth Heath, Summer Campbell, Emme Davis, Macy Main, Kaylee Elks and Abigail Tucker each had one.
The 10Us didn’t have long to dwell on their loss to Pitt as the All-Stars were back in action less than two hours later as they put their tournament lives on the line against Winter Springs (Fla.) whom they beat 9-1 to open the Southeast Regional.
The rematch was much closer as Winter Springs battled step-for-step with Washington but in the end the All-Stars were able to hold on to win 3-2 and eliminate Winter Springs from the tourney.
The 10Us got behind early as Winter Springs scored a run in the first inning, but Washington responded in the top of the second as Heath drove in a run and Abbigail Tucker belted a two-run double to put the All-Stars up 3-1.
Winter Springs rallied for a run in the fourth, but Washington pitcher Summer Campbell and the rest of the defense buckled down to avoid elimination.
“The win means we get a chance to play another game and see another team,” Tucker said after the game. “It means they are playing as hard as they can and we just happened to be successful that game.”
While inconsistent defense plagued Washington against Pitt, its stellar performance against Winter Springs kept them from having to make an early exit.
“We got back to our foundation and the basics,” Tucker said. “As long as we do the basics right we seem to play very well.”
In a matchup of undefeated teams, the 12U All-Stars took on Pitt County for the right to advance to the championship game but could not find the firepower to match Pitt’s potent attack as they fell 8-0.
“They hit the ball and we didn’t. That’s really about as simple as I can make it,” 12U coach Seth Edwards said. “Pitt County’s pitching, I thought was excellent today. They had two pitchers that came in and we obviously could not touch either one.
“We threatened one inning with the bases loaded but we couldn’t bring anybody to the plate. It really came down to the bats today and they came up with clutch hits.”
The game began at 2 p.m. and Washington was down 8-0 after five before the storm hit, however, the two teams were able to get back on the field and finish the contest.
The Washington 12U All-Stars will be back in action today as they will take on Down East in an elimination game at a time yet to be determined.