All-Stars take second place
Published 8:37 pm Monday, July 23, 2012
WINTERVILLE — On Sunday the Babe Ruth Southeast Regional came to a conclusion as both the Washington 10U and 12U All-Stars slugged their way to the championship game and eventually a second-place finish as both teams fell to undefeated Pitt County squads.
The 12Us second-place finish came wrapped in a silver lining as the team was offered and accepted an invitation to compete in the upcoming Babe Ruth World series in Florida.
The 12Us will become only the third team from Washington to compete in the World Series.
“We’ve had a great tournament and a great run,” 12U coach Seth Edwards said. “The girls came together and I have to give them all the credit and their parents all the credit too for getting them out here.”
The World Series will be played in Florida from Aug. 3-8 and while Edwards and the All-Stars were excited to keep their season alive the coach said his first move would be to call a timeout.
“I think first we take a rest,” Edwards said. “We’ve played a lot of games in two weeks so right now we’ll take a rest and then we will practice a little bit. We want to go down there and win some games but we want to have some fun too.”
Taking a rest is something the 10U team might want to do as well as the Southeast Regional tournament left them with a few sleepless nights. On Saturday, the 10Us played two games, with the first beginning at 8:30 a.m., before they traveled to Tarboro to play their third game of the evening at 8:30 p.m., but after an hour-and-a-half rain that game was cancelled.
If the 10Us suffered from fatigue the next day it didn’t show on Sunday as the All-Stars stormed Creeks (Fla.) in an elimination game as Kaylee Elks and Lily Wright each drove in a run in the top of the second en route to a 10-8 victory.
A Creeks rally in the home half of the inning tied the game up a 2-2, but Washington broke the game open in the third as Emme Davis and Sydney Keech batted in runs before Treasure Biggs smashed a two-run double to go ahead 6-2.
Once again, Creeks answered with a two-run rally but the 10Us poured it on in the top of the fifth as Elisabeth Heath drove in a run before Abbigail Tucker roped a two-run double. Davis followed up by driving a Creek’s pitch deep to left field allowing Tucker to score to give Washington what seemed to be a comfortable 10-4 lead going into the final inning.
The Creeks All-Stars went down swinging as they rallied for four runs to cut the deficit to 10-8 but Keech, the Washington first baseman, put an end to Creeks tournament as she snared a line drive and alertly ran to first base to double off a runner an end the game.
Overall, the 10Us tallied 13 hits as Macy Main, Keech and Heath each had three hits, Davis, Wright and Tucker had two each and Desirre Mourizzio, Campbell, Biggs and Elks had one.
“We won because we hit the ball very well. They drove the ball and I was very proud to see them hit and run as well as they did,” Tucker said.
In the title game, Washington struggled against Pitt pitching for five innings and fell behind 5-0 going into its final at-bat. The All-Stars would not go down without a fight as they pieced together a furious rally that started when Heath scored on a passed ball and was followed by RBIs from Campbell and Davis. Main drove in another run on a fielder’s choice cutting Pitt’s lead to 5-4 with two outs and the tying run 60 feet away from home plate. However, that run would never get any closer as Pitt recorded the final out to preserve the victory.
“Our girls are tenacious survivors, they fought till the end and didn’t give up,” 10U coach Dallis Tucker said. “For a town of about 9,000 people, to have second place trophy in the (Southeast Regional) isn’t bad. We beat the Virginia state champs, we beat the Florida state champs. We rolled through whoever we played, but the only team we didn’t beat was Pitt County who is 22 miles away.”
Before they could get to the title game, the Washington 12U All-Stars benefited from a high-powered attack they clubbed Down East (N.C.) for the second time this tournament as they cruised to a 9-1 victory to lockup silver.
“It’s a great honor to be associated with these 12 girls,” Edwards said. “They have worked so hard and come together as a team and I couldn’t be more pleased with them.”
The 12Us erupted for nine runs on seven hits and were led by Rachel Lang and Meghan Moore who were each 2-3, while Sarah Lynch, Kaitlyn Spain and Blake Swanner each had a hit.
Lynch, pinch-runner Briley Waters and Sydney Edwards were a force on the base paths as each scored two runs, while Meghan Horton and Spain scored once.
The 12U’s bats cooled off against Pitt as they scored in the first inning when Sydney Edwards touched home after a Meghan Moore sacrifice to take a 1-0 lead but the All-Stars would cross home plate again for the rest of the game.
Pitt cracked the game open in the second with a four-run rally before they added another run in the fourth to take a 5-1 lead. The score would stay that way until the final out in the sixth.
“Pitt County is a great team. I don’t want to take anything away from them because they played well, but I still think we can beat them but it just was not in the cards today,” Edwards said.