Series ends for All-Stars
Published 7:37 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2012
It will be a summer to remember for the Washington 12U All-Stars as the team competed in the Babe Ruth World Series in Florida this week and returned to Washington having placed fifth in the nation.
“We’re absolutely amazed at what Washington softball was able to do at the World Series,” said Washington Girls Fastpitch Softball League president Greg Dority. “We finished fifth with a left-handed attack that was the talk of the tournament. We had dominating pitching and Washington fans were named the fans of the tournament for their sportsmanship and character. Overall, we’re just so proud of the program and what the girls have done down here in Florida.”
After having placed second in the state tourney, the All-Stars punched their ticket to the Big Dance with a second-place finish in the Southeast Regional tournament in Winterville before heading south for the World Series on Aug. 3.
The All-Stars, who finished the tournament with a 4-4 record, were eliminated on Tuesday morning as they lost a 5-4 heartbreaker to Prairie View (KY).
The 12Us went 2-2 in pool play to advance to bracket play on Monday, and got off to a rough start as they fell 12-2 to Hazlet (NJ).
Meghan Horton went 1-1 with an RBI for Washington, while Sydney Edwards and Hailey Harris each added a hit.
The All-Stars rebounded from their early morning loss in fashion as Rachel Lang and Beka Williams combined to no-hit Stamford (CT) en route to a 2-0 victory. Lang struck out seven in five innings while Williams fanned one in the sixth.
Sara Lynch went 1-2 with an RBI for the 12Us, while Lang added a triple and Blake Swanner, Mary Baylor Dixon, Edwards and Harris recorded a hit apiece.
The All-Stars momentum carried into the nightcap as the Washington staved off elimination once again to top Egg Harbor (NJ) 9-2 thanks to a 3-3 effort from Swanner. Also coming up big at the plate were Chaleigh Baynor, Lang and Harris who each produced two hits, while Edwards and Meghan Moore each had one.
Dority said Swanner’s bat was a crucial piece to the All-Stars’ success.
“Blake Swanner started on fire and only got hotter as the tournament went on,” Dority said. “Going into the last day she was the tournament’s second-leading hitter.”
The All-Stars tourney run came to an end on Tuesday as the team jumped out to a 4-1 lead against Prairie View but could not hang on to it as they fell 5-4.
Harris, Lang and Lynch each accumulated two hits in the loss, while Edwards and Dixon had one.
While the tournament was centered around softball, the All-Stars made sure it wasn’t strictly a business trip.
“The girls had a great time,” Dority said. “They went to the waterpark and fellowshipped with the other players. In the down time the girls spent a lot of time bonding, hanging out and watching movies and listening to CDs.
“They had an experience that they will remember all their lives. When they can’t remember what the scores were they will remember the time they spent down there with their teammates.”
The All-Stars would not have made it to Florida without the guidance of manager Seth Edwards and assistant coaches Ann Lang and Brad Horton and Dority praised the effort of the trio.
“Seth Edwards came on board as manager with a goal of bringing all the elements that have been successful in the past and taking it to another level and he succeeded in his managerial role,” Dority said. “Brad Horton had taken our left-handed attack and melded it with all the options of reading and attacking defenses in a way that the other teams could not stop.
“Coach Edwards, Horton and Lang brought these girls together early in the district tourney in Jamesville and in the state and Southeast Regional and arrived at the World Series with one of the best team’s Washington has ever had and these girls went and put Washington softball on the national map.”