Washington 12U All-Stars win Eastern Division State Championship

Published 4:48 pm Wednesday, July 9, 2014



KINSTON — Battling temperatures approaching 100 degrees, the Washington 12U All-Star softball team, representing a town of just nine square miles, defeated the perennial powerhouse Pitt County All-Stars on Wednesday, 5-2, to win the 2014 12U Eastern Division State Championship.

Dozens of fans lined the fence to watch the best of Beaufort County and Pitt County square off.

With ace Abbi Tucker available, head coach Dallis Tucker decided to go with his No. 2 option, Summer Campbell, to start the contest. Hydration and conditioning were a must for Washington, as the noon start time resulted brutally hot on-field conditions.

But the heat didn’t seem to bother either pitcher. Despite allowing back-to-back singles in the first inning and two walks in the second, Campbell and the Washington defense kept the opposing offense at bay, while Pitt County starter Madison Bowers supplemented erratic defense by allowing just one hit through two innings.

Defense blunders would eventually prove costly in the third, as a misplayed line drive by the left fielder allowed Dessiree Maurizzo to reach third base. Campbell followed with a pop fly to right field, deep enough to scored Maurizzo easily. Singles by Kaylee Elks and Abbi Tucker and an error a shortstop pushed another run across for Washington.

Once coach Tucker had the lead, he replaced Campbell with Abbi Tucker, who has been virtually unhittable through the tournament thus far. Tucker would walk Kate Lancaster to lead off the fourth inning, but go on to retire six of the next seven hitters, keeping the scoreboard blank heading into the final inning.

On offense, Washington added three runs of support in the fourth on two walks and two sharply hit singles by Campbell and Elks.

In the final frame, Bowers started things off by reaching on an infield error. Tucker forced Mya Baker to ground out to the second baseman, but Lancaster kept her team alive by slapping a single into left field. Lancaster came around to score, as Taylor Dunn was gunned out at first base by right fielder Abby Pippin to record the second out.

Washington administered another run, but ultimately recorded the final out and locked up an invitation to the Southeast Regional Tournament next week in Morganton.

During he postgame award ceremony, Tucker was honored with the 12U Most Outstanding Player Award, a decision that went uncontested.

The Washington 10U and 8U All-Star teams Eastern Division State Tournament results will be available online at www.thewashingtondailynews.com and in Friday’s sports section.