Road to the World Series

Published 1:48 pm Tuesday, July 15, 2014



Washington 8U, 12U All-Star softball teams to compete in SE Regional

MORGANTON — The Washington 8U and 12U All-Star softball teams, along with the neighboring Pitt County All-Stars, will compete in the 2014 Babe Ruth Southeast Regional Tournament today through Friday.

With a good showing during the week, both Washington teams have the opportunity to lock up a spot in Saturday’s four-team, single-elimination bracket to decide who goes to the Babe Ruth World Series in Alachua, Fla., August 6-13.

This is the third-consecutive Southeast Regional appearance for head coach Dallis Tucker and the players who currently make up the 12U team. Washington locked up a spot in this week’s tournament after a 5-2-win over perennial powerhouse Pitt County in the Eastern Division State Championship last Wednesday.

“We don’t know what we’re going to do year-to-year because there’s such strong competition in Babe Ruth,” coach Tucker said. “This year we have a very competitive, composed, defensively sound bunch of girls with the tenacity to win. We’ve had very few defensive errors, hit the ball very hard and have had great pitching. That’s the trinity we have to look for in every game.”

Washington has relied heavily on its duo of young hurlers, Abbi Tucker and Summer Campbell, both who pitched in the championship game, to silence opposing lineups. With Babe Ruth innings limitations, Coach Tucker will utilize the contrasting styles of both pitchers to provide different looks on the mound.

On offense, a diverse starting lineup with four left-handed bats will force opposing pitchers to adjust with each batter.

“To have that diversity amongst your batters in softball puts a lot of pressure on young pitchers, who are so used to pitching away from batters,” coach Tucker said. “This group of girls, they’ve been together all this time. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses through the work we put in during the offseason playing travel ball. They’ve glued together pretty well and know how to work together.”

This week, Tucker, Campbell and the rest of the Washington 12U All-Stars open up play Wednesday morning against the Union County (N.C.) Heat. On Thursday, the team will face the Rockville (Va.) 12U All-Stars at 1 p.m., followed by the Shenandoah (Va.) 12U All-Stars at 3 p.m.

Washington closes out pool play against the Tavares (Fla.) 12U All-Stars on Friday at 5 p.m.

Joining the 12U All-Stars in Morganton will be head coach Tony Chrismon and the Washington 8U All-Stars, who finished second in the Eastern Division State Tournament after losing to Pitt County in Game 2 of the championship.

Chrismon’s team brings a hard-hitting lineup into the Southeast Regional, where they will face Alexander County (N.C.) on Wednesday, Greater Manassas (Va.) on Thursday and Glen Allen (Va.) and Winter Park (Fla.) on Friday.