By D.A. Harless For the Coal Valley News
July 29, 2014
The Madison BaseBurners 14U fast pitch softball team started planning a year ago for their “Road to Orlando.”
This team is based out of Madison. The team consists of 7 girls from Madison, 2 girls from Harts, 1 from Chapmanville, 1 from Man, and 1 from Gilbert.
The tournament format was a 3 pool play and double elimination. There was a large task ahead of the BaseBurners. Fifty-three teams headed into Sunday’s play with the same goal. Only one team would reach that goal 7 days later.
The BaseBurners first post play game was on Monday morning at 8:00am. The first opponent was the SC Thunder. The BaseBurners would win the coin toss and the field first. Kenzie McCann would take the mound and make quick work of the Thunder in the first inning with 3 up 3 down all coming in the form of strikeouts.
In the bottom of the 1st Hollie Carter would walk followed by a Grace Cline and Kara Browning single that scored Hollie. The Thunder would get a run of their own in the top of the 2nd. The bottom of the 2nd would have Alli Harless lead off with a single. She was moved to 2nd with a Mallory Kennedy sac bunt. Then Harless would score with a double by McCann.
From there the BaseBurners would not look back. With a run in the 4th from Lauren Mayes and one in the 5th from Grace Cline. The Baseburners would plate 7 runs in the 7th. Kenzie, Grace C., Kara B., Kendal, Alli, and Lauren all touched the plate in the 7th inning explosion. Game 1: Kenzie 13K’s, 1 Hit, 3BB; Lauren 3-4 with 2 doubles; Hollie 2-4; Kenzie 2-5 with a double; Grace C. 1-4; Kara B. 1-4; Grace Belcher 2-4; Alli 1-3; Mallory 1-3
Game 2 opponent would be the Georgia Warriors. Once again the BaseBurners would be home team. The Warriors would plate 1 run in the top of the 1st. The BaseBurners would answer in the bottom of the 1st with 2 runs of their own. With Hollie and Grace C. both touching the plate. The 2 teams would battle hard with 2 scoreless innings. In the 4th inning the Warriors’ bats would come alive scoring 5 runs in the top of the 4th.
The BaseBurners would answer the call and would score 7 runs of their own in the 4th. Kenzie, Hollie, Grace C., Grace B., Syd, Lauren, and Karah Little all touched home in the bottom of the 4th. Kendal would come out and shut down the push by the Warriors. She would strike out the side. Time would expire giving the BaseBurners the win against a tough Georgia Warriors team. Game 2 of the week: Kendal 10ks, 3 Hits, 3BB; Kenzie 2-3; Hollie 1-2; Grace B. 1-2; Kendal 1-2; Sydney Keffer 1-2 with a double; Karah L. 1-2; Grace Cline 1-3 with a double.
The week was full of rainouts. The third pool play game would be rained out. The game would be considered a tie. The BaseBurners would go into Bracket play a #1 seed out of their pool.
The 1st Bracket play game would be against the Ohio Starz. Once again the BaseBurners would win the coin toss. Kenzie once again would make quick work in the first inning facing only 4 batters. The BaseBurners would score 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st. Kenzie, Hollie, and Grace B. would touch the plate.
The BaseBurners would score 2 more in the second with Hollie and Karah Little both touching the plate. The Ohio Starz would score their only run in the 6th giving the BaseBurners a 5-1 win. Game #3 of the week: Kenzie 10K, 4 Hits, 2BB; Karah L. 2-2; Grace C. 2-3; Kenzie 1-2; Kara B. 1-2; Hollie 1-3; Kendal 1-3 with a double.
Game 2 of bracket play would be against Team Impact out of Florida. Kendal Parkins would hold the Impact at bay with a 3 hit shutout. Karah Little would score in the 3rd. The BaseBurners would score 4 more runs in the 6th. Grace C., Grace Belcher, Kendal, and Alli all touching the plate. Game 4 for the week: Kendal 7k, 3 hits; Alli 2-2 with a Double; Lauren 1-2 with a Double; Kenzie 1-4 with a double; Hollie 1-4.
Game 3 of Bracket play would be against another Ohio team, the Ohio Stingrays. Kenzie would once again have a strong performance on the mound. Alli and Kara Browning would both score in the 2nd inning. The BaseBurners would score 6 runs in the 4th & 5th innings. Kenzie, Kara B., Kendal, & Lauren Mayes in the 4th and Alli & Kendal in the 5th. The Stingrays would put 2 runs on the board in the 5th ending the game with an 8-2 victory for the BaseBurners. Game 5 for the week: Kenzie 8ks, 1 Hit, 3BB; Lauren 2-3 with a triple; Alli 2-3 with a double; Kendal 2-3 with a Double, Karah L. 2-3 with a double; and Hollie 1-2; Kenzie 1-3.
Game 4 of Bracket play would be against one of the best teams in the tournament. The Louisiana Pride in which had not lost a game in their entire 2014 season. The BaseBurners would know right off that they were in for a war. All games were a time limit of 75 minutes for Bracket play.
Time was going by fast.
In the bottom of the 4th with no score on the board, Kendal Parkins leads off with a triple. Sydney Keffer came in to courtesy run for Kendal. Lauren would then walk and round 1st and head to second. She would draw the attention of the pitcher which threw to second putting Mayes in a rundown. This would allow Keffer to score the only run in the game. Game 6 of the week: Kendal 2K, 7 hits, 1BB; Kendal 2-2 with a triple; Alli 2-2 with a double; Kenzie 1-3.
This would only leave 2 undefeated teams. Game 5 of Bracket play would be the semi-finals. The matchup would be against the Clearwater Bombers from Florida. The BaseBurners could only muster 5 hits in the game. Hollie Carter scoring the only run for the BaseBurners. The BaseBurners would suffer their first loss of the tourney with a score of 4-1. Game 7 for the week: Kenzie 6Ks, 5 hits, 2 BB; Sydney Keffer 2-3; Kara B. 1-3 with a Double; Kendal 1-3 with a Double; Grace Cline 1-3.
Game 6 of Bracket play the BaseBurners found themselves fighting their way back out of the Losers Bracket. This game would be against a very good Mississippi BatBusters team. This would be the 5th game of the day for the BaseBurners. The BaseBurners once again won the coin toss giving them home team. The BatBusters would score 2 runs in the top of the 2nd. The BaseBurners would answer back in the bottom of the 2nd with Kara Browning and Lauren Mayes both touching the plate. The BatBusters would score in the 4th to go up by 1. The 5th would be scoreless. In the top of the 6th the time had expired so this means that you finish the inning. All of the BaseBurners hopes and dreams come down to this at bat. In the bottom of the inning the first 2 batters would ground out giving the BaseBurners one out to work with. Kendal Parkins would come to the plate and hit a double. Lauren then walks putting the winning run at first. Karah Little then steps to the plate. The 1st pitch was a pass ball moving the runners to 2nd & 3rd. The next pitch Little and the BaseBurners would not be denied. Karah L. rips a double scoring both runs giving the BaseBurners the win. Game 8 for the week: Kendal 4k, 5 hits, 1BB; Karah L. 2-3 with a double; Kendal 2-3 with a double; Lauren 1-2 with a double, Grace C. 1-3 with a double; Kara B. 1-3 with a double; Sydney Keffer 1-3; Grace Belcher 1-3; Alli 1-3.
Game 7 of Bracket play would be the Championship. This would be the BaseBurners 6th game of the day. This match up would be against the only team that had beaten the BaseBurners in the tourney. The BaseBurners could only muster 2 hits in the game falling to the Bombers 4-0. The BaseBurners would lose the game but would win the hearts of many people across WV via Facebook and live feeds.
The BaseBurners are 44 wins and 4 losses on the season to this point. With 5 tournament wins including the North Carolina State Games in Concord, NC. Two runners up including USSSA World Series in Disney.