Galaxy claims gold medal

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The 10-and-under Galaxy left no doubt as to who was the best fastpitch team in the Coventry Commonwealth Games of Virginia B-class tournament. Played at the fabled Moyer Complex in Salem, the Chuckatuck-based travel squad outscored its five opponents 60-9 to win the coveted gold medal.

&uot;I think the teams from southwest Virginia will remember the Galaxy for a long time,&uot; said manager Bill Terry. &uot;We play a very aggressive brand of softball. It looked like a track meet out there.&uot;

Temperatures in the high 90s both days played right into the hands of the Galaxy, who donned all-black uniforms for Saturday’s first three games. &uot;Just the way we like it,&uot; said Smithfield’s Brooke &uot;Bo&uot; Olsavicky, who caught every inning of the tournament. &uot;We never stop running and the coaches expect us to slide into every base no matter the score.&uot;

The Galaxy opened the tournament with a 6-1 win against the Maroon Crush of Bedford. Suffolk’s Bailey Key struck out eight of the first nine hitters to earn the victory. Holland’s Brooke Mizelle came on in the fourth to finish the game, striking out six to complete the no-hitter.

In the second bracket game, the Galaxy defeated the South County Red 11-1 in a game called after four innings because of the mercy rule. Key tossed a complete game no-hitter, striking out eight. Melody Anderson, Allie Nowak and Key each had two hits. Mackenzie Terry and Alexandra Rose roped run-scoring singles in the second frame to put the game out of reach.

The Galaxy secured the top seed with a 21-0 victory over the Salem All-Stars in Saturday’s third game. Olsavicky and Nowak had two hits each, with Key and Franklin’s Kaylee Edwards blasting back-to-back triples. Mizelle made quick work of Salem, striking out six batters in a game called after just two innings.

In Sunday’s semifinal round, the Galaxy shrugged off five errors to defeat a tough Vinton Wahoos travel team 9-4. Mizelle and Key paced the offense with two hits each. Carlie Thorndike delivered a clutch two-run single in the third and Olsavicky drilled a double deep down the leftfield line in the fifth to secure the win. Key picked up her third win of the tournament with a complete game two-hitter.

The Maroon Crush advanced through the loser’s bracket and defeated the Roanoke Valley Vipers in the other semi-final game.

Trailing for the first time in the tournament, the Galaxy exploded for four runs in the bottom of the first, scored four more in the second and went on to easily defeat the Maroon Crush 13-3 in the championship game. Thorndike and Edwards led the Galaxy’s 12-hit attack with three hits each. The two were also credited with a combined seven RBIs. Emily Philpott added two timely hits while Nowak and Elizabeth Williams each scored three runs. Mizelle gave up just three hits and struck out 12 in a game called after four innings because of the mercy rule.

The Coventry Commonwealth Games was the Galaxy’s third major tournament championship of the spring/summer season. The first-year team is now 24-11 overall with two tournaments left.

Open tryouts for the 2007-08 team will be held the second and third weekends of August at the team’s Chuckatuck complex.