Southampton All-Star teams take tourney titles
Published 9:30 am Friday, July 22, 2011
CHESAPEAKE—Two area softball All-Star teams went undefeated to win titles at the Pony East Zone Regional Tournament in Chesapeake last weekend.
The 12U and 14U Southampton teams won each of their five games during the three-day tournament, which included teams as far as New York and South Carolina.
Both were invited to the 2011 Pony Nationals Tournament in Round Rock, Texas, but neither will participate due to money and time constraints.
“It would’ve taken us a little time to raise the money,” said coach Jeffrey Pope of his 12U squad.
His 12U team beat the All-Stars from Smithfield 13-3 for the regional title on Sunday.
The team also defeated Suffolk, Little Creek, Deep Creek and Greenbriar.
The team of 11- and 12-year-olds is one of the best he’s coached in his five years.
“We’re happy to have the invitation and the opportunity to go,” Pope said. “I can’t say enough about the team.”
Pitcher Kennedy Presson, catcher Brittany Wade and Jessie Fortner, all of Wakefield, Skyler Bagnall of Ivor and Mason Pope of Capron led the team to victory.
“All five hit the ball extremely well the entire tournament,” Pope said.
The Southampton 14U softball All-Star squad that defeated Western Tidewater, a combination of players from Smithfield and Windsor, for the title is the best group coach Auldy Burks has ever had in his seven years of experience.
“I wish we had another tournament to play, and it wasn’t as far away as Texas,” Burks said.
Her team also disposed of a team from Irwin, Pa., twice in route to the championship.
“It’s a whole team effort,” Burks said. “My hat goes off to all the girls.”
He noted that rookie catcher August Ringer, 13, of Capron “shined” behind the plate throughout the tournament.
He also commended shortstop Cora Ellis of Wakefield and a “tremendous outfield” consisting of Shelby Billups of Ivor, Megan Duck of Hunterdale and Zoe Dunlow of Sedley, and pitcher Katelyn Newsome of Newsoms.