- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
They even surprised their coach with how quickly they have advanced this year and they’re still putting in the effort needed to remain at the top.
It’s been a winning season for the 16-and-Under Southern Maryland Ospreys softball team, headed by Al Ogletree, Lee Bassett and Christie Doerrer. The team is part of the United States Specialty Sports Association’s C classification.
Although after winning the Class C fastpitch state title on June 24, they are now playing in the B division. The Ospreys’ season runs from October to August each year. The team’s record is now 23-5.
Manager Al Ogletree couldn’t be more proud of his team and the fact that they faced some of the best talent in softball.
“Their work ethic is there, they don’t complain at all,” Al Ogletree said. “They just work so hard. They did surprise me. I didn’t know they would advance this quickly.”
The championship weekend was June 23 and 24 at Rockburn Branch Park in Elkridge.
The Ospreys fell in Game 1 to Winfield Sting 8-4, but then went on a five-game winning streak to take the state title.
They defeated CFR Squeeze 15-2 with Jasmyn Ogletree taking on the pitching duties. She struck out four batters. Ogletree had one of the highest batting averages in the championship weekend with a .571 average. She hit three triples and two doubles.
Sunday was the most grueling day for the team as they played four back-to-back games with only a 10-minute rest time in-between games.
The Ospreys and pitcher Chloe Day (Great Mills High School) took care of the MVSA Storm with a 7-5 win with six strikeouts. In Game 4, Jasmyn Ogletree and Day split the pitching duties and lead their team in the 11-5 victory over Southern Maryland Xplosion.
Jasmyn Ogletree finished up for the Ospreys in the championship game against the Sting, allowing just one run in the 6-1 victory.
Catcher Shepora Lewallen earned a .476 batting average, while catcher and third baseman Courtney Bell also led the team offensively with a .471 batting average and right fielder Ashleigh Head brought in a .429 average.
Al Ogletree said that the two most improved players throughout the season were Bell and Head with Bell’s offensive skills improving and Head’s fielding percentages improving.
Center fielder and pitcher Jasmine Smith (Great Mills) said it was the consistent practice time and the offensive skill of her team that kept them on the winning side. Smith also had one of the team’s highest batting average through the championship weekend with a .571 average. She had the highest stolen bases with six.
“I’ll always remember the team, The Forrest Hill Heat [from Columbia] because we played them in our Memorial Day tournament and then came back and beat them in the finals,” Smith said. “We went into ITB [international tiebreaker] with them in game five.”
Jasmyn Ogletree and Day combined to take care of the Heat in Game 5 in a 10-6 win.
“We work best under pressure,” Smith said, “so when we’re down and we know we need to come back and we start our own rally and do what we do. I don’t think we really put a lot of pressure on our pitchers because we’re a hitting team and we know that our offense will come back around.”
Smith, a rising sophomore, is looking forward to playing again next year.
“Most of our success is because of our coaches and the time they put in for practices.” Smith said.
Al Ogletree also praised his coaches.
“They’ve been awesome,” Al Ogletree said. “They bring new drills to practice and work really hard with the team.”
The team’s next tournament, the 16-U Firecracker tournament, will be Saturday at Rockburn Branch Park, beginning against the Maryland Crush.
For more information on the team, go to www.usssa1.com.