- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A trip to the World Series has its perks.
Getting a chance to meet the United States Specialty Sports Association’s professional softball team members was one of the many advantages to the experience for a local 16-and under softball team.
The Impact, a Division B fastpitch softball team managed by David Logan, traveled to Orlando, Fla. to take part in the USSSA World Series July 21 to 28.
Impact has members from all three Southern Maryland counties. Members include Emily Subocz, Emily Guare, Emily Estep, Tori Rice, Brooke Logan, Danielle Padgett, Lindsey Morris, Allision Bauguess, Lori Sturgill, Melanie Lawton, Audrey Nealis, Sydney Tippett and Michaela Young. Along with Logan, the coaching staff includes Mark Lawton, Chris Estep, Joe Padgett and pitching coach Wayne Gardner.
“The opening ceremonies were held in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Champion Stadium. It was very exciting to see all the teams there together,” Logan said. “During the week, the teams were visited by some of the USSSA Pride professional softball players. The girls asked questions on how to get to the next level and what is expected of them as players. They really came away with some very good insight and knowledge on what they are looking for at the college level as well as the pros.”
Impact finished tied with three other teams for 13th place in the Division B with a total of 39 placement slots in the World Series. The team went 3-4-1. The World Series consisted of teams from all over the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.
Impact scored 26 runs in the tournament and averaged 3.25 runs per game. The maximum number of runs the team gave up in a single game was six.
“We played teams from Texas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and Canada,” Logan said. “Last year we took 25th, so we are very pleased on our position this year. We wish we could have a game or two back that got away from us. That would have put us in the top 10.”
Impact started the tournament in the loss column after back-to-back losses, first to St. Charles Pride of St. Charles, Ill., 8-6, then it was shut out 4-0 by the Carolina Sharks.
Battling back, Impact tied with the Tigers of Mississauga North, 2-2. At 0-2-1, Impact needed a win to continue and a 6-0 shutout over the Texas Turn gave the team its first win of the tournament. Another win came against Texas Shockwave in a 4-2 battle to bring the team’s tournament record to 2-2-1.
Impact took another loss to Cordele Craze, but turned around to beat Lancaster 4-3 for a momentum shifter. At 3-3-1, the team’s final game was a 10-3 loss to the Lady Buckeyes.
Tippett, who played center field, said she really enjoyed playing teams that she knew nothing about.
“It was a good experience,” Tippett said. “Our team didn’t come out as high on top as I thought we should, but we got to play teams that we would have never played before. It’s just better to branch out and play teams from Canada and you get to play to your full potential and see what you’re really made of.”
Tippett enjoyed the question and answer time with the professional players from the USSSA.
“One of my questions was about what they’re motivation was and what we needed to do to get into college,” she said.
Tippett, in her first World Series experience, said she is thankful to her coaches for putting up with the wins and losses and giving them the opportunity to go to Florida. Tippett won’t be returning to Impact next year as she’ll be graduating from La Plata High School and focusing on college.
Logan said his pitchers did an outstanding job and remained poised in the circle.
“While all the pressure was on them to perform, our pitchers Danielle Padgett, Melanie Lawton, Lori Sturgill and Lindsey Morris did a great job,” Logan said. “Emily Subocz did most of our behind the plate work as well as Allison Bauguess. These girls deserve a lot of credit to be behind the plate with all the gear and temperatures that were extremely hot.”
Logan praised his defense as well.
“Our infielders Emily Estep, Melanie Lawton, Audrey Nealis and Michaela Young did an outstanding job. The teams we were facing were skilled and quick. Our girls were able on several occasions to get the lead runners at third and second base. Our outfielders Sydney Tippett, Emily Guare and Allison Bauguess really helped us out getting under the ball when needed and getting the ball in to stop a runner from advancing.”
Tori Rice and Brooke Logan traveled with the team but did not play due to injury. They assisted the team in keeping them motivated and the coaches educated on upcoming opponents.
“We had a great time in Orlando and the girls will have a memory of a lifetime.” Logan said.