In only their second tournament since the team formed in February, the Sox 10U Softball team played into the early morning hours Sunday to bring home the championship.
Coach Mary Grace Turner took her team to Wiggins for the GSSA Summer Shootout, their second tournament as play has started back up in Mississippi. Last weekend the team played in Louisiana to open their summer season, coming away with a win in their first game before finishing with a 1-3 record. Fast forward a week, and it started to come together for this new team.
The tournament started off with a tough game on Saturday morning against the Southern Select. Both teams put up five runs in the 1st inning, with the Sox matching the Southern Select in the bottom of the inning. With one out, back-to-back singles from Ella Grace Boutwell and Ansleigh Whiddon followed by a walk earned by Brooklyn Boggs loaded the bases. Anna Claire Bass drew another walk to score Boutwell before Kloe Stringer reached first on an error to score Whiddon to move the score to 5-2. McKenley Allen pulled another 3-2 walk after starting the at bat down 0-2, scoring the third run, then Bella Thompson drew a four pitch walk to bring it to a one run game. Ellie Miller put the ball in play with one out to grab an RBI as Stringer scored on the ground out to first base to tie the game in the first, 5-5. The Southern Select answered in the top of the second with a run to retake the lead and the win, 6-5.
The Sox bounced back in Game 2 of the tournament with Kynlee Speed in the circle. A lead off walk to the Gulf Coast Angels scored on a hit-by-pitch with one out before the defense settled in, ending the inning with a strikeout and ground out to keep the score 1-0. The Sox answered with a run in the bottom of the inning, drawing three walks as Kynlee Speed, Ansleigh Whiddon and Brooklyn Boggs all showed patience at the plate, with Speed scoring on a passed ball from third to tie the game. The Angels added another run in the second before the Sox took the lead in the bottom of the second. McKenley Allen earned a one-out walk, then three consecutive hits by Kynlee Speed, Ella Grace Boutwell and Ansleigh Whiddon resulted in two runs scoring, ending the inning with a 3-2 lead. The Angels took advantage of a couple of walks in the top of the last inning to tie the game at 3 each. A walk off double by Kynlee Speed locked down the win for Sox. Bella Thompson drew a walk with one out and Kloe Stringer singled with two out to bring up Speed, who jumped on the second pitch of the at-bat, driving it to center field and scoring Thompson for the dramatic ending to the game.
Next up the Sox faced the Surge on Saturday night, using a huge third inning to pull out the win. The Surge opened the scoring in the bottom of the first to take a 1 run lead with Brooklyn Boggs in the circle. Neither team scored in the second as Boggs struck out two batters and recorded the third out fielding a pop up on the infield. The Sox took control of the game in the top of third as the first three batters loaded the bases. Kynlee Speed started the inning with a single before Ella Grace Boutwell reached first on an error and Ansleigh Whiddon lined a pitch to right field to load them up. Speed scored on the error to tie the game, then Brooklyn Boggs drove the second pitch of her at-bat to right field for a double, picking up two RBI as Boutwell and Whiddon scored. Anna Claire Bass earned a walk and Ellie Miller forced an error with a hard hit to third, scoring Bass and taking a 4-1 lead with no outs. McKenley Allen singled on a hard ground ball to center to keep the scoring going as Miller and Thompson both scored. Kynlee Speed picked up a hit with two outs to record the 7th run of the inning, driving in McKenley Allen - with the Sox ending the inning with a comfortable 7-1 lead. The Surge tried to mount a comeback, scoring four runs in the bottom of third before Brooklyn Boggs ended the game with a strikeout and the win, 7-5...and the Sox went to the finals with the edge as the Gulf Coast Angels had to win both games to knock the Sox out of the championship.
The first game of the championship round, starting at 11:00 PM, saw the Angels pick up their own 7-5 victory over the Sox. The Angels grabbed a quick lead in the top of the 1st 1-0, but the Sox answered in their half with three runs. The first run was picked up as the Sox drew four consecutive walks to Kynlee Speed, Ella Grace Boutwell, Ansleigh Whiddon and Brooklyn Bass. Emma Pope picked up an RBI with a ground out to short and scoring Boutwell. Ellie Miller earned an RBI with a ground out to first base, scoring Whiddon before Bass was caught stealing home with the Sox ending the inning with a 3-1 lead. The Angels edges closer with a run in the top of the second and held the Sox scoreless in the bottom of the inning. They took the lead in the top of the 3rd, scoring five runs without recording a hit to send the Sox to the plate in the bottom of the last inning down 7-3. The Sox picked up two runs in the last inning, Kynlee Speed scoring after walking to lead off the inning as Ansleigh Whiddon reached on an error. She later came around to score on a passed ball with Emma Pope at the plate, but it was not enough as the Angels forced a final game with the Sox for the championship.
The final game kicked off at 12:45 AM Sunday morning with the Sox holding the Home spot on the scoreboard. The Angels started the scoring in the first with a lead off walk and hit to take a 1-0 lead. Kynlee Speed recorded a strikeout from the pitcher's circle to end the inning. The Sox took the lead for good in the bottom of the first as Ella Grace Boutwell lined a base hit to center and Ansleigh Whiddon walked to put two on with no outs. Boutwell reached third on a couple of wild pitches before scoring on another wild pitch to tie the game. With Emma Pope at the plate, Whiddon scored on another wild pitch and Emma Pope drew a walk with two outs as the Sox went to the top of the final inning with a 2-1 lead. It was three up, three down to earn the championship as Anna Claire Bass struck out two batters, and induced a ground ball to first base to give the Sox Softball 10U team their first tournament championship in just their second tournament.
Notes...Sox Softball are now 4-4 on the season...played the Gulf Coast Angels three times to earn the championship...Brooklyn Boggs (batting .500) and Kynlee Speed (.462) lead the team with six hits each...Kynlee Speed leads all pitchers with a 1.24 ERA in 9 2/3 innings pitched, recording 11 strikeouts.
Sox Softball Director: Haley Sones
Coach: Mary Grace Turner
Assistant Coach: Kendal Daniels
Visit the Sox Softball WEBSITE for more information about the Sox Softball Program and P360 Performance Sports.
Haley Sones, Director: Haley.Sones@p360performancesports.com
P360 Performance Sports: Info@p360performancesports.com