Lightning 12U wins WFC Spring Fling
by Cindy Crosby | April 15, 2016 12:42 am
The Lowcountry Lightning 12U softball team returned to action this past weekend. In their first outing of year, the Lightning went undefeated to captured the championship in the WFC Spring Fling held at Ace Basin Sports Complex the weekend of April 9-10. With 10 teams in the single elimination tournament, the Lightning would eliminate half of the competition on the way to the championship.
According to Coach Tiger Martin, the Lightning exceeded his expectations in the event. “We have not had a single full team practice this year,” said Martin. “Most of our girls are playing school ball, so we’ve avoided too many practices. I think we have an excellent roster this year, but coming into the tournament untested, I wasn’t sure how we’d gel. The girls performed well on both sides of the ball and we attribute that to the softball programs at Colleton County, Colleton Prep, Andrew Jackson and Berkley High School. They came in well-prepared and ready to play.”
The Lightning would earn a win and then tie during drop-dead rule pool play. In game one of bracket play, they would defeat the Fire 12-0. Whitley Weathers faced six batters in the circle for the Lightning, earning six K’s, before giving way to Muriel Jowers in relief. Leading the offensive effort was Karson Hiott, who ignited a two out rally in the first to plate five runs. Haley Bootle and Elaney Sanders provided multiple hits in the game.
Weathers earned another win in the circle against the SC Riptide. She would allow just one hit in the first two innings. Taylor Tomedolskey, Julie Bryan and Avery Peek each had extra base hits in the 10-1 win.
In a 6-0 win over the Carolina Mojo in game three, the Lightning would rely on a strong defensive effort in the fourth to get the shut-out. The Mojo led off with a single and a double, but outfielder, Avery Peek, would keep the damage to a minimal with a strong throw to home; holding the runners. Weathers would get a strikeout and a ground ball to get out the inning. The Lightning offense came alive in the bottom of the third when Peek singled, followed by a double by Bridges and a Taylor Tomedolskey two RBI single. Hiott and Bootle also singled in the inning.
Martin cited the defensive effort of his players in the game. “In the fourth inning, Bootle charged a bunt so aggressively from her third base position, she almost tagged the batter out herself,” he acknowledged. “Instead she got the out to first baseman, Jowers, who then fired back to Tomedolskey at third; catching the runner advancing. It was a perfectly executed play. Then later in the game, Hiott caught a line-drive and fired to first to double-off a runner. The defensive execution was exceptional. You don’t shut out that team 6-0 without playing some good ball.”
Against the Palmetto Power, it was a scoreless ballgame until the bottom of the second when Becca Martin hit a stand-up triple to right field and then crossed home plate on a single by Julie Bryan. The Power plated three runs in the top of the third, but the Lightning had an answer in Jowers; who narrowed the lead with a solo homerun to center.
In a back-and-forth contest, the game would be tied at the bottom of the sixth. “Bootle’s leadoff walk in the bottom set off a bizarre chain of events,” said Martin. “She made her way to third on a steal and a fielder’s choice. The Power then opted to walk the bases loaded, which sounds much easier than it proved to be. Following a walk by Sanders, Becca Martin would watch the third pitch sail over the catcher’s head, allowing Bootle to steal home and send us to the championship game.”
The Lightning would face the Palmetto Blazers for the championship in a rematch of the 2-2 tie during pool play. Weathers would go to work in the circle for the Lightning and earn the 5-1 win. “The Blazers were able to put the ball in play against Weathers, but our defense remained solid,” said Martin. “She was able to get the timely strikeout when we needed it.”
Leading the offensive effort in the championship was Hiott, Bootle, Weathers, Martin, Peek and Tomedolskey. “We are obviously very proud of all the girls,” said Martin. “They whole team played very sound ball this weekend. We are definitely lucky to have two great pitchers in Whitley and Muriel, but this weekend was about the whole team and each and every player contributed to the effort. We were so happy to be able to play in front of so many family and friends here in our hometown.”
The Lowcountry Lightning 12U is coached by Martin, Mark Tomedolskey, Clark Hiott and Andy Weathers.