By CINDY CROSBY
The 16U Badkatz went 5-2 in the USA Softball East Coast Nationals held July 17-19 at Tyger River Park in Spartanburg to earn the runner-up title in the gold division. The team went undefeated in pool play to move into brackets in a 15-team field.
In a 6-0 shutout in game one against Tennessee Pride Fastpitch, Aaliyah Williams and Whitley Weathers combined in the circle across five innings to throw a combined one-hitter. Weathers notched four strikeouts and Williams had two of her own. Shandi Brown was 2-2 at the plate, scoring twice and Karson Hiott was also 2-2. Becca Martin was 1-2 with a 2-RBI double and scored. Josie Self was 1-3 with 2-RBI’s and a homerun.
Against the VA Scrappers in game two, Weathers went the distance to earn the 5-2 win allowing one earned run on three hits across four innings, striking out six. Amberly Way was 1-2 with a 2-RBI homerun in the game. Mykenzie Overton and Josie Self had a hit each.
Saturday bracket play found the Badkatz facing the Georgia Outlaws in the opening round. Weathers earned the 5-3 win across four innings of work, allowing two hits and three runs while striking out four. Way had a 2-RBI homer in the bottom of the first to drive in Overton, who tripled with one out. Taylor Tomedolskey went 2-2 in the game with an RBI and Self went 2-2, scoring once. Williams, Brown, Weathers and Martin had a hit each.
Weathers hurled a no-hitter in a 6-0 win over Carolina Thunder in game two Saturday. She went eight innings, allowing no runs while striking out five and issuing no walks. Overton led at the plate going 2-4 with 3-RBI’s and scoring once. Williams, Way and Weathers had hits.
The Badkatz suffered their first loss of the tournament Sunday in a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Team NC (Lincolnton, N.C.) Weathers and Williams combined in the circle allowing three earned runs on five hits across four-and-one-third innings of work. Williams notched four strikeouts in the game. Josie Self had the only hit in the game for the Badkatz.
In semi-final competition, the Badkatz defeated Carolina Thunder Black 5-3. Weathers earned the win in five innings, allowing one earned run on seven hits. Self was 2-2 with an RBI. Williams and Martin had a hit each in the contest.
Facing Team NC for the gold bracket championship, the Badkatz fell 8-0. Williams earned the start and pitched two-and-two-thirds innings allowing five earned runs on five hits. Weathers closed and allowed one earned run on three hits. Williams produced the only offense of the game in a single during the third inning.
On day one of the tournament, four players competed in the optional 4-Player Relay Event and placed first in the event. Makayla Chisolm, Mykenzie Overton, Shandi Brown and Aaliyah Williams ran the fastest time in the history of the event at Tyger River.
“Our game Saturday night against the Carolina Thunder was as an exciting game as I have ever coached,” said Coach Tiger Martin. “Aaliyah Williams’ diving catch was a thing of beauty. I am immensely proud of the girls showing in this tournament. It was one of the more solid fields we have competed against.”