YORK — The York Parks and Recreation Department’s 12U Girls’ all-star softball team defeated the Gastonia No. 1 all-star team 17-0 in the inaugural South Carolina/North Carolina Recreational All-Star Tournament championship game Friday and Saturday at Ferguson Park in Gastonia, N. C.
York pitcher Hunter Neely had a strong performance, hurling a shutout.
When the Gastonia all-stars put the ball in play, York’s defense, led by shortstop Natalee Graham, was equal to the challenge.
Graham had five putouts in the first two innings, stepping on the bag at second base and nailing the runner at first for an inning-ending double-play in the bottom of the second.
Head coach Craig Comer was all smiles after the tournament-clinching win.
“Hunter’s pitching and Natalee’s defense contributed to the win,” said Comer. “Our kids hit the ball well up and down the lineup. Several players hit with power.”
York came out swinging the bats in the top of the first inning, building an early lead and maintaining the momentum in the innings to come.
Graham, Jessa Morgan, Breonna Moss, Madison McCartney and Lizzy Miller each singled in the first-inning uprising and Kendall Dover belted a three-run triple.
Jessie Comer, whose bat sizzled throughout the tournament, reached on a single, Morgan had her second base hit and McCartney beat out an infield hit in a productive second inning for the York all-star team.
York sealed the win with a third-inning power burst, highlighted by Madalyn Sanford’s inside-the-park home run and a Moss triple.
“When you play well in all phases of the game, you’re going to win,” said Comer moments before team members dumped water and ice from a cooler on the head coach.
“I am proud of the kids,” he said. “I also want to thank assistant coaches Rusty Graham, Matt Moss and Dusty Dover for their contributions to the team.”
Cook said he looks for the Battle of the Border to grow, with more representation from South Carolina and North Carolina in future years.