blues-nc-stae-games-tournament-win-6-28-09The 16U Carolina Blues claimed the “gold” for the second time in three weeks, this past weekend, winning the champions trophy in the 16U NSA North Carolina State Games!  The girls won five out of six games, outscoring their opponents 28-14, in total runs scored in the six games, including a closely fought defensive battle, beating the Coastal BigStix, 1-0, in the final championship contest.  The girls battled back from a first game loss to win five in a row in bringing home the crown.
There were many moments of high drama and superb individual accomplishments, at the dusty, hot, sun drenched fields at Nevin Park in North Charlotte:  Brittany Spears led the pitching efforts with five appearances, chalking up three wins, one loss, and a save, striking out 15 in 17 innings.  Her earned run average was a meager 1.65 as she tamed the opposing hitters.
Heather Darr was the hitting star, driving in seven runs with two doubles,  and a grand slam home run in the final inning of the semi-final match.  Her second double drove home the winning run in the 1-0 thriller to win the tournament.  Katie Pearsall hit .500 for the tournament with a triple, scored four runs, and stole two bases.  Sarah Campbell, the newest member of the team, had an outstanding defensive play, rifling home a bullet from center field, on a line shot single to center by a Coastal BigStix hitter, to Blues catcher  Shea Shefte, who tagged out the potential tying run, sliding in a cloud of dust to help preserve the slim 1-0 victory.  On an earlier play , Shea tagged out another runner on an attempted Firestix squeeze play, with a throw to home, right on the money by winning pitcher, Sophie Moore.
In this tournament, the long hours of practice and infield drills payed off defensively, as shortstop Lauren Brizendine, led the infield with six putouts and 10 assists, initiating a big 6-4-3 double play that took the starch out of the BigStix sails and ended a potential rally in the  sixth inning of the championship game.
The girls have a well deserved week off before heading up to Roanoke, Virginia, for the NSA Girls’ Fast Pitch World Series, July 11th-16th where they will face off against teams from throughout the Eastern US.  It promises to be a fun, game filled week as the Blues will be playing tough teams from all over, every day. Hopefully, gaining confidence as they advance in the winners bracket, and bringing home the “gold” once again!