A group of local softball players are celebrating after winning a national championship last week as members of the Lady Rebels ’08.
The travel ball team competed in the 12u National Tournament in Ocean City, Maryland.
Shane Ball is the head coach of the team and the head coach of the Carrollton Varsity softball team. He said the success the team saw was thanks to the coaches and players.
“I was able to surround myself with the most amazing coaches and really talented young ladies,” he said. “It seemed that every time we were together, I learned something new about the game, either by the players or the coaches, even the parents sometimes.”
The team entered the national tournament with an overall record of 27-15-1.
“This tournament was the completion of our season, it was a vacation on the beach and a tournament all in one,” said Coach Ball. “The girls couldn’t believe that I found a field and held a practice on Tuesday since they were on vacation. We had 3 pool play games on Wednesday and started double elimination bracket play on Thursday. I explained that if they win, they only play one game per day equaling more beach time.”
The girls won their games Thursday and Friday but lost in their opening bracket game on Saturday, dropping the team down to the losers’ bracket.
The team battled back, playing and winning four back-to-back seven inning games in 80+ degree weather.
“The puzzle pieces all come together, the girls finally bought into what the coaches were selling all year,” Coach Ball said. “They played with heart and grit to get the final Win.
They really had to dig deep; it was absolutely brutal conditions in the end. These girls were mentally and physically cashed but came together as one team.”
Coach Ball called the national championship moment one of the most memorable moments of his life.
The team consisted of: Coach Shane Ball; Gabby Mann – Indian Valley; Kearsten Ball – Carrollton; Elli Wallick – Tusky Valley; Lily Lyons – Manchester; Bailey Prater – Upper Sandusky; Alexa Kelley – Revere; Coach Jeremy Bolon; Brennen Reichman- Tusky Valley; Ava Williams – Conotton Valley; Ashlynn Bolon – Indian Valley; Coach Andy Reichman; Jenica Frutig – Claymont; Brooklyn Marchette – Brimfield; and Coach Mike Lyons.
The Lady Rebels ’08 finished the national tournament with a batting average of .412, 99 hits, 10 doubles, 12 triples, 47 stolen bases and 75 strikeouts.