The Milky Way dynastyPublished 10:31pm Wednesday, July 3, 2013
A group of girls, including Suffolk’s Trish Webb and Lauren Maddrey, has been winning state softball championships together since they were under 10-years-old, and they recently added a third.
The Galaxy Fastpitch 18U-Black squad, featuring no one over the age of 16, went 6-0 against older competition to win the recent ASA Class A Virginia State Championship in Virginia Beach. This qualified the team for the national championship tournament in Salem at the end of this month.
“They’ve been taught the game, and they love playing it, and they like to win,” Galaxy 18U-Black head coach Bill Terry said.
He explained that he moved the girls up to the 18U level “to literally push them to play some better competition.”
The Galaxy squad of 10 players, has four 16-year-olds, three 15-year-olds (including Webb), and three 14-year-olds (including Maddrey).
Webb, whose defense was instrumental in beating the Storm, offered an explanation for her team’s success: “Our team has definitely been through a lot together, so we have a really good bond, and we work really well together.”
“We’re a young team and a small team, but it doesn’t stop us,” she said. “We have a lot of power.”
The team has shown Terry no reason why it cannot tackle advanced challenges. It won back-to-back state championships at the 10U level of the National Softball Association and then claimed an NSA national championship at the 14U level last year.
Terry said the Amateur Softball Association of America is stricter than the NSA, featuring stiffer competition. The ASA is the national governing body of softball.
To win the ASA state title, the Galaxy first won its two pool play games and then four straight in the double-elimination tourney. The fourth win, a 3-2 decision over the Storm, forced the Richmond team to the losers bracket. It recovered to face the Galaxy in a doubleheader for the championship, but injuries caused the Storm to forfeit.
The key to the pivotal 3-2 victory came when the other team was at bat, Terry said.
“We’ve got really good pitching, but our defense is just a phenomenal defense,” he said. “We don’t get very many runs scored on us.”
Indeed, the Galaxy gave up only three runs in the whole tourney. While two of them were courtesy of the Storm, Terry said, “That team was scoring 10 plus runs in the tournament, per game.”
“Sydney (Gay) and Trish are such a huge help with their pitching,” Lauren Maddrey said.
Terry noted that each pitcher had her strengths. Gay, a 15-year-old from Carrollton, is what he called a strikeout pitcher.
“Trish Webb has a pitch that keeps the ball on the ground, so the defense can play,” he said.
While Maddrey was used to taking the mound for Nansemond River High School, Terry praised her for her play on the Galaxy that came primarily in the outfield.
When Webb is not pitching, she plays third base. Richmond featured seven left-handed hitters, including six slappers, according to Terry, and they used speed to score a lot of runs. Nevertheless, Webb thwarted them with six putouts of her own in that game.
The Galaxy 18U-Black squad will soon head to Salem for the ASA/USA Girls’ Class A Fast Pitch National Championship, running July 28 to