Softball All-Stars want to do better this year

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Last year, the Bennetts Creek 11-12 softball All-Stars got off to a raging start at State competition. The local girls won their first two games handily, and seemed to be on their way to making it to the title game.

The night before their third game, however, something bad happened. Rather, it didn’t happen at all.

That thing was sleep. &uot;We stayed up until about three or four in the morning gambling for candy,&uot; said Alicia Williams. &uot;We played blackjack, rummy, everything.&uot;

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Hampered by tiredness, the Suffolk team lost two games the next day, and were headed home early. This year, promised Williams, they’re going to be well-prepared.

&uot;We’re ready to win and dominate!&uot; she said. &uot;We’re going to work our hardest and give 100 percent all the time.&uot;

At 6 a.m. Friday morning, Bennetts Creek will head to Bristol for state competition (ironically, their first game will be against a team from nearby Poquoson).

Getting up so early won’t bother pitcher Kristin Dudney. &uot;I have to get up for school around then,&uot; said the Smith-field Middle School student. &uot;I’ll probably fall asleep on the way there, so I’m not worried.&uot;

The tournament has pitching rules more strict that District 6, which the youngsters won on July 9 with a 10-0 victory over Wilson. A pitcher cannot pitch in more than one game per day, and teams in the loser’s bracket (the tournament is double-elimination) must play two games per day.

To cope with the pitching rules, coach Brian Wyatt loaded his team down with hurlers. Besides Dudney, Leighanne Sexton, Brooke Smith, Lindsey Wyatt, Erica Maynard and Jessica Bunch are all capable of taking the mound.

If she had to take the mound, said Maynard, &uot;I’d be nervous, because I really don’t throw a lot of strikes. But if I concentrate, I’ll be OK.&uot;