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Galaxy’s caps long season as state champs

College baseball and softball programs play in the neighborhood of 50 or 60 games per season.

The Galaxy 10-and-under softball squad, which is based out of Chuckatuck, has played 82 games in the past 10 months.

More impressively than simply being on the field practically all the time, or at least seemingly every weekend, the Galaxy 10U team has brought home seven tournament titles from last fall to a week ago when the Galaxy finished its season by taking third place at the PONY East Zone Nationals in Wilmington, Del.

In June, the Galaxy won the PONY 10-and-under state championship, topping five other travel softball squads in a tourney in Chesapeake.

The 24-team tournament in Delaware brought teams together from Michigan to New England down the east coast to Virginia. The Galaxy won seven games before falling in the national semifinals 10-6 to Team Michigan. Team Michigan went on to win the title.

“We were extremely sharp in the first and were hitting the ball well, unfortunately we left the bases loaded in four of six innings,” said Galaxy 10U head coach Keith Biando.

The 7-2 record at PONY Nationals capped the Galaxy’s 2009-10 record at 59-19-4. Biando said his squad beat many of the top select softball programs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey at nationals.

The 2008-09 Galaxy 10U team placed fifth in the NSA (National Softball Association) Nationals in Chattanooga, Tenn., but only two players from that team returned for this season’s Galaxy team.

Each August the Galaxy teams, from 10-and-under up to 18U, form, so including tryouts and practices, it’s nearly a 12-month schedule for the Galaxy organization.

The Galaxy won six tournament championships in addition to the PONY state title and finishing second in the state in the NSA (National Softball Association) State Tournament. It’s the third straight season the Galaxy has won a state championship in at least one league or association.

“At the beginning of the season, very few people would have guessed that this team would have finished as PONY state champions,” said Biando. “The team worked hard, dedicated themselves to improving their softball skills.”

Through 82 games, one game over half of a Major League Baseball team’s schedule, the Galaxy combined for a .425 team batting average.

Morgan Riddle and Katelyn Biando were the team captains and led the team with batting averages over .600. Diamond Daniels hit two out-of-the-park home runs at nationals and Biando hit one homer.

Brooke Bond and Faith Crowder combined to pitch more than 250 innings with 220 strikeouts against only 95 walks, and all against the best competition, mostly against other top teams in Virginia and North Carolina. Both Bond and Crowder will be returning for the 10-and-under team this coming season. In all, five Galaxy players are coming back while six players are going up to the 12-and-under team.

“We’re very excited about the upcoming season and we expect, once again, to compete for a state and national championship,” Biando said.

The whole Galaxy organization has its annual summer camp and tryouts coming up in August. The Fourth Annual Galaxy Softball Camp is set for Aug. 4-6 at the team’s practice facility in Chuckatuck. The camp’s for 10U and 12U players.

Galaxy coaches, as well as former Galaxy players who are now playing collegiately, will be leading the camp and coaching the young players. More information can be found at galaxyfastpitch.net. More information on Galaxy tryouts, set for Aug. 10 and Aug. 12, can also be found on the team’s Web site.