Orion Hunter Fastpitch team wins championship

Published 7:50 pm Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Members of the Orion Hunter fastpitch softball team include: front row, from left, Macey Carroll, Morgan Murphy, Ally Copeland, Rylee Strother, E.J. Bankson, Addy Greene and Logan Saunders; middle row, from left, Lauren Strother, Makayla Burks, Brooke Woodworth, Megan Lee, Lauren Vanassche and Kayla Liske; and back row, from left, coach Larry Murphy, coach Debbie Saunders, coach Ted Lee and Coach Tommy Brinn.

Orion Hunter Fastpitch Softball 10-and-under won the Virginia State Championships in Salem, hosted by Virginia NSA Fastpitch.

The girls played 67 innings, 10 games and more than 25 hours of softball in two days to win. Out of 12 teams, Orion Hunter 10U finished with a tournament record of 9-1 in the A Division, coming back after their only loss to win seven straight games, six of those in one day, to win the state championship.

Veteran NSA Tournament Director, Mike Walthall told OH coaches he had never seen a team come back from the loser’s bracket and win the championship in more than 20 years of experience.

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Including this state championship, the Orion Hunter 10U team has won 10 championships since their year started last August. In the fall 2011 season, they were four-time 10U champions, with a record of 26-3-1. Their spring and summer 2012 record to date is 44-8-1.

In addition to the six 10U championships earned in the 2012 spring/summer season, the OH 10U team also placed second in the 10U North Carolina USSSA State Championship, third in the 10U Pennsylvania Memorial Day Madness championship and third in the Gold Bracket of the 12U Tidewater Showstopper tournament.

The mission of the Club is to provide a structure for female fastpitch players of above-average talent and ability to develop, hone and showcase their skills, talents and abilities. The club provides a supervised program of instruction, practice and tournament participation.

Corporate sponsors of the fastpitch organization are Ringor, Louisville Slugger and Miller’s Neigborhood Market. GSTEK Inc. also sponsored the 10U team recently with a donation of a night’s hotel stay for each family during the long weekend at the state championship tournament in Salem.

Orion Hunter Fastpitch Softball is one of the oldest, well known and successful fastpitch softball programs in the state. Several Orion Hunter players made their respective All-Conference or District teams in high school for the 2011-2012 year and all of its high school and middle school players made their school teams.

Orion Hunter is a multi-state softball program with players coming from North Carolina, the Eastern Shore and the Hampton Roads area. As a result of the success of the OH organization, the 2012-2013 Orion Hunter season will offer an expansion of teams, including two 18U teams, as well as 16U, 14U, 12U, 11U and 10U teams.

The organization is also looking for experienced travel softball coaches to coach or manage some of these new teams. Email Rob Matkins, president, at rdm.orionhunter@verizon.net to inquire about coaching opportunities, and email Larry Murphy, vice president, at gplmiv@gmail.com for more information about the Orion Hunter Fastpitch Softball program.