June 9 – North Ridgeville
By Terra Carlson
The 14U Elite girls fast pitch softball team competed in the Field of Dreams Tournament in Boardman recently, coming out on top in the action. The team posted impressive wins on their way to the title.
It was the team’s first tournament of the season, but their second tournament title in a row, having won their last tournament of the previous season.
The Elite girls team is comprised of girls from the Lorain County area and is coached by Matt Thomas and Kenny Smith.
During the Field of Dreams Tournament, Elite outscored their opponents by a score of 45-9. The team played solid offensively and defensively on their way to the victories.
Elite defeated the Ohio Majic before losing to the Pittsburgh Power and the Ohio Dynamite by one run each. After these games the team began single elimination play.
In the first game of single elimination the girls defeated the Lady Bulldogs by a score of 16-1. They followed up by defeating the Silver Creek Stars by a score of 12-2 and the Mad Dogs in an 8-4 game.
Elite went on to the championship game and once again faced the Pittsburgh Power. They came out on top this time by a score of 9-2, giving them the championship title. Elite came out on top of the tourney’s 10 teams to go home with the title.
Leading the team in pitching was North Ridgeville freshman Kailey DeMarco, who just finished her freshman season on the Lady Rangers’ varsity softball team.
“I am very proud of this team,” DeMarco said. “When you have a defense and an offense like the Elites do, it’s much easier on the pitchers because we know what’s behind us. When one struggles, the other is there to pick it up.”
DeMarco feels that what sets the Elite apart from other team’s is the wide range of talent they have. They have many players that can step up at any moment and bail the team out if they are struggling.
“All of our teammates stepped up, but Patty Davis (an Elyria player who missed games because of regional play), came back on Sunday and put two over the fence,” DeMarco said. “Amanda Beursken also put one over the fence. Defensively everyone stepped up. We just have a solid infield and outfield.”
What may have been more exciting for DeMarco and her family than the tournament itself is what happened outside of the game. DeMarco met her cousin, Maura for the first time ever at the tournament.
DeMarco had pitched an entire game against her cousin who played for the Pittsburgh Power, and did not even know it until after the game. DeMarco’s mother, Ronda, knew she had a cousin whose daughter played softball in Pittsburgh, and happened to run into her after the game.
“Meeting my cousin for the first time was probably one the most memorable things about this tournament for me,” DeMarco said. “When you play tournament ball you miss out on a lot.”
DeMarco admits that she had mixed emotions about defeating her cousin in the championship game, but knows it’s just all part of the competition.
“After I met Maura, I felt kind of bad for striking her out, but that’s part of the game,” DeMarco said. “We can be family and friends after the game, but during it, she’s just another batter on the other team. I took more than a victory away from this weekend, I also took away a wonderful family memory.”