By John Dross
The Creeks Crushers 8U softball team won the Babe Ruth Florida State Championship, held June 23 – 27 in Lake City, Fla. During the five-day tournament, the Crushers faced little resistance as they finished with a record of 5 – 0 and outscored their opponents by a combined total of 58 – 20.
In Game 1, the Crushers faced off against the Oviedo Blaze. After giving up five runs in the first inning, the Crushers’ bats came alive, scoring 11 unanswered runs on their way to a 17 – 9 victory. The offensive efforts were led by Isla Kruayai and Braylee Rosette, who each collected five hits.
In Game 2, against the Wrigley 8U All Stars, the Crushers pounded out 10 runs on 19 hits, while allowing only two runs to the opposition. The defense was the key to victory, as the Crushers only allowed nine hits to Wrigley. Chloe Harkins and Grace Cordero played outstanding defense and collected multiple hits each to lead the way.
In Game 3, the Crushers cruised to a 12 – 6 victory against the Lutz All Stars. Lorelei Bascelli, Jordan Williams, and Camyrn Kruayai shined on offense with big hits late in the contest to put the game out of reach.
In Game 4, the Crushers faced off against the Debary All Stars. A tightly contested ballgame through the first three innings quickly turned in favor of the Crushers with a six run explosion in the bottom of the fourth inning. Avery Brown led the charge with an RBI single to open the scoring. The Crushers’ suffocating defense was the difference in the game. The Crushers’ catcher, Ella Hofrichter, was the star of the game on defense. A late charge by Debary was thwarted by a tremendous play behind the plate to stop a would-be rally. With a final score of 13 – 3, the Crushers set the tone heading into the championship game.
The championship game was a rematch against the Wrigley All Stars. The Crushers collected six runs on 17 hits in the contest. Once again, the Crushers displayed outstanding defense, shutting out the Wrigley All Stars while allowing only five total hits. Timely hitting by the Crushers was the key to victory. Emma Ash belted two doubles, leading the team in extra base hits. Georgia Griffin came through in the clutch with a two-run triple in the fifth inning to extend the Crushers lead to 5 – 0. This was followed by an RBI single from Aubrey Dross to all but seal the victory.
Along with the State Championship, the Crushers now have the opportunity to represent the state of Florida in the Babe Ruth National Championship Tournament to be held in late July.
Photo courtesy John Dross
The Creeks Crushers are the 8 and under 2022 State Champions.