The Portsmouth West 9/10 and 11U softball teams will both be competing in their respective state tournaments in Tallmadge, Ohio July 28th-August 4th. Their trip north this weekend comes as a result of both teams winning their District 11 championships. The 8-10 year old team defeated Symmes Valley to secure their place at the state tournament on the backs of a Maci Bradford one hit performance, while the 11U team defeated Fairland in their championship game of the District 11 tournament. Four teams will play for the chance to become state champs in the 11U field, while eight teams compete in the 9/10 year old division.
Head coach of the 11U team Shad Ford know his girls are really excited about their opportunity to possibly win a state championship. “They’re excited to bond with their friends” said Ford, “It brings you together when you get to spend time with each other”. As showcased by the Wheelersburg Little League softball team, the representatives of Ohio in the Central Region tournament, pitching is crucial to a team’s overall success, and Ford knows that. “You’ve got to throw strikes” said Ford, “Walks will kill you as a team, even if it’s in the major leagues”. The 11U team from West Portsmouth will open their state tournament play against Cuyahoga Falls South, Saturday morning at 10 a.m. They are joined in the tournament by Fairland, and the host team Tallmadge.
For Brandon Entler’s 9/10 year old team to be successful at the state level, he knows his pitching staff will have to continue their excellent play from the district tournament. “Our pitching is the strength of our team” said Entler, “We have four pitchers, if one girl isn’t on, we can throw someone else out there. They all have their different strengths.” On the offensive side of the ball, Entler knows his girls have the capability to do what’s necessary to bring home a championship. “If we go up there and hit the ball, don’t strike out, put the ball in play, and get our bunts down” said Entler, “I think we come home with a state title”. The 9/10 year old team will open their week of double elimination play against Ashtabula, Saturday morning at 10 a.m.
Anyone wishing to follow along with either team can download the “Tourney Machine” app on their smart phone or visit tourneymachine.com and search for “Tallmadge, OH”. The results will show a page for both 8-10 and 9-11 year old Little League state tournaments. Both teams representing District 11 in their age groups have a page where you can follow along with their scores in real time.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT