July 20, 2012 — The East Ky. Frenzy came out ready to play Saturday in the NSA (Nation Softball Association) State tournament with a big 8-3 win over the Central Ky. Bat Cats.
The EKY girls were led offensively by Kasey Kimbler, Maleigh McDaniel, Emily Hacker and Kaelan Frazier with three hits apiece, and Kimbler and McDaniel scoring three runs a piece.
Frenzy Head Coach Jack McDaniel said he was proud of the way his girls played over the duration of the weekend tournament.
“As a coach there really isn’t a lot I can complain about in regards to how we played,” McDaniel said. “This is a group of girls that are driven to win, and as a coach, that makes my job a whole lot easier.”
In the second game of pool play, the Frenzy continued its consistency in the batter’s box, giving an electrifying performance with an 11-4 victory over the Sidewinders allowing youngest team member Bailey Caskey to get in on a little action.
Led offensively by McDaniel and Hacker with three hits each, along with two hits each from Kasey Kimbler, Haven Ford and Carlee Caskey, enabling two runs apiece for each of the young ladies.
“Our hitting is one of our biggest strengths, and when we hit the ball well, we are hard to beat,” McDaniel said. “If these girls are hitting the ball, it becomes contagious, and they all start to pick up big hits. Solid offensive play can win you a lot of games, and it certainly helped us win this championship.”
The third outing of the night was a rematch against the Bat Cats, a game that resulted in the Frenzy’s first defeat.
Despite the loss, Kimbler and Hacker still managed to have good nights for EKY, contributing three hits apiece, while McDaniel, Ford, Frazier Kessaney Melton and Bethany Sergent each had two.
Saturday’s championship bought turned out to be a rain-filled victory of sorts for the Frenzy, as the game was cancelled early due to weather issues.
The cancellation resulted in EKY taking home the championship after a total run tally favored the Frenzy. They scored more total runs than any other team in the tournament, in essence winning the tiebreaker.
Perhaps the unspoken star of the tournament was the Frenzy’s frenetic defensive play, as it gave up only 14 runs in better than 19 innings.
McDaniel noted the impressiveness of this feat for his young squad.
“Allowing 14 runs in that many innings is pretty impressive for an 8U softball team,” McDaniel said. “These girls never quit. They battled the heat, rain, as well as the other teams. They give us 110 percent at all times and play with heart and they leave it all on the field. I don't believe I have seen many teams this age that display such a refusal to lose, and wants to win as bad as they do.”
Beginning practice in October, the newly crowned state champions are a living example of what hard work and dedication can do for a sports team.
With an undying passion to win, McDaniel said his girls have not forgotten the number one rule.
“They’ve gotten a taste of winning and they like it! But most importantly, they play by our main rule, and that is they have fun,” McDaniel said.
“I believe with winning the state title they have accomplished something that only a few have a chance to do and most would only dream of. Our infield is made up of Hacker, Caskey, McDaniel, Kimbler and Ford, with Sergent catching. Together they make the routine plays and keep the force play intact, while our outfield keeps everything in front of us. Veterans like Melton and Frazier provide a strong presence in the middle, along with Sydney Hallock and Kylie Griggs playing a solid left and right field. All these girls play a big role, and we are so proud of them.”
After winning the state championship, the EKY Frenzy traveled to Johnson City, TN to take part in the Future Stars Of Sports 2012 World Series.
The Morehead News will have more on the Frenzy’s trip to the Smokey Mountains in next Tuesday’s edition.
Grant Stevens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 784-4116.