MOUNT VERNON — A+ Autobrokers made a clean sweep of the 16 & Under Mount Vernon Girls Softball League Tournament at Memorial Park this weekend, winning the championship over Parkside Restaurant, 10-6, on Sunday afternoon. The title capped off a 4-0 run by A+, which finished 11-1 in the regular season to win the league title.
“This team is unbelievable,” said A+ Autobrokers coach Buddy Harwell. “All through the season, no matter if we were behind the whole game and had to come through in the last inning or we’ve led all the way through, this is a team that battles. We are versatile and hit throughout the lineup like we did today. It is just unbelievable.”
Parkside won the flip for home-field advantage, and A+ Autobrokers broke out the bats first in the championship game. A one-out walk to Bailie Harwell and a double by Tori Flemming turned into the first runs of the game when Kylee Plank followed with a single to center.
A couple of hits and an error helped Parkside knot the score at 2 in the bottom of the first. Megan Peterson singled with one out, and moved to third after Brit Jones reached on an error. Sierra Williams drove them both in with a single to right field.
From there, A+ continued to plate runs while Parkside couldn’t come up with the timely hits. Lacy Ross reach on an error and scored on an RBI groundout by Alex Pytrie in the second to put A+ back on top, and another run each from Harwell and Flemming put A+ ahead, 4-2, after three innings.
A+ Autobrokers pulled ahead by three in the fourth inning after a fielder’s choice, a wild pitch and passed ball left Katie McClain at third. Ashton Bowens hit an RBI single to score McClain and make the 5-2 lead.
“They find a way to win,” coach Harwell said. “The offense takes care of itself. We didn’t have to play little ball. We just let the girls swing. My hat’s off to Parkside. They had a long day.”
Down but not out, Parkside mounded a comeback in the bottom of the fourth. Hannah Snyder reached on a fielder’s choice, and Katy Truax followed with a single to right. A strikeout by Flemming gave A+ two outs, but Brittney Metcalfe hit a double down the left field line to score Snyder and Truax. Flemming struck out the next batter, who reached on a passed ball, and then ended the inning with another strikeout.
Flemming led off the fifth with her third hit of the game, and A+ got one run back when Haley Finnell singled to drive her in. Parkside wasn’t down, however.
In the bottom of the inning, Hannah Lamoure singled with one out and Peterson hit into a fielder’s choice after a flyout by Tori Haldeman. Lamoure and Peterson were both safe, however, setting the table for Jones, who singled to left-center field. The hit drove in Lamoure, and moved Peterson around to third, where she then scored from on a passed ball. to make it a one-run game. Jones made it all the way around to third before a popout ended the inning.
“We played hard the whole tournament,” said Parkside Restaurant coach Ken Jones. “The girls gave it their all and did the best they could. Against a good team, we had to play our best and I think we did.”
Sensing a slide in the momentum, A+ Autobrokers slammed the door shut on Parkside with three more runs in the sixth inning, all coming with two outs. Pytrie singled to lead off the inning and Bowens singled with one out. Harwell then hit into a fielder’s choice, which wiped Pytrie from the base paths. Flemming reach on an error, however, and Bowens raced home. Plank then came through with her second two-RBI single of the game to make it 10-6 lead.
“I thought 5-2 would win the game for us,” said coach Harwell. “I told them before the game, ‘Girls, you give me three runs and we’ll win this game.’ Our defense was a little lacks; it could have been a little better, but I’ll take what I can get.
“We need that padding (we got in the sixth). I told the girls we needed some runs just because of the way our defense had been playing. I thought if we could get up by two, we would be fine, but these girls never cease to amaze me.”
In all, A+ Autobrokers had 11 hits to Parkside’s eight.
“We knew they were going to hit; this was the third time we’ve played them this year,” said coach Jones. “We just had to play good defense, and for the most part, we did that. ... We were getting tired, but when you get in the loser’s bracket, you expect that. We hung in there and did well. ... I’m proud of the girls. They gave it their all.”
Complete results from the tournament will appear in a future edition of the News.