By Kate Campbell
The Albany-Berkeley Girls Softball League’s 12U travel team, Sting, won their first tournament of the year a couple of weekends ago in Vallejo. (You may remember the team from the article Michael Lewis wrote for Berkeleyside in December.)
The historical record for the Vallejo Police Activities League’s Joshua Richardson Softball Tournament, now in its 13th year, shows the top four finishing teams for every year. Looking at that record, you could be excused for thinking that the ABGSL Sting 12U had never participated. 2011 changed that, the 12U team finished second, losing by one run in the championship game. This year, Sting dominated the tournament and walked away with the first place medals and trophy. They beat the San Ramon Stompers in the semi-finals and beat the Napa Roadrunners in the championship game.
The team clicked on Sunday with a combination of strong hitting, consistent pitching and sharp fielding. The team hit well all through the lineup, with every single player notching at least one hit or RBI.
Especially strong performances at the plate were turned in by Isabel Lavrov and Adi Saaf. Lavrov was a perfect seven for seven over the two Sunday games, including a triple and a home run. Saaf got on base on five of her seven at-bats, including two doubles and three singles. Robyn Wampler pitched sharply on Sunday, collecting wins in both the semi-final and championship game.
In addition to leading the hit parade, Lavrov also turned two spectacular double plays on Sunday. On the first twin-killing, Lavrov ran to snag a low liner and then flipped the ball to Grace Rusin who read the play and hustled to cover second to complete the DP. The second double play came when a Napa hitter lashed a liner off pitcher Robyn Wampler’s glove which ricocheted to Lavrov, who snagged it and then stepped on second, doubling off a runner and snuffing a rally.
Team highlights: Quinn Lewis pitched strongly and was undefeated in two starts on Saturday. Erin Shurtz gunned down would-be stealers, and singled and tripled in the championship game. Griffin Campbell had two hits and two RBIs. Zinnia Thewlis caught a foul pop as catcher. Claire Kaneko had seven hits over the weekend, including a home run. Maeve Gallagher, had a single and a double, and scored two runs. Hannah Lane-Goldstein pitched well in relief. Jessica Kelly had two singles, and scored three times. Aida Baron had two hits and made a nice running catch in right field.
Congratulations to the Sting coaching staff, Kelsey Murakami, David Wampler and Jason Kaneko.