Imagine a scenario where things go from bad to worse. If so, welcome to Scott Budlove’s world.
Prior to departing for last weekend’s 3rd annual Dixie Softball Angels (ages 9-10) All-Stars “X-play” World Series at Nancy Lane Park in Atoka, Tenn., Spring Hill head coach Budlove received a dreadful medical update.
Budlove’s ace hurler Jennifer Hackett, who had been dealing with shoulder discomfort in her pitching arm, was immediately shutdown.
Without medical clearance Hackett never made the trip. Instead, another All-Star alternate, outfielder Jolie Broad, replaced her.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Spring Hill, aka Team Florida, drew last season’s World Series runners-up Burgaw, N.C. in the tourney opener.
It wasn’t pretty. The Tar Heel squad that returned eight players from last summer tallied seven first-inning runs off Spring Hill Saturday en route to a lopsided 12-1 triumph.
After dropping into the lethal loser’s bracket, the battered and bruised West Hernando County crew was shown the door in its second game early Sunday morning, losing 8-2 against West Monroe, La.
Eventually loaded Burgaw clinched an unbeaten 6-0 run Wednesday evening for the World Series crown by edging Dothan American out of Alabama, 4-2.
What began as a promising event for the local nine concluded with a whimper, and a long and quiet trip back to the Sunshine State.
“What was a 14-hour trip to get there became a 28-hour trip back home,” lamented Coach Budlove. “There was no doubt that we played the best team there (Burgaw). They were without a doubt the best-prepared team we faced all summer. Their Angels could have beaten our Belles (ages 13-15).”
In describing the Tar Heel squad, “They were humungous compared to our tiny kids,” said Budlove. “They looked like they were in another age division. I just can’t say enough about them.
“The moment we got there, they sprung seven runs on us and Victoria (Rattigan) pitched well,” added Coach Budlove. “They flat-out hit the ball. If I would have played out there with a glove, I couldn’t have caught the shots they hit.”
In a game where Team Florida was no-hit, Faith Budlove’s amazing catch behind third base along the foul line was one of the few defensive gems.
Coach Budlove thought the team played better in Game 2, but uncharacteristic errors undermined its efforts.
“We’ve made routine plays all summer and then we have errors all over the field. Honestly, I don’t think we shook off our first-game jitters,” he said.
According to Coach Budlove, the team’s 0-2 stay did not dampen the World Series experience.
“It was absolutely amazing to share this experience with my daughter and these girls. Twenty years from now, they’ll remember this trip to Tennessee,” Budlove said. “Win or lose, we participated in one of the country’s biggest tournaments.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the effort,” detailed Budlove after his club finished a 7-3 summer. “I consider each of these girls my girls. I have to thank them all for their efforts. It’s been a long summer. They may not understand the significance of their achievements right now, but they will.”
2014 Final 3rd annual Dixie Softball Angels (ages 9-10) All-Stars “X-play” World Series Recap at Nancy Lane Park in Atoka, Tenn.
East Central, Mississippi 1, West Monroe, Louisiana 0
Burgaw, North Carolina 12, Spring Hill, Florida 1
Madison Central, Tennessee 10, Jones County National, Georgia 0
Dothan American, Alabama 4, Aynor, South Carolina 0
Atoka, Tennessee 11, Halifax County American, Virginia 0
Hopkins County American, Texas 7, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma 3
West Monroe, Louisiana 8, Spring Hill, Florida 2
Aynor, South Carolina 12, Jones County National, Georgia 4
Halifax County American, Virginia 1, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma 0
Hopkins County American, Texas 9, Atoka, Tennessee 0
Dothan American, Alabama 3, Madison Central, Tennessee 0
Burgaw, North Carolina 7, East Central, Mississippi 2
Aynor, South Carolina 10, Halifax County American, Virginia 2
Madison Central, Tennessee 6, West Monroe, Louisiana 1
East Central, Mississippi 3, Atoka, Tennessee 1
Burgaw, North Carolina 5, Dothan American, Alabama 2
Madison Central, Tennessee 8, Aynor, South Carolina 4
Dothan American, Alabama 4, East Central, Mississippi 3
Burgaw, North Carolina 5, Hopkins County American, Texas 2
Dothan American, Alabama 4, Hopkins County American, Texas 2
Burgaw, North Carolina 7, Madison Central, Tennessee 4
Burgaw, North Carolina 4, Dothan American, Alabama 2
2014 Final 3rd annual Dixie Softball Angels (ages 9-10) All-Stars “X-play” World Series Standings
- Compiled by TONY CASTRO
PL TEAM W L .PCT RS RA
1. Burgaw, North Carolina 6 0 1.000 40 13
2. Dothan American, Alabama 4 2 .667 19 14
3. Madison Central, Tennessee 3 2 .600 28 15
4. Hopkins County American, Texas 2 2 .500 20 12
4. East Central, Mississippi 2 2 .500 9 12
4. Aynor, South Carolina 2 2 .500 26 18
7. Atoka, Tennessee 1 2 .333 12 12
7. Halifax County American, Virginia 1 2 .333 3 22
7. West Monroe, Louisiana 1 2 .333 9 9
10. Broken Arrow, Oklahoma 0 2 .000 3 8
10. Spring Hill, Florida 0 2 .000 3 20
10. Jones County National, Georgia 0 2 .000 4 22
TOTALS (12) 22 22 .500