ABBEVILLE, LOUISIANA – It’s a dream come true for every athlete to win a national championship.
The Cashie All-Stars (14 and under) girls’ softball team has now realized that dream.
Not only are they the national champions, but they were undefeated (16-0) for the season.
They first participated in the district and state tournaments, winning those easily.
Then the girls advanced to the Southeastern Regional Tournament in Hendersonville where they were victorious over the all-star team from Ponte Vedra, Florida.
Next stop was the Babe Ruth National Invitational Tournament in Abbeville, Louisiana.
During pool play, Cashie matched up against the team from Southern Plains, Colorado. That game proved no challenge as they easily topped their opponent 12-2.
The girls then played the team from Vermilion, Louisiana, defeating them 6-4.
The third game of pool play was another blowout with Cashie taking an 11-0 win against the team from Magnolia, Arkansas.
During the first game of tournament play, the girls again came up against Southern Plains.
That game was won with a final score of 8-1.
The next two games were played against Vermilion.
Cashie took the first one 8-5 and advanced to the championship game.
In the first inning of the final game, Jody Mizelle led off with a single to left field.
After stealing second, she scored on a single to left by Emily Cooke for the first run of the game.
During the third stanza, Hillary Bunch led off with a single. Mizelle and Cooke were walked consecutively to load the bases.
Tayler Smith then stepped up to the plate and hit a triple, scoring Mizelle, Cooke and Bunch to bring the score up to 4-0.
Caroline White bunted, scoring Smith, then Ashtyn Mizelle was walked and later scored on a double from Andrea Dunlow.
The score stood at 6-0 after three innings when in the fourth J. Mizelle led off with a double to left field.
After a sacrifice bunt from Jennifer White, J. Mizelle scored on a single by Smith .
In the fifth inning, A. Mizelle got things going with a triple to right field. She then scored off a ground ball to second by Whitney Castelloe, bringing the score to 8-0.
J. Mizelle led off in the sixth with a single to left followed by a White single to the same spot. Both runners scored on a double to left by C. White.
During the last inning, Terri Lynn Smith got on base with a single and scored on a double from J. Mizelle, bringing her team’s total to 11 runs.
With help from the defense, Cashie pitcher J. White held Louisiana to one run to clinch the national championship title.
After the game, Jody Mizelle was named the National Tournament MVP.
&uot;The girls on the Cashie All-Star team are a coach’s dream come true,&uot; stated Head Coach Donald White.
He continued, &uot;Their 16-0 record speaks for itself about the talent on this team. One special feature of this team that makes me so proud is the fact that they didn’t let their ego stand in the way of team spirit.&uot;
&uot;This was a true All-Star team with everyone sharing playing time that contributed to the success of the team. This is absolutely the most unselfish team I’ve ever had the pleasure to coach,&uot; White said.
Cashie started and finished the season and all tournaments with the same 13 players, girls chosen as the best of the best by coaches of their respective regular season teams.
Other coaches of the team included Faron Mizelle and Earl Hoggard. Rose White arranged the team’s paperwork and kept the books in order in preparation for the trip to Louisiana.
Coach White concluded, &uot;The players and coaches would like to thank all the volunteers and supporters for their time, resources and monetary donations making the Louisiana trip possible and a dream come true.&uot;
Players on the team were excited about their monumental win.
&uot;We all practiced really hard and the coaches were always there for us. All the girls got along well and encouraged each other. It was a great experience I’ll never forget,&uot; stated Emily Cooke, a senior on the team at 14 years of age.
Ashtyn Mizelle, also 14, said, &uot;It felt great to go down there and win it all. It was also great to have support from the community. Team effort and team unity were the best part.&uot;
Tournament MVP Jody Mizelle stated, &uot;It’s a great feeling (to be named MVP) but I couldn’t have done it without my team. They helped me to get it, to win it.&uot;
Mizelle plays catcher for her team. She is 14 years old and a rising sophomore at Bertie High School.