Serving the Goreville & Lake of Egypt areas since 1977

 

Southern Express places 3rd at ASA State Softball Tournament

Posted July 17, 2013 by - Provided Article - in Sports
Southern Express 96 fastpitch softball team entered the 16U Illinois ASA “Class A” Junior Olympic State Tournament in Champaign, Illinois this past weekend finishing third overall out of 30 teams.  Pictured above, first Row, left to right: Jerrica Money [Carmi], Bailey Winters [Carmi], Jordyn Smith [Metropolis] and Sydnee Rushing [Goreville].  Second Row, left to right:   Brooke Arnold [Crab Orchard], Nicole Short [Royalton], Jordyn Wieland [Pinckneyville], Jessie Douglas [Brookport], Meagan Moon [Carterville] and Maddie Jones [Pinckneyville].  ~ photo provided

Southern Express 96 fastpitch softball team entered the 16U Illinois ASA “Class A” Junior Olympic State Tournament in Champaign, Illinois this past weekend finishing third overall out of 30 teams. Pictured above, first Row, left to right: Jerrica Money [Carmi], Bailey Winters [Carmi], Jordyn Smith [Metropolis] and Sydnee Rushing [Goreville]. Second Row, left to right: Brooke Arnold [Crab Orchard], Nicole Short [Royalton], Jordyn Wieland [Pinckneyville], Jessie Douglas [Brookport], Meagan Moon [Carterville] and Maddie Jones [Pinckneyville]. ~ photo provided

Along with 29 other teams, the Southern Express 96 fast pitch softball team entered the 16U Illinois ASA “Class A” Junior Olympic State Tournament in Champaign.

The July 12-14, tournament saw a field of 30 topnotch teams representing the best in the state of Illinois.

Express started the tournament on Friday evening by defeating Shelbeyville’s Lady Storm by a score of 8-0. In the second game on Friday evening, Express defeated the Bloomington-Normal 16U Angels in a ten-inning contest, plating the go-ahead run in the bottom of the tenth inning to defeat the Angels by a score 6-5.

Advancing in the winner’s bracket into Saturday play, Express faced the Bloomington-Normal 15U Angels squad, defeating the Angels by a score 3-2 in a seven-inning complete game.  In their second game on Saturday, Express took on the Illinois Force in a downstate rivalry. Express took the early lead with a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning, with the Illinois Force plating a run in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game. Both teams failed to score in the sixth inning. Time expired after the sixth inning, forcing the game into extra innings. Express failed to score in the first round of international tiebreaker play, and Illinois Force plated a run in the bottom of the seventh to win the game.

The loss Saturday evening sent Express into the bottom half of the bracket for Sunday play to again face the Bloomington-Normal 15U squad. Express handily defeated the Angels by a score of 6-0. With the win, Express advanced to play the Bloomington-Normal 16U squad again. Express fell behind early in the game 2-3, but tied the game in the top of the fifth inning to force the game into extra innings as time expired. Express plated three runs in the top of the seventh and then held-off a run by the Angels in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat them by a score 6-5.

With only three teams left in the tournament, Express advanced to their third back-to-back game of the day on Sunday against the Brighton Flames. The Flames jumped out to an early lead, and although Express fought their way back into the ballgame, they couldn’t quite come up with the runs. Express fell to the Flames by a score 5-8 to capture the third place title. Express finished the tournament with a record of 5 wins and 2 losses.

“These girls are such a hardworking group of young ladies,” Head Coach Theron Rushing said. “They never give up, and I am extremely proud of the team and all they have accomplished this season.”

The finish marks the third time the squad has made the run at the State Tournament.  Southern Express previously captured the State Championship in 2009 and 2011.

Theron Rushing, Michele Rushing, Troy Smith and Denny Moon coach Southern Express.