By Ranny Grubb Monday, July 25 2011 00:00
Roanoke’s Virginia Extreme Force stayed close to home to complete in the 2011 Virginia Commonwealth Games held at Botetourt and Moyer Sports complexes. This year’s games showcased the most significant competition ever in the 14U age group with 26 teams from all parts of Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.
In the first game, the Force faced the WV Wild 1’s. The first three innings of the game was a combination of great pitching by Morgan Decker and solid defense by the Force infield and outfield including plays by Cassi Parulis, Morgan Stanley, Bailey Grubb and Raegan Parks. The Force finally put runners on the bases in the 4th inning with Madison Via and Morgan Decker reaching on errors and Bailey Grubb recording a single. Haley Green then reached on a fielder’s choice followed by an RBI single by Raegan Parks to plate 3 runs. The Force added another run in the 6th with a double by Alaina Crockett and then an RBI single by Michelle Kembel. The Force held the Wild 1’s scoreless until the 7th inning when the scored 3 runs on 2 hits and an error. The game ended in a 3 – 3 tie.
In the second game of the day, the Force faced off against the Spotsylvania Vipers. All eleven Force players recorded hits during the game resulting in 17 runs scored on 15 hits. The Force hitting attack was led by Madison Via, Morgan Decker, Cassi Parulis and Laura Leonard each with multiple hits and RBIs. Cassi Parulis got the win in the circle for the Force allowing 5 runs on 3 hits. The Force won in decisive fashion 17 – 5.
The Extreme ended the first day of the tournament with an 8 -2 win over the NRV Diamonds. The Force recorded 9 hits scattered throughout the line-up with Cassi Parulis, Raegan Parks and Michelle Kembel all recording RBIs. Bailey Grubb got the win in the circle allowing 2 runs on 4 hits. This win earned the Force a spot in the Gold Bracket of the games.
The Force opened play on Sunday recording an 8 – 2 win over Diamond Fever. The game started with a huge first inning for the Force scoring 6 on hits by Madison Via, Cassi Parulis, Michelle Kembel and Laura Leonard. The Force added another run in the 2nd with a double by Bailey Grubb who was driven in on an RBI single from Morgan Decker. Michelle Kembel started off 3rd with a triple and was driven in by Morgan Stanley. Diamond Fever scratched 2 runs in the 4th inning off of 3 hits before the Force defense, led by back to back assists by Morgan Stanley, shutdown the Fever. Morgan Decker got the win in the circle allowing 2 runs on 5 hits while striking out 6. With this win, the Force moved on to the quarterfinals to face the Virginia Renegades who defeated the Virginia Madness 3 – 2.
The first two innings of the game was a pitching duel with Bailey Grubb holding down the circle for the Extreme backed by some great defensive play. The Force struck first in the 3rd inning scoring 4 runs. Michelle Kembel started off the inning with a single and was moved to 2nd with a sacrifice bunt by Morgan Stanley. Madison Via then drew a walk. With a 0 – 2 count, Bailey Grubb helped herself and went upstairs to drive a high fastball to the fence for a 2-run RBI double. Haley Green then reached on an error by the Renegades shortstop. Back to back RBI singles by Morgan Decker and Raegan Parks plated the 2 additional runs to give the force the 4 – 0 lead. The Renegades were able to scratch a run in the 3rd and another in the 6th to draw near at 4 – 2. In the bottom of the 7th, the first batter singled bringing the tying run to the plan. Grubb then struck out the next 2 batters. With 2 outs and runners on 1st and 2nd, the Renegades number 2 batter got a high and tight screw ball from Grubb popping out to the Force shortstop Alaina Crockett for the final out of the game. The Force advanced to the semifinals with the 4 – 2 win. Grubb got the win in the circle allowing 1 earned run on 6 hits while striking out 4.
The Force faced off against the Sudden Impact in the semifinal matchup. Laura Leonard reached base in the 2nd with a single followed by Morgan Stanley who reached on a fielder’s choice. Madison Via then reached on an error. Bailey Grubb then hit a near base-clearing RBI triple over the left fielder’s head to drive in the 3 runs. The Force would pick-up another run in the 3rd with a single by Raegan Parks and an RBI double by Cassi Parulis. Madison Via and Morgan Stanley both reached base in the 4th with singles. Grubb would then pick-up her forth RBI of the game with a single to drive in Stanley. Morgan Decker would then reach base on a single and would be driven in by Cassi Parulis who would pick-up her second RBI of the game. Sudden Impact managed to scratch 2 runs in the final inning but the strong defensive efforts by the Force defense would shut down their rally. The Force moved on to the championship game to face the Aftershock. Morgan Decker got the win in the circle giving up 3 runs on 7 hits.
The Force battled the Aftershock in the championship game but could not get the bats going to equal the strong hitting of the older Aftershock team. The Force would end a very successful weekend taking home the silver in the Gold Bracket of the 2011 Virginia Commonwealth Games and finishing 5-1-1 for the weekend.
Photo courtesy of Extreme Force
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