MORGANTOWN — The Diamond Dream 16-under softball team enjoyed a very busy, yet very successful weekend trip to Morgantown, as they competed in the Purple Turtle Tournament. Manager Jordan Hart’s team kicked the tournament off with a game with the Black Diamond Express 16-under team in pool play last Friday, August 5. The Diamond Dreamers came up short in game one, losing to Black Diamond Express by a final score of 8 to 5.
After regrouping, Hart and her coaching staff had their team ready to play on Saturday, August 6, as the Diamond Dream 16-under team rebounded in a major way, collecting wins in each of their three games on the day. Hart’s Diamond Dream squad got the day started by beating the Moorefield Sting 16-under team by a final score of 6 to 4. Defense was the key for the Diamond Dream team against the Sting, as an error-free performance in the field made all the difference in this one. Hart gave Aleigha Snider the starting nod in the pitcher’s circle and the pitcher delivered in a big way, only allowing one run, one walk and two runs over the course of two and a third innings pitched, while collecting three strikeouts.
In their second game on Saturday, the Diamond Dream girls earned an 8 to 3 win over the Keystone Kombat Cairns 16-under team. The Diamond Dream offense came alive in the third inning, exploding for seven runs and sealing the win. Makayla Gonzales got things started after she singled on the first pitch. She saw during the third inning, driving in a pair of runs. Kailey Hart followed Gonzales lead, singling on a 1-1 count, driving in Diamond Dream’s third run of the inning. The Diamond Dream hitting lineup was just getting started, as Brooklyn Golden singled on a 1-2 count, driving in another score before Darryn Loughridge was struck by a pitch, scoring yet another run. Both Brianna Gooden and Kadence Crock drove in runs on singles to wrap up the crucial third inning offensive push that fueled the Diamond Dream victory. Defensively, Snider again led the charge for the Diamond Dream girls on the mound. Snider allowed three hits and three runs, while striking out four and not giving up a single walk over the span of four and a third innings.
Diamond Dream wrapped up pool play with a game against the Intensity Outlawz 16-under team. The scorekeepers were kept busy, as both teams had no trouble generating runs, with the two teams combining for 17 scores in total. Ultimately, the Diamond Dream girls prevailed over the Intensity Outlawz in a rather high-scoring affair, 11 to 6. The Diamond Dream offense carried the day in this one, accounting for 12 total hits as a team, with Crock and Snider tying for the team lead with two apiece.
The start of elimination play began on Sunday, August 7, with the Hart’s Diamond Dream 16-under team running things back against the Intensity Outlawz. After falling behind due to a sluggish start to the game, Hart’s team tied things up at 4 to 4 before snatching the lead late with three scores in the bottom of the fourth inning. Katie Hicks singled on a 0-1 count, driving in the run that stole the lead away and from there Diamond Dream team never looked back, collecting the hard-fought victory to continue their march through elimination play.
In their second round elimination game on Sunday, Diamond Dream left little doubt as they cruised to a win in a rematch with the Black Diamond Express 16-under team. The Diamond Dream offense got off to a fast start, scoring five runs in just the first inning. Gonzales, Bella Bibey and Crock all picked up RBIs during this early game offensive explosion, fueling their team’s offense. Snider picked up the win on the mound in the rematch with Black Diamond Express, the young ace only surrendered a single run and a single hit, while striking out six batters helping her team avenge their earlier loss in pool play, send their rivals packing and advance her team to the championship game against the Revolution 16-under team.
Once in the championship game not much went the Diamond Dream 16-under team’s way as they lost by a score of 6 to 0 to the Revolution team. Despite the tough loss, Hart, her coaching staff and her girls have much to be proud about, finishing the Purple Turtle Tournament as runners-up with a 5-2 record, moving them to 9-8 overall. The Diamond Dream 16-under team will be traveling to Wheeling this coming weekend for their last tournament of the summer, as they look to finish the season out strong with a good showing!