TENNERTON — The Buckhannon-Upshur 11-and-under Little Lady Buccaneers softball team, sponsored by AFP, earned a tournament championship with two wins in as many days, beating Elkins in the opening round by a score of 10-1 back on Saturday, May 21 before shutting out Philip-Barbour on Sunday, May 22. The Little Lady Bucs, coached by a staff consisting of: Chris Brown, Jacob Orr, Sarah Kesling, and Brain McQuain wrapped the season up in style with a dominant 7-0 victory over Philip-Barbour in the end of the season tournament championship to cap off a perfect season.
In their first game of the magical tournament run, the Lady Bucs squared off against Elkins, a team which they had already handily beat several times before this season. This match-up proved to be much of the same, as the 11-and-under Lady Bucs past Elkins to ensure their spot in the tournament championship and keep their hopes of a perfect season alive.
As a team, the Little Lady Bucs were dominate both offensively and defensively. The B-U hitting line-up scored 10 runs on collected seven hits, while only giving up a single score to Elkins, which came in the fourth inning with the game already largely decided.
Defensively, Jaylee Wayts got the starting nod and shined as she picked up the win from the pitcher’s circle for the Little Lady Bucs against Elkins. The young ace only surrendered one run on single hit over the span of five innings pitched. Wayts was lights outs with her control and efficiency being particularly impressive, recording six strikeouts, while not giving up any walks to Elkins batters.
Wayts also showed off her versatility and ability to play virtually any position, collecting two hits to tie with Payton Brown for the most on the team. In addition to her powerful bat, Brown was crafty in the way that she navigated the basepaths, stealing a team-high two bases.
Following their easy win over Elkins, the Little Lady Bucs players and coaching staff turned their attention to their championship game at home against Phillip-Barbour.
The Little Lady Bucs jumped out to an early 2-0 lead at the conclusion of the first full inning of play, establishing a lead that they would never relinquish en route to a 7-0 shutout championship game win. Braylea Squires got the scoring started for the Lady Bucs after she smashed a line-drive single to centerfield, freeing up Halle Moody to score.
A huge second inning offensively essentially sealed the deal, as the Little Lady Bucs scored four runs in the inning. The Little Lady Bucs offensive barrage was led by Squires and Zoey Burr, with both driving in runs in the frame.
The Little Lady Bucs utilized two pitchers in the tournament championship game against Phillip-Barbour, with Halle Moody getting the starting nod. Moody surrendered zero runs and only one hit over the span of four innings pitched, while striking out seven and walking zero. Moody controlled this game from the circle. The B-U 11-and-under coaching staff brought Wayts in to throw the final inning in relief of Moody out of the bullpen. Wayts did not allow a single score or hit in the final inning, striking out two Phillip-Barbour batters. Wayts’ outing on the mound was highlighted by the perfect ball she threw to the collect the final out and clinch the championship win.
While the pitching duo of Moody and Wayts stole the show by combining to pitch a shutout and near no-hitter, the Little Lady Bucs did not have a bad game offensively by any means as the team collected four hits and scored seven runs in the five-inning affair. The Lady Bucs hitting line-up found a great deal of success against the Philip-Barbour pitching staff, as Moody, Squires, Kolbi Orr and Kristine Frye each collected a hit apiece to lead the way for the Lady Bucs offense as they put the “cherry on top” of an undefeated 2022 season.