WILLIAMSBURG – The Williamsburg Pioneers are the 13U league champions. The Pioneers cemented their league win over the North Dundas Sox in an 11-2 rout September 2.
It was a fairly lop-sided game thanks to the Pioneers bats cranking out hits, and to pitcher Maddi Beckstead, who had her best game of the season Thursday night.
Beckstead faced 21 Sox batters, striking out 12, walked seven, and allowed only two runs the entire game.
Fast work by the Pioneers infield cleaned up when needed, shutting down any scoring opportunities the Sox may have had.
“She was pretty dominant,” said Pioneers’ Head Coach Brian Shaver of Beckstead. “I could tell she was getting a little tired towards the end of the game.”
Pitching was a concern leading into the championship game. Shaver explained that both Beckstead and pitcher Nick Carrothers were rested from pitching duties for the last week due to arm issues.
“I started Maddi not knowing what I was going to get,” he said. “But once I saw how she was throwing, I knew we were in good shape.”
Shaver said while the Pioneers won all but one game in the regular season, many of the games could have gone either way.
“There were a lot of tight games and the team just found a way to win,” he said. Even in the championship final, depth played a factor.
“Baseball is so much a confidence game. You get a catch out in the outfield by Liam [Barton], that’s huge. Who knows if that was missed. It’s not long before a rally starts.”
Shaver said the team’s bats “came to life” in the last three weeks of the season.
The Pioneers started the championship game earning four runs in the first inning, and added two more in the third. Five runs in the fourth inning sealed the Sox’ fate.
Beckstead had two RBI doubles in the game, Jordan Elliott, Brody Duncan, and Nick Carrothers each had a pair of singles.
For Shaver, the best part of the season was just being back at the diamond.
“It was nice being back. When you’re at the ball diamond, you forget what is going on in the world. It was a nice escape.”
Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader