- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
They’re packing their bags.
It was the plan from the beginning as the long softball season got underway.
After all of the preparation, fundraising and winning games, the 10-U Southern Maryland Shockers fastpitch travel team is heading to the 2012 USSSA Fast Pitch World Series Tournament held in Kissimmee, Fla.
Games will be played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Osceola Softball Complex and Fortune Road Softball Complex from July 28 to Aug 4. The Shockers are guaranteed five games.
The season started for the Shockers in September 2011 and the squad has six first-place finishes in tournament play with five second-place finishes.
The roster consists of players from all of Southern Maryland. Team members include Kaleigh Shaw, Jayci Chamberlain, Kylie Sears, Lexi Mann, Katie Delph, Meadow Sacadura, Melody Coombs, Kamryn Murray, Mckayla Marbury, Bailey Wilcox, Sydney Bales and Tori Fletcher. The coaching staff consists of Dylan Sacadura, Robby Murray and Kevin Delph.
The pitching duties have been shared by Delph, Fletcher, Marbury and Murray. The team added Shaw, Chamberlain, Marbury and Wilcox to the roster this season.
Sacadura and Fletcher have both played behind the plate and are learning to call pitches under the direction of the coaching staff.
“It takes all 12 girls, we don’t have one star on the team,” Shockers manager Dylan Sacadura said. “They all play different positions. They were ranked number five by youthone.com in the A division.”
Bales, a second baseman and outfielder, is excited to be playing in the World Series for the first time.
“I’m excited to be doing to Disney,” Bales said. “We’re a good team. Sometimes our hitting is good and we have a strong lineup. Our fielding is good, too, and we have good pitching, four pitchers.”
Bales said she will always remember playing the Storm from Loudoun County (Va.), who were once the Pony World Series runner-ups. She said the team played the Storm tough in Ocean City in a 10-inning game, going into the international tiebreaker.
They eventually lost by one run, but the game will always stand out in her mind. Sacadura remembers the team all too well.
Other highlights of her year were the two home runs she hit in back-to-back games, one over the fence and one inside the park.
“We finally beat them [the Storm] in Glen Burnie with our 8-year-old pitcher,” Dylan Sacadura said.
Kim Bales, mother of Sydney, has been the primary organizer of fundraisers and said that the very expensive trip was one that parents could not afford without fundraising activities.
In the tough economy, the team held magazine fundraisers and sold gift cards.
“We just got out there and hit up everyone that we could,” Kim Bales said. “The parents got together and worked really hard and Dylan had a donation come in as well.”
Kim Bales is proud to see the work that the coaches have put in.
“I found Joe Therres and he told us about tryouts for the team and I took her not thinking she was going to make it,” Kim Bales said, “but she’s fast and coach Robby and Dylan have really developed Sydney into a great softball player.”
Sears, a right fielder, has led the team offensively this season is also making her debut in Florida. She has been playing softball for six years and for the 10-U shockers for two.
Meadow Sacadura is confident behind the plate as one of two catchers and she isn’t afraid to command her territory.
“Well, we went to New Jersey and were in a semifinal game and we had a girl in a pickle near shortstop and she ended up tackling me at home. She was ejected from the game,” Meadow Sacadura said.
Meadow Sacadura is learning to call pitches and has the skillset of each of her pitchers down.
“Our 8-year-old [Marbury] has multiple pitches,” Meadow Sacadura said, “and she throws in the low 40s [mph]. We have one that throws in the high 40s. I went to a pitching coach’s clinic and I’m learning to call different pitches.”
Meadow is third in the batting order and said she plays well under pressure offensively.
“Last week in the tournament we were down by one and I hit the game-winning hit,” Meadow Sacadura said. “I hope we at least make it to the final five.”
Dylan Sacadura said he could not have done this without the help of his coaches and parents.
“It’s been a great ride,” he said. “We don’t know who we’re going to play until we get there. I do know that the number one ranked team in the nation will be there. I really couldn’t have done all of this by myself. I had a lot of help.”