UNDER ARMOUR ALL AMERICAN GAME
Orlando, Fla. – 07/21/10 – In a battle of the country’s top 30 high school softball players, Team Rally defeated Team Hype, 9-4, Tuesday in the Under Armour All-America Softball Game.
A streak of hits by Team Rally in the top of the third contributed to the first of three consecutive multi-run innings that proved too much for Team Hype to overcome. Kylee Lahners added to that third-inning rally with a single to left to put the team up 4-0, and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after going 2-3 with 1 RBI and 1 run scored.
“It was an amazing feeling to play with the best of the best, and I was out there just to have fun with all of the girls” said the University of Washington-bound infielder. “I’m so honored to receive [Most Valuable Player], I have more work to do though,” she said.
The win gives Team Rally Head Coach Melissa “Skeeter” Gentile her third consecutive win in as many chances in Under Armour All-America Softball games at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex.
“It’s been three really great years- every year the event gets bigger and better- and the kids are just awesome, they make it fun. I’m definitely excited, 3-0, and I’m excited hopefully next year to come back and make it four!” said Gentile.
Team Rally starting pitcher Leslie Jury kept Team Hype scoreless in the first and second innings while her team put their first run on the board. In the second, Lahner’s double put her in position to reach third on a wild pitch and score on a Candice Beards ground ball to put Team Rally in front 1-0.
Andrea Hawkins led off the third inning with a single to left, stole second, advanced to third on the overthrow, and subsequently scored on a passed ball. A Victoria Hayward walk was followed by a sharp single to center by Lauren Chamberlain, who eventually scored on an illegal pitch. Kellie Fox reached on a fielders choice and eventually came around to score on Lahners’ single to make it 4-0.
“It felt awesome, competing with the best and playing with some teammates and some opponents. It was a really good experience and I had a really good time,” said Oklahoma- bound Chamberlain, who was 2-2 on the day with two walks and a run scored.
In the bottom of third, Team Hype’s Corrin Genovese singled, but she would get no further.
Candice Beards started off the fourth inning for Team Rally with a walk, advanced to second on a groundout, and moved to third on Victoria Hayward’s slap single to short. Hayward would eventually score on a Bry Blanco single to put Rally up 6-0.
“I’d actually never seen any of [the pitchers] before so this was my first at-bat against all of them. My goal was just to put it in play… try to see a lot of pitches, kind of put my feet in the water. They were all really good competition,” said Hayward, who heads to the University of Washington in the fall.
In the bottom of the inning, Kelsey Stewart scored Team Hype’s first run on a Kayla Bonstrom single after reaching on a fielder’s choice and stealing second. Bonstrom eventually scored on a Hallie Wilson double to left center to make the score 6-2. Team Hype’s Wilson was 2-2 with an RBI on the day.
Team Rally gathered three insurance runs to put themselves up 9-2 in the top of the fifth, manufactured with hits by Ryan Iamurri, Alysha Rudnik, Dallas Escobedo, and Kasey Fagan. Kourtney Salvarola singled for Team Hype in the bottom of the inning, but the team could not capitalize.
“At this level, mistakes are going to kill you. Both teams, great hitting and great pitching, but all of a sudden they get a few hits, you make some mental errors, make some errors on the field, and you just open the game. It should’ve been a closer ballgame, they had more hits than we did and took advantage of it, but you definitely have to shut it down at this level,” said Team Hype Head Coach Leah O’Brien Amico.
After taking the circle with one out in the fifth, Team Hype pitcher Jaclyn Traina allowed no hits and only one unearned run through the remaining 2 2/3 innings of the game. Her team made some noise in the bottom of the seventh, as Shelby Pendley and Ally Carda scored with two outs, but Team Rally walked away with the win.
“It was just really fun to be with everyone. I mean, we were all sad that we lost, but it was just fun to be around and see everybody’s good talent,” said Northwestern-bound Marisa Bast of Team Hype.
Tuesday’s crowd included the National Pro Fastpitch players of USSSA Pride, including one envious former collegiate All-American, Katie Burkhart.
“I’m jealous! I wish this was around when I was in high school because this is awesome. I think Under Armour has done a really great job of promoting women’s sports, and I think that is really important as far as bringing it along and showing that women are just as capable as men in any sport,” said Burkhart.
The Under Armour All-America Softball Game will be broadcast on Saturday, July 24 on ESPNU at 7:00 PM EST.