Under the umbrella of the Chesterfield Youth Softball Association (CYSA), the 14 and under Matoaca team won the local “In-House” tournament at Harrowgate Park the weekend of June 24 - 26.
“The girls played really hard and gave it their best,” said assistant coach Rodger Chesley. “They saw some good talent, and they overcame, did everything perfectly.”
According to Chesley, about 75 percent of the team, which is composed mostly of rising freshman at Matoaca High School, has been together for six years. Five members of the team also played in the spring for Matoaca High School’s junior varsity team as eighth-graders; they are: Marissa Medeiros, Alli Fitzke, Christen Chitwood, Lexi Carter and Taylor Morris. The varsity softball team at Matoaca High School made it this spring to the state championship, so these girls will have big shoes to fill over the next few seasons.
However, this particular CYSA team currently plays in a local summer league, providing the girls with some additional opportunities to better their game. “It helps you improve because you keep playing all around,” said player Marissa Medeiros, “and you can improve more by playing with different people and playing on different levels.”
The young warriors currently have a winning record, only losing two games as of Thursday, June 30. Teams of the league are: Henning, Wells, Chester, Salem Church, Matoaca, Enon and Harrowgate.
For head coach Tanya Gray, who has been coaching in the league for nine years, her highlight on the weekend was when one of her younger players, left fielder Taylor Bishop, flagged down a long line drive and quickly threw it to second base to turn a double play with the bases loaded late in a game.
“Her confidence level boosted, and that’s what I like to see,” said Gray. “My job as head coach is to advance their skill level of play, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
To follow the rest of the CYSA summer season, visit www.leaguelineup.com/cysa.