GREENSBORO — The Powerade State Softball games took place on the campus of UNC Greensboro and Carolyn Allen Park on June 19 and June 20. Forbush and Starmount High School had several athletes make the roster for Region 7, and the hard work paid off as the team won a Bronze Medal after a hard fought six inning game. The team was coached by Forbush head softball coach, Jeremy Helton.
“This year was really good,” said Helton. “We learned how things went last year as coaches, and how we should coach in this. We didn’t have the numbers we wanted to try out, but it did have 15 good ones come and those are the ones you saw right here. We are trying to build it up and make this something special so girls will come out and represent their region. I really enjoyed this. This is a great thing for our kids, as they play with other people in our region. It makes them better and it makes softball better in the state. I’m in favor of this program, I like it a lot.”
Region 7 players included Forbush players Kayleigh Williams, Gracen Davis and Sommer Gray. Starmount players included Kennedy-Grace White and Salem Finney. The team put together a strong performance all week. The team had hit after hit in bracket play, which took place at Carolyn Allen Park.
“I had fun, and it felt awesome,” said Williams. “I learned how to play with people I don’t normally play with.”
After bracket play was completed, Region 7 made it to the bronze medal game, which took place at UNCG’s softball field. The game was supposed to start at 5:15 p.m., but weather delays put them start time closer to 7 p.m. Just as it looked like the rain wouldn’t let up, the sky cleared and the game was called on.
In the bronze medal game, Region 7 played against Region 4. In the top of the first inning, Region 7 was able to take a 1-0 lead to start things off. Region 4 was able to tie the game 1-1 in the bottom of the first inning, and things were starting to heat up.
“It was fun and I liked meeting all of the new people,” said Kennedy-Grace White. “It was nice to learn new hings from all of the coaches I have never played with before.”
Things settled down for the next three innings, as both teams made plays in the field to keep the score 1-1. In the top of the fourth inning, South Caldwell’s Regan Weisner stepped up and hit a hard ball over the center field fence for a one-run home run.
Region 7 kept up the pressure in the fifth inning, as Williams was able to hit a hard ball to left field to bring a run across the plate and give her team a 3-2 lead. Region 7 added five more runs to its total in the fifth inning to take a 8-2 lead over Region 4.
“I loved it, it was fun and it was a good experience,” said Salem Finney. “I learned a lot. I learned how to hit an outside pitch a lot better than I have been.”
In the top of the sixth inning, Region 7 kept laying down hit after hit. The team was able to bring in two more runs to take a 10-2 lead.
“It was good,” said Davis on her first time playing in the State Games. “I liked meeting new people.”
As the storm clouds started to roll in, the game was called just as the seventh inning was about to start. Region 7 had put together a successful game to take a 10-2 win over Region 4 and win a bronze medal.
“I liked it, it was fun,” said Gray. “I learned how to adapt to new situations with people I have never played with before.”
Region 7 had 13 hits and only two errors in the final game of the week. This was Helton’s second year coaching the State Games, and this year he was able to bring home a bronze medal.
“My favorite moment was this right here,” said Helton. “Winning the bronze right here at UNCG. This was our goal, we wanted to be in a medal game again. We just took a step forward in the right direction. We are here to compete and win, and we had a lot of fun.”