Tue, 08/01/2023 - 1:47pm caleb
Grayling Little League minor league softball squad wins tournament in Mattawan on July 20-24
Grayling Little League’s minor league softball all-star team (ages 8-10) clinched a state championship with six wins during a tournament in Mattawan on July 20-24.
In tournament pool play, Grayling posted a 3-0 record.
The squad won 10-0 vs. Marquette on July 20.
Torri Hofmann was 3 for 3 with one run scored and two stolen bases. Peyton Tobias was 2 for 3 with two RBIs and one run scored. Kennedy Burkett was 1 for 2 with two runs scored and two stolen bases. McKenna Bunker was 1 for 2. Braelynn Brandt and Kenzie Strohpaul each scored two runs.
Tobias pitched all four innings for Grayling; she allowed one hit and struck out 12 batters.
Grayling defeated Linden/Lake Fenton/Swartz Creek 15-0 on July 21.
Tobias was 3 for 3 with a triple, three RBIs, two runs scored, and four stolen bases. Hofmann was 3 for 4 with two RBIs and one run scored. Burkett was 2 for 3 with a triple, three RBIs, and three runs scored. Kyli Hellebuyck was 2 for 4 with a double and one RBI. Laney Osim was 1 for 1 with one RBI and three runs scored. Grace Liberty scored three runs and stole four bases.
Burkett and Tobias pitched for Grayling. Neither pitcher allowed a hit; they combined for 12 strikeouts.
On Saturday, July 22, Grayling won 10-0 vs. Blissfield.
Burkett was 3 for 3 with a double, two RBIs, and two runs scored. Tobias was 2 for 3 with one RBI and two runs scored. Hofmann was 1 for 3 with three RBIs and two stolen bases.
Tobias struck out nine during three innings of work. Burkett struck out two during one inning of pitching. Neither pitcher allowed a hit or a walk.
The Grayling all-stars advanced to the championship tournament (single elimination) held in Mattawan on July 23-24 with their 3-0 record in pool play.
On Sunday, July 23, Grayling defeated Rogers City 8-1.
Grace Liberty was 2 for 2 with one RBI and two runs scored. Burkett was 2 for 3 with a home run, two RBIs, and two runs scored. Tobias was 2 for 3 with a triple and one RBI. Hellebuyck was 1 for 3 with one run scored. Brandt was 1 for 2 with one RBI and one run scored. Bunker was 1 for 2 with one run scored. Osim was 1 for 1 with one run scored.
Tobias pitched five innings; she had 11 strikeouts. Burkett pitched one scoreless inning for Grayling.
On Monday, July 24, Grayling won 3-0 vs. AMC.
Burkett was 1 for 2 with one run scored. Tobias was 1 for 1 with a triple and two runs scored. Bunker was 1 for 2.
Tobias pitched all six innings for Grayling. She allowed two hits and struck out 11.
In the title game on Monday, July 24, Grayling edged Hudsonville 1-0 to win the state championship.
Tobias was 1 for 2 with a double and one run scored. Hofmann was 1 for 2. Spencer Wakeley was 1 for 2 with one RBI.
Tobias threw another complete game shutout for Grayling. In six innings, she struck out 14 and allowed three hits.
Coach Cherelle Burkett said most of the games were close early and the two contests on Monday were tight until the end, so “it was really intense competition the whole time.” Coach Burkett said the team relied on pitching early in the tournament but the defense had to come through with some great plays in the outfield and fielding of bunt attempts.
“The last two games we really had to step up on defense,” Coach Burkett said. “Everything they tried we were able to hold them back. It was a true team effort.”
Coach Travis Hulbert said he was impressed with the team’s confidence during the tournament run.
“They didn’t show nervousness,” Coach Hulbert said. “Nothing got to them.”
Coach Levi Burkett said he was “proud of the girls” and their hard work over the last three years.
Levi said Cherelle wanted to have a local group through little league and travel softball, and they didn’t know the program would have this much success this fast, but after winning districts this year they were motivated to take it even further.
“This really has been three years in the making,” Levi said. “Something (Cherelle) stressed is making it about Grayling and that shows. We have a group of Grayling girls. It’s nice to see all the hard work come together.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of all of them,” Cherelle said.
The team included: #1 Laney Osim, #2 Peyton Tobias, #3 Katy Hunter, #4 Kenzie Strohpaul, #5 Spencer Wakeley, #6 McKenna Bunker, #7 Kennedy Burkett, #8 Torri Hofmann, #9 Grace Liberty, #10 Kyli Hellebuyck, #24 Braelynn Brandt.