Xplosion places 2nd in Big Orange Classic
Wednesday, July 17, 2013 1:00 AM
The Xplosion girls fast-pitch softball team played for the championship Sunday at the University of Tennessee in the Big Orange Showcase tournament.
The Xplosion entered the "College Showcase" tournament with nine other teams that came from Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and Indiana. Coach Dr. Craig Martin noted that most of the other teams were stocked with players who have committed to play at different colleges, or those who were already on the college level.
"Really, our girls were the talk of the tournament because they were so young," Martin said. "In most tournaments, we could be playing in the 14U division, but we choose to play in the older divisions because we are looking for the best competition."
The Xplosion went 4-3-1 in the Big Orange tournament. They went 1-2-1 in the pool play on Saturday and 3-1 in the tournament on Sunday.
The Xplosion opened the tournament with an 11-3 win over Medco of Kentucky. Xplosion scored two in the first and nine in the second. Medco answered with two in the first and one in the fourth. Katlyn Duke led with three RBIs while Ali Pike had two hits. Meg Martin was the winning pitcher.
Xplosion then dropped a 3-1 decision to Unicoi of East Tennessee. Hannah Williams had one hit and Duke added an RBI.
Xplosion then tied the Carolina Heat 2-2 when the time limit ran out. Xplosion led 2-0 after the first inning. But Carolina came back with one run in the third and one in the sixth. Mallory Vance and Williams led with two hits while Madalyn McMahon and Pike both added one hit.
Xplosion then dropped an 8-5 decision to Team Blast which was a mix of players from North Carolina and Kentucky. Payton Lippert had two RBIs in the game.
On Sunday, the Xplosion opened tournament championship play with an 11-3 win over Gateway Heat from Tennessee. Xplosion scored three in the first and eight in the second. Gateway scored its runs in the first inning. Duke led with two hits and six RBIs. Vance and McMahon both had two hits while Williams added two RBIs. Lippert was the winning pitcher.
Xplosion then took a 7-4 win over Team Knoxville. Xplosion scored two in the first, three in the third and two in the fourth. Team Knoxville scored one in the first and three in the second. McMahon had two hits and four RBIs while Duke added a RBI.
In a rematch, Xplosion stopped Unicoi 6-2. Xplosion scored five in the third and one in the fifth. Unicoi scored two in the third. Xplosion banged out 15 hits with Williams belting two hits and bringing in one run while Pike had two hits and two RBIs.
In the championship game, the Xplosion dropped a 3-1 decision to Kentucky Force. Trailing 3-1 in the final inning, Xplosion had the bases loaded with one out but hit into a double play. Vance led her team with two hits.
Afterwards, Coach Martin said there was one problem.
"I really didn't expect for us to play in the championship game, and that meant we got out of Knoxville after 7 p.m.," Dr. Martin said. "It was a seven hour drive and we didn't get home until after 1:30 a.m. I had to get up and go to work the next morning. But that was OK. I was proud of the girls and the way we played this weekend."
Overall, the Xplosion stands at 32-13-3.