July 8, 2009
The Columbus Crush will attempt to make it three in a row this weekend when it plays in the Mississippi Amateur Softball Association 10-and-under slow-pitch state tournament.
The Crush will bid for the title Saturday in Meridian after winning the State Games of Mississippi on June 20 in Meridian and the USSSA state tournament in Philadelphia this past Saturday.
Columbus is undefeated in seven games after beating the Grenada Lady Slammers in the championship games of the State Games and the USSSA state tournament.
"We definitely have a bull''s-eye on our back, but hopefully we can keep it going," Columbus Crush head coach Tim Frasher said. "They''re looking forward to it. They''re excited about it. Like (Monday) night at practice, they asked me what time do we play Saturday? Who are we going to play Saturday? They don''t complain about practicing and they''re looking forward to keeping this going."
The Crush won three games to claim the title at the State Games, and then beat the B-Town Brats of Booneville, Hall''s Contracting of Amory, the Booneville Heat, and the Grenada Slammers for the USSSA crown.
After playing in the ASA state tournament this weekend, the Crush will play in the USSSA World Series in Tupelo. The opening ceremony for the World Series will be July 16. The games are scheduled for July 17-19.
"We''ve put in a lot of hard work," Frasher said. "The girls have really put the effort into making sure they''re ready for this. We''ve been practicing three nights a week. I believe we''re having the success we''re having because the girls are putting 100 percent effort into it every time we step on the practice field and the playing field."
Pitcher Megan Peoples, catcher Madison Holt, first baseman Faith Miley, second baseman Mara Ruth, third baseman Ashlie Miller, shortstop Kelsie Gerhart, outfielders Lindsey Stuart, Kiley Cox, Anna Kate O''Bryant, and Alexis Frasher, and reserves Merial Tellis, Mia Richardson, and Kaylin Hankins have all played key roles.
Frasher has been pleased with how the girls, who played on other teams in the summer, have come together in a short amount of time.
"You don''t hear any complaints out of the girls," Frasher said. "They''re eager to get out there and practice. They''re eager to get out there and play the games. They just love softball. It makes it easy for me and the other coaches to do our part because the girls are enjoying it so much, trying so hard at it, and putting 100 percent effort into everything they do.
"They work real well together. They pick each other up. They support each other no matter what happens. They''re never talking down to each other. They''re never complaining about each other. It''s unbelievable how well they do jell together. They are playing really good."
Bert Gerhart, Tim O''Bryant, and Steve Ruth are the assistant coaches.