By John WilsonJohn.email@example.com
For most high schoolers spring break is usually about relaxing a bit and making some memories.
This year the Stuart Cramer softball team and East Gaston baseball team made some memories they won’t soon forget as both teams walked away with spring break tournament titles.
Stuart Cramer softball won last week’s Toyota of Gastonia Spring Break Softball Tournament held at South Point High School while EG baseball won the Gaston County Easter Baseball Tournament.
The softball tournament got off to a rocky start early in the week when Mother Nature threw the event a curve ball and adjustments needed to be made.
The games were supposed to be held on Monday and Tuesday, but heavy rain on Monday forced the schedule to be moved back a day.
South Point head coach Leah Brooks and her staff didn’t let the weather out do them. As the tournament hosts, the South Point crew did a good job dealing with the delay.
“I think it would be appropriate to give credit to coach Brooks, her players and coaching staff for hosting this,” Cramer head coach James Brown said. “I know they had to move things around because it rained on Monday and I know it’s a lot of work trying to dry the infield.”
While nature did its thing that never damped the mood of the event. Once the action got underway it soon became clear that Stuart Cramer was going to dominate this year.
The Storm won the title by beating South Point 15-3, East Gaston 12-0 and Forestview 5-0 in the final.
In the win against South Point, Hadley Womack took the mound and pitched the entire game giving up only three hits and delivering five strikeouts.
In the East Gaston and Forestview games, Emma Donaldson started and played well.
Donaldson was in total control against the Lady Warriors fanning eight East Gaston batters on her way to pitching a shutout.
Things got a little tougher when the Storm faced off against the Lady Jags in the final.
In that one, Donaldson still came through in the clutch giving up five hits, but also striking out eight Forestview batters.
In recognition of her strong performance, Emma would go on to be named the tournament’s MVP.
While it’s true that Donaldson delivered a stellar performance, what really made this tournament special for Cramer was the fact that players who normally aren’t in the spotlight stepped up big time.
“We had two players, Madison Lee and Addy Marr who got their first career home runs,” Brown said. “Both of those girls also got All-Tournament selections.”
A breakdown of the post-game stats show that Marr and Lee really had a good run.
Marr finished the tournament with three hits and six RBIs while Lee would finish with four hits and six RBIs.
In addition to Marr, Lee and Donaldson receiving accolades, Braley Hamilton was also named to the All-Tournament team as well.
Hamilton wielded a heavy bat all week ending the tournament with five hits.
Across the board, Coach Brown was happy with the way his team performed.
“Everyone contributed both offensively and defensively,” Brown went on to say. “We had a couple of girls really step up on both sides of the ball.”
On the baseball side of things, the East Gaston Warriors won their sixth Gaston County Easter Baseball Tournament title.
The annual classic held at Sims Legion Park has a long tradition dating back to 1987.
The last time the Warriors won the county championship was in 2016.
This year East Gaston got it done playing their version of small-ball. An offensive philosophy that emphasizes placing runners on base and then advancing them into scoring position.
East Gaston got their first win of the tournament on Monday with a big 13-3 blowout of Bessemer City.
Bryce Benson got the start and did a good job in three innings of action. The junior hurler got the win without giving up a run. While facing Benson, Yellowjacket batters only managed two hits.
Benson wasn’t the only EG pitcher to take the mound. Gracen Mahadeo came in relief and did well pitching for three innings.
While Bryce Benson did a good job on the mound, he did even better swinging a bat. Benson went 3-for-3 and led the team in batting.
In the second game of the tournament East Gaston held off a late rally by Forestview to walk away with an 8-4 win. One of the keys to the victory was a strong sixth inning performance where the Warriors scored four runs.
Right hander Elijah Sutherland got the start and managed to hold his own. In well over five innings of play. Sutherland allowed four runs on seven hits. He also struck out four Forestview batters.
Sutherland got a little bit of help toward the end of the game when Dylan Howell came in and pitched for one and one-third innings in a relief role.
In the Forestview game, EG’s top batter was Logan Agosta. Agosta finished the game with a .750 batting average by going 3-for-4.
In the championship game, the Warriors took on a familiar foe when they faced off with the North Gaston Wildcats.
The last time the Warriors and Wildcats played was in March. In that one North Gaston blanked EG 5-0.
In the re-match East Gaston got a bit of payback when Parker Agosta took the mound and decimated the Wildcat batting lineup.
Agosta had a sensational game striking out 11 batters while only giving up one hit and no runs in over seven innings of action.
In addition to pitching well Parker joined his brother Logan Agosta, Dylan Howell, Liam Brady and Daniel McClellan in churning out multiple hits to power the East Gaston offense. In all the Warriors belted out 11 hits.
Winning the county championship is a big deal. Head coach Randy Sellers and his squad did a heck of a job this year.
“I’m very proud of our team’s preparation, focus and play during the tournament,” coach Sellers said. “Their effort and intensity while pulling for their teammates was instrumental in winning the championship.”
This week East Gaston and Cramer will get back to regular season action.
The Warriors have games this week against R-S Central and North Gaston while Cramer plays Ashbrook and Kings Mountain.See more photos on page 11
(Banner-News April 28, 2022 Issue)