The Mathews Little League Minor Softball All-Stars were crowned state champions last Thursday after a game against McLean. Team members are, front row from left: Shayla Wheeler, Justice Parlett, Madisyn Jackson, Ashley Foster, Hannah Smith, Hannah Mathias, Sarah Brown; second row, Ellie Armistead, Victoria Bing, Caroline Crittenden, Hannah Robins; back row, coaches Sid Foster and Steve Bing, manager J.J. Ashberry and, not pictured, player Raven Schlosshan. Photo by Sherry Hamilton
The Mathews County Little League Minor Softball All-Star Team rode triumphantly into Mathews last Thursday evening after winning the state championship for their 9- to 10-year-old division that morning. Pockets of admirers waited on street corners to wave at the cavalcade of cars driven by family members and led by a fire truck and sheriff’s office vehicles.
The team took the top spot in Virginia on a 2-1 victory over McLean, the defending state champs. It’s the first time any Mathews Little League team has won the state championship, said team manager J.J. Ashberry. He said his girls scored two runs in the first inning and gave up one run in the fourth inning.
“We played tremendous defense,” he said.
After spending the better part of a week in Woodstock in western Virginia, the team headed to Richardson’s on Main Street for supper, where supporters waited with a large sign celebrating the victory.
“We said from June 16 we were going to the top, and that’s where we ended,” Ashberry said.
The state championship is as far as the girls can go for an official title, since the Little League doesn’t have a regional tournament for the age group. However, there will be an invitational gathering of state champs in Luray today, and although Ashberry didn’t know the details, he said Mathews would be there.