Jim Parsons' Lake Shore Spartans went 6-0 to capture the 16-and-under PONY national softball tournament last week in West Frankfurt, Ill.
The Spartans edged Herring, Ill., 3-2, in the championship game, as winning pitcher Carrie Parsons (Archbishop Spalding) and Lauren Spears (Old Mill) posted an RBI on a ground out and a fielder's choice, respectively.
Nikki Faulkner (North County) had one of Lake Shore's two hits while scoring a run, as Loren Bailey (Northeast) also singled. Katie Ochs (Chesapeake) tallied the Spartans' remaining run.
Parsons collected 11 strikeouts while allowing three hits and just one walk. For the entire tourney, Parsons struck out 59 batters in 36 innings, allowing only five runs (one earned) and 13 hits, while hitting .526 with a homer and eight RBI.
In a 6-1 semifinal win over West Frankfurt (Ill.), Faulkner (.500, nine runs during the tournament) and Parsons each went 3-for-4 with a double, while Chesapeake's Sarah Widerman (seven RBI for the tourney) drove in two runs while going 2-for-3.
"I think our team just peaked at the right time of the year," said Jim Parsons. "We had trouble scoring runs all year, but we hit the ball well during the entire tournament."
The Lake Shore Spartans 12-and-under softball team finished in fifth place in its division at the PONY Nationals.
The Spartans of Bill Henderson opened the tournament on an up note by defeating two-time national champion Coachelle Valley, Calif., 11-10, in nine innings.
Theresa Clifford, Elizabeth Elliott and Michelle Henderson each doubled and singled, and Lauren Gontkof, D'Anna Preslipsky, Sabrina Neutsh and Sabrina Ryals contributed singles. Henderson picked up the win on the mound for Lake Shore with seven strikeouts.
Lake Shore broke out of the blocks and defeated First Street Graphics of St. Louis, Mo., 15-5, in a game stopped after five innings for the slaughter rule.
Gontkof led the way in that contest with a triple and a double. Preslipsky and Elliott added triples, and Clifford, Angie Kiessling, Sabrina Newton and Brooke Clyde all singled in the victory.
Henderson was the winning pitcher with four strikeouts.
The Spartans returned on Friday and suffered a 5-4 loss to Herring, Ill., and a 14-7 setback to Juliet, Ill.