The South Effingham Lady Mustangs beat Effingham County Middle School 9-0 in five innings to win the Coastal Empire Region softball championship for the 13th consecutive year.
ECMS managed just one hit off SEMS pitcher Kastin Belogorska, who struck out seven and did not walk a batter during her four innings of work.
Alexa Johanson’s run-scoring groundout, an Emily Laverenz RBI single and Cheyenne Miller’s run-scoring triple gave the Lady Mustangs a 3-0 lead in the first inning.
The Lady Mustangs scored in the second on Johanson’s RBI single and a Miller two-run double .
Miller went 2-for-2 with three RBIs, Johanson was 1-for-2 with two RBIs, Laverenz was 1-for-1 with two RBIs, Mallori Jenkins was 1-for-2 with one RBI, Kylie Bohl and Hailey Pinette each went 1-for-1 and Belogorska was 1-for-2.
The Lady Stangs celebrated an outstanding season at their banquet where awards for excellence were awarded. Pinette, Courtney Cubbedge, and Caroline Brown all received game balls for outstanding performances in tournament play. Academic awards were given to sixth-grader Brown, seventh-grader Dailey Bilenski and eighth-grader Belogorska for highest GPA in their respective grades. Eighth-grader Johanson won highest GPA for the team overall.
Outstanding defensive player went to Belogorska, outstanding offensive player went to Miller, coaches award went to Laverenz and MVP went to Jenkins. Madelyn Smith received a special warrior award for overcoming two major injuries and never quitting. Sixth-grader Bella Sapp was recognized for serving as announcer at the home games and fourth-grader Layla Bosche’ for being manager/bat girl.
Coach Downs has been at SEMS for 15 years and has led the team to 14 total region championships. Also, coaching for the Stangs are assistants Shelley Hobbs, Mike Liscio and Larry Sellers.