Led by Jen Axtell, who hit three home runs in five games, the MVSA Green Storm placed second at the Cumberland Heat NSA World Series Qualifier June 19-20 and earned a berth in the National Softball Association World Series.

"I thought the kids played great," said MVSA Coach Lee Stang, whose team will compete in the NSA World Series July 26-Aug. 1 in Charlotte, N.C., and Rock Hill, S.C. "We got good pitching and we hit the ball real hard. That's the hardest we've hit the ball all year."

The 18-and-under Storm opened the tournament with an 8-3 win over the Maryland Flames. Joanna Holton (Potomac Falls) hit a two-run home run and Axtell (Churchill) added a solo shot in the top of the last inning. Allison Stang (Magruder) went the distance on the mound.

MVSA got another good pitching performance in the second game as Shannon Seeley (Gaithersburg) had 10 strikeouts, but the team fell to the North Carroll Fury, 4-0. MVSA rebounded with an 8-3 win over the host Cumberland Heat to advance to the championship round. Axtell hit two home runs and Stang and Lara Holmes (Seneca Valley) each tripled and scored. Gracie Green (Holy Cross) struck out seven in a winning effort.

The Storm advanced to the championship game with an 8-2 win over the Fury. Sam Miskin (Gaithersburg) had a home run and triple and Lindsey Swinford (Watkins Mill) hit a two-run single. Seeley pitched a three-hitter and had five strikeouts.

MVSA came up short in the final as the Midshore Express won, 5-3. Lana Wilcox (Gaithersburg) hit a home run in the third inning, tying the game at 3-3, but the Express scored twice in the final innings to win the title.

The Green Storm was led by Melissa Herrmann (Watkins Mill), Christine Stohlman (Watkins Mill), Ashley Green (Stone Ridge), Kayla MacDonald (Northwest), Brianne Carey (St. John's) and assistant coaches Paul Herrmann and Dean Purvis.