The Braddock Road Youth Club Stingrays captured the 16-and-under FAST Nationals softball tournament in Orlando on Saturday with a 5-4 victory over the Florida Ultimate 16.
Shortstop Taylor Cunningham, a rising sophomore at Robinson High, singled to left center field with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to drive in Hylton senior catcher Larissa Williams with the winning run.
"It's unbelievable," Coach Greg Kozy said. "It's the biggest tournament that we've ever won."
The Stingrays went 10-0-1 in the tournament, including four one-run wins in the five-game championship round. On the mound, Hayfield senior pitcher Stephanie Bender and Loudoun Valley senior Jamie Fraysher allowed only 12 runs.
Cunningham and Williams also teamed up in the semifinal to provide the winning runs. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh against the Bartow (Fla.) Intimidators, Williams led off with a double and scored on Cunningham's 230-foot home run over the left field fence for the 2-1 victory.
Xplosion Wins Title
The Xplosion 14-and-under softball team from Centreville won the recent PONY National Tournament of Champions in Sterling. The Xplosion, coached by Dan Craig and representing the Southwestern Youth Association, beat out 168 other teams from 14 states in the eastern United States.
The Xplosion didn't start the week well, losing to the Rhode Island Thunder Gold, 4-1, in its first game of pool play. After that, however, the Xplosion defeated the Lady Fireballs (Pa.), 1-0, and the Long Island Chargers, 11-0, to secure a No. 2 seed in one of 16 playoff brackets. The Xplosion won all four of its games in double-elimination bracket play to get to the 16-team single-elimination championship bracket.
After three more victories, which made the Xplosion 9-1 in the tournament, the Xplosion won the tournament championship with a 2-1 victory over the previously unbeaten Vienna Shamrocks.
The Northern Virginia Swimming League awarded three $1,500 scholarships to NVSL swimmers who recently graduated from high school. Benjamin Zisk was given the NVSL President's Scholarship, and Katie Guida and Christina Sweeder were given NVSL MacDuff Scholarships.
Zisk, a graduate of Oakton High, was a member of the Oakton Otters swim team for 10 years and will attend Duke next year. Guida, who will swim at Notre Dame next year, has been a member of the Riverside Gardens team for the last 10 years. She graduated from Georgetown Visitation. Sweeder, a diver for North Springfield for 12 years, graduated from Thomas Jefferson High and will attend Georgia Tech.
The Herndon Swim League awarded $500 college scholarships to seven recent high school graduates during the league's 12th annual championship meet last Friday at Four Seasons Recreation Center.
The swimmers are Ally Kight, who will attend Mary Washington, and Kevin Klinker (Christopher Newport) of the Kingston Chase team; Jaquelyn Howells (Virginia) and Alyson Willey (Shippensburg) of Kingstream; Amy Yu (George Mason) and David Aytes (Missouri) of Hunters Creek; and Jason Philpott (Mary Washington) of Bradley Farm.