Tommy Orndorff has coached his Virginia Shamrocks teams to better records over the past 32 years of summer softball. None, however, won a bigger prize than this year's 18-and-under Shamrocks did over the weekend.
The Shamrocks beat out 63 teams for the championship at the 18-and-under ASA Gold National tournament in Salinas, Calif. Capped by Sunday's 3-1 victory over the Arizona Hotshots, the Shamrocks won all seven of their games and outscored their opposition 25-5. Orndorff said the Shamrocks are the first East Coast team to win the tournament.
Orndorff has taken his team (56-11 this summer) to this tournament every year since 1977. Other than teams from Illinois winning in 1976 and last year, he said California teams have won every year.
"It's a big deal when a team from California doesn't win it," Orndorff said. "For us just to be participating in the championship game is an awesome feeling."
In the championship game, 2004 All-Met Player of the Year Courtney Bures (Stonewall Jackson/Mississippi State) went 3 for 3 and scored two runs. Broad Run All-Met Jenny Clohan pitched the first 52/3 innings for the victory, and 2005 All-Met Player of the Year Megan Elliott from Calvert retired the last four batters for the save.
In the preceding game, Elliott pitched a two-hitter to beat the Hotshots, 1-0.
-- Alan Goldenbach