FARMINGTON — Don’t be fooled by their cheerful smiles and bright orange jerseys, the girls of The Crush, a local slow-pitch softball team, pack power and team spirit.
The Crush is a local 9-12 year old girls’ slow-pitch softball team who play in the Park Hills junior division. The team has played together for three years and maintains an undefeated season this year at 13-0. That record is exactly what prompted coaches David Cassidy, Krista Bales and Angie Greene to step the team up and represent the area July 27-30 in the ASA National Softball Tournament in Tupelo, Mississippi.
The coaches considered entering the girls in a state tournament, only to find out one was not offered, therefore, the next step would be Nationals, and the girls are pumped up and ready to go.
“I believe we’re going to do well down there,” said Coach David Cassidy, “If not, at least we went down there and tried.”
The team is composed of 12 girls from the Mineral Area, three coaches, and, of course, 11 sets of very enthusiastic parents. The parents have supported the team with everything from fund raising to maintaining a cheering section at all the games.
“Our team has done very well this year and we are very proud of them for what they have accomplished. We hope they can do well in the National Tournament,” the parents proclaimed.
“It’s going to be exciting to see these girls go, this is a fun group of girls,” said Spring Gray, a softball mom, “They’re actually playing as a team and they’ve got good team spirit.”
The coaches give credit to the girls’ team spirit for their undefeated season.
“This is a great group of girls,” said Bales, “They all give 110% when they play.”
“These girls have played together for three years. They’ve been in the losing position before, but the more they work as a team, their skill level rises,” said Cassidy, “We can’t do without any one player. It’s a whole team effort.”
The cost, however, has been a little discouraging. The entry fee and hotel rooms for the tournament amount to $3,000. The team has taken on the challenge of fund raising, and hopes to make enough to cover the expenses. The girls have held bake sales, car washes, and other fund-raising events throughout all weather conditions.
Despite the work to prepare to go, the girls’ spirits are still high.
“I’m really excited. I just hope it doesn’t storm,” said Haleigh Bell.
“Yeah, it’s cool to go out of state, and I hear they have a really big water park,” replied Tori Gray.
The team is made up of Jordan Wisdom, Kacee Fitzgerald, Brylee Boyd, Brooke Beckett, Allison Tongay, Sydney Greene, Haleigh Bell, Tori Gray, Caressa Stroup, Payton Furry, Chylie Stroup and Brianne Militzer.
The parents, coaches and girls give out a big thank you to anyone who has supported their efforts in any way. They continue to ask local businesses and residents to help support a their cause to represent the Mineral Area in the National Tournament.
The Crush will be holding a car wash and barbecue at 11 a.m. at the Park Hills Farmer’s Market Sunday, July 22. Anyone who would like to make donations may send checks payable to David Cassidy or Krista Bales, Crush Team, c/o Lil’ Britches, 24 River Mines St., Park Hills, Mo., 63601, or call 701-8514, 431-2992, or 315-9294.