Manassas Journal Messenger | Inspired Blaze top Fury


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Even though she wasn’t on the field Sunday afternoon, Caitlin Davis provided the inspiration that helped the Manassas Blaze 14-&-under softball team capture the Riviera Beach Classic.

After Davis suffered a season-ending injury stealing home in the semifinals, the Blaze played the championship game with the same type of tenacity.

Shortstop Rachael Davies singled to score Alicia Fields with the game-winning run and right fielder Tasha Boutselis made a terrific catch on a line drive in the seventh inning as the Blaze defeated the Maryland Fury, 3-2.

Allyson Stevens picked up the win in the pitcher’s circle thanks to tremendous defensive play from first baseman Robin Botkin and a clutch throw from catcher Kat Solarczyk in the seventh that wiped out a Fury runner on a steal attempt.

Davies made the tag at second to end the Fury’s comeback attempt as the Blaze capped a 5-1 weekend.

Davis suffered her injury during a 7-4 win over the Maryland Stars in the semifinals. The Blaze opened tournament play with a 6-0 shutout win over the Sussex (Del.) Chix — a win that featured triples by Katie Snoots, Solarczyk and Stevens.

After dropping a 5-4 decision to the Howard County Patriots, the Blaze won their final four games. Ashley Hochstrasser hit a home run to highlight a 6-5 victory over the Long Island Bandits, while Erica Martinez, Megan Barbour and Kayln Maestas sparked a 15-3 quarterfinal round win over Sussex.


The Rock ‘n’ Fire softball team is proof enough that Disney World truly is the place where magic lives.

Virginia’s premier 16-&-under squad continued its storybook summer at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex by capturing the Palms and Pines Tournament. A 3-0 championship game victory over the Kentucky lady Colonels capped Rock ‘n’ Fire’s fifth tournament championship.

Kelly Weber tossed a shutout and Rock ‘n’ Fire scored all three runs in the fifth inning on consecutive hits by Sarah Malene, Paige Wakefield, Brittney Lyddane and Becky Horesky.

Cristi Ecks struck out the first 12 batters she faced in the semifinals as Rock ‘n’ Fire routed Legit (Florida) 9-0. Ecks carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and finished with a one-hit shutout.

Ryan Ruck, Horesky, Shyla Rider, Sarah Himan, Wakefield and Alyssa Kemmerer provided the big hits.

Dave Utnik covers softball for the Potomac News & Manassas Journal-Messenger. Reach him at (703) 878-8051.

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