Over the weekend, the Lady Grizzlies won the Cherokee County junior varsity championship by defeating each of the other county teams at Twin Creeks Softball Complex.
Creekview outscored Cherokee (5-4), Woodstock (4-2) and Sequoyah (14-2), then added shutouts of River Ridge (3-0) and Etowah (14-0).
The Lady Grizzlies, who will wrap up the season Tuesday at Etowah, improved their record to 16-2 on the season.
Creekview varsity coach Chance Cain said the county tournament is as competitive as it gets at the junior varsity level.
“We have some young talent, all the way from our middle grades up through,” Cain said.
Kirsten Aanensen took home top-player honors after going 9-for-17 with nine RBIs and four doubles in the tournament.
The top pitcher for the Lady Grizzlies was sophomore Bethany Hyde, who won three games, pitched 16 innings and allowed just one earned run on 13 hits. She held opponents to a .210 batting average, while striking out 22.
Many of the team’s most promising members will soon be called up to compete with the varsity team as it moves toward the state playoffs. Cain said this is a big step for some of the players, but it isn’t an abrupt move. Many have gotten at-bats or entered games as pinch-runners during the course of the regular season.
Also, the varsity and junior varsity players practice together and are familiar with one another. They did summer workouts together and train as a group in the offseason.
“We have some girls who will step in either this year or next year,” Cain said. “We have some pretty good kids. That future looks pretty bright for the Grizzlies. We are pretty much one team that we just divide up by talent. We have got some kids who can float both ways.”
Cain said there are no juniors on the JV roster, which is made up entirely of eighth-graders, freshmen and sophomores. He said the team has all the key elements a team needs — good hitting, consistent pitching and a solid defense.
“We are trying to just get them some playing time,” Cain said. “They can’t learn a lot sitting on the bench. They probably could play varsity on a lot of other teams, but for us we, just have a pretty talented older group, so we just get their games in when we can. They did a pretty good job this year. I’m pretty proud of them.”