Shenandoah wins 10U Babe Ruth State Championship

Manager Page Comer probably said it best.

“This,” Comer said, “has been a long time coming.”

Shenandoah’s 10U Babe Ruth League softball team won its age division’s state championship outside of Richmond on Sunday, topping Glen Allen by a score of 11-1.

Shenandoah is no stranger to successful youth softball teams, but this year’s championship is the first for this particular group of girls. They finished as runner-up during their first year of 10U in 2016; when they were still in 8U in 2015, they finished as runners-up as well.

So perhaps the win is, in fact, a long time coming.

“This group of girls is extremely dedicated, said Comer. “They play with a lot of heart. They push each other in practices and games. The bond they have is a key strength of theirs.”

Glen Allen may have been posterized as an unfortunate victim of Shenandoah on the girl’s quest for a title, but they’re far from the only team that’s been discarded along the way. Shenandoah hasn’t triumphed over their competition so much as they’ve outright slaughtered it; in the week’s worth of games running up to the championship contest,

Shenandoah outscored opponents by a combined score of 72 to 5.

Montannah Alger, who pitched the championship game, was named the tournament MVP. According to Comer, her strong defensive performance — and limiting Glen Allen to only one run, early in the game — was the impetus for the award.

Alger may have gotten the extra hardware, but it was Bailee Gaskins who pitched a perfect game in a semifinal matchup against Stafford.

“Having a perfect game at this age is unheard of,” Comer said.

So it’s safe to say that Shenandoah is the rightful heir to this year’s championship.

“From the very beginning, I believed the coaching staff and players knew this could be the year to win the state,” Comer said. “In order to do that, we knew we were going to have to have good pitching and aggressive base running, and we had to get the bunts down. I believe this is what led us to be state champs.”

Now, Shenandoah will go on to compete at the regional level, with other state champions and runners-up.

If the dominant performances continue, this 10U group — which has been knocking on the door for years, now — might have more than just a state championship to hang their helmets on. Shenandoah, after all, has had some success chasing big-time softball championships.

“As long as we play our ball and play as a team, we could potentially go further then regionals,” Comer said. “At this point, the sky is the limit.”

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