SOFTBALL: Shenandoah’s 12-U Babe Ruth softball all-stars win third-straight state championship

It’s almost ironic to say that a 12-U softball team is experienced.

But the Shenandoah All-Stars of the Babe Ruth League have earned that title. This is the same group of young ladies that claimed the 10-U state title two summers ago, and were again deemed state champions in their first season playing at the 12-U level last summer.

And last week, the 12-U All-Stars did what they do best.

After outscoring its opponents, 82-2, Shenandoah claimed its third-consecutive state title with a dominating performance in Richmond.

“This team has a lot of desire and they refuse to lose,” manager Jamey Hensley said. “They set a goal of winning the tournament and showed up to the practices and worked hard to get better. Overall, it was a complete performance by the team batting, pitching and fielding.”

The team stats for Shenandoah are staggering. The pitchers combined for 49 strikeouts, giving up just three hits and two unearned runs. In the six-game span, the All-Stars only had six total strikeouts from their batters. They never lost a game.

Hensley has coached this group since they began playing together during the inaugural 8-U season. He has watched each player skip family vacations and summer pool days with their friends.

Instead, they have worked not only to be the best team in the district, but in the state.

“I told them after the tournament that when we started in 8-U, I never thought they would take it this far,” Hensley said. “This is their third state title. They stay focused with a refuse to lose mentality, and work hard to accomplish their goals.”

The next step for the 12-U All-Stars will be the regional tournament kicking off July 13. The bracket will be released next week.

In the meantime, the Shenandoah girls will spend their summer vacation practicing. And that’s how they like it.

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