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Further Afield - Who's going to go all the way at Midway?
luke cameron

As the Midway girls Senior League regular season has ended and the tournament is set to begin next week, it behooves us to look at the lay of the land in the league and take stock of team fortunes. Who has a chance to win the whole thing? Who could make some noise in the tournament? Who does not have a chance at all?

Realistically speaking, there are about three teams in the league with legitimate tournament championship aspirations. Those would be Smarty Pants, Crushettz, and Precision Auto Machine. There are two teams which could potentially give another team a scare if they played their cards right and came to play on a given night. Those are Dana’s Dog-On Grooming and Douglas & Lanier. There is one team which probably will be leaving tournament play with only a parting gift. That is Chaos.

 Let’s look at where each team stands as of now.

 

Smarty Pants — This is hands-down the best regular season team in the league. They only lost one game all season, and that was the last one Tuesday night to Precision. This squad has good, positive vibes. They build each other up and encourage one another. 

There is a family-type atmosphere on this team. They are also supremely talented. The high-energy, playmaking trio of Farmer sisters (Payton, Kaytee, Saydie), plus the talented Sierah Kester at shortstop and rope-hitting Kylie Young in the cleanup spot, make them tough to beat. Was their loss to Precision on Tuesday night simply a late-summer, dog-day aberration? Probably so. Come tournament time, this team should be ready to make a run for the whole thing.

 

Crushettz — Crushettz seems to be playing good ball at the right time. They collected wins over Dana’s and Precision on Tuesday night and seem primed for a deep tournament run. They also played Smarty Pants to close, one-run games twice during the regular season. 

This team benefits from good coaches who try to get the most out of their players and who stay active and engaged the whole game. The middle of their batting order is a bear to try to defend, with Anna Prater, Lexie Thomas, and Kylie Mason in those slots recently. Crushettz also has made some nice late-season, Junior League pickups: the likes of Izzy Pitts, Brooke Kesey, and Baylee Norrod. Taylor Coldwell is a good, consistent hitter for them too. Can they finally get over the hump and claim girls Senior League supremacy? We’ll see. 

 

Precision Auto Machine — This team contains a core of players who have grown up playing ball, both softball and Jaycees basketball and maybe other stuff, together for years. One big question is if they have enough pop in their lineup to carry them to a tournament championship. 

When their mind is right, their defense can be scary good. When they do not come to play, though, they can potentially be beaten by anybody. Their middle infield of Paisley Wanamaker and Emily Cantrell is solid. Emeline Bell makes plays in left-center. Sara Davis hits well in the No. 10 hole at the bottom of the lineup. They beat the previously undefeated Smarty Pants on Tuesday, but then followed that up later in the night with a loss to Crushettz. Can they get focused for the postseason?

 

Dana’s Dog-On Grooming — The odds are that Dana’s probably will not contend for a title, but they could play spoiler. If Precision or Crushettz overlooks them, some timely hitting could potentially put Dana’s over the top in a one-game scenario. Sophie Woodlee swings a strong bat.

 

Douglas & Lanier — Douglas has shown vast improvement from the beginning of the season until now. A recent win over Crushettz has them believing. Shortstop Destiny Wanamaker could make a case for defensive MVP of the league. The Brackley sisters (Clara and BeBe) are the team’s glue, and first baseman Rachel Bell has been crushing the ball in the cleanup spot. Could they lurk up on an unsuspecting team and steal a win?

 

Chaos — Chaos lacks some of the high-end talent of other teams, but they do not give up. Gretchen Stuart and Kimbo McBride are veterans who will not allow their team to quit. This team may not win, but they will still put forth effort and give their best. That should be commended.