Although neither of the two Wewa softball teams at the state tournament held in Belleview returned home with first-place trophies, “all the girls did an amazing job this weekend,” said Drew Hall, head coach of the 12-U team.
After taking an opening loss on Friday, the 12-U team “was playing a great game, tied 3-3 with the best part of the lineup coming up” on Saturday when the opponent, West Pasco, protested a substitution error which the official tournament scorekeeper had failed to record properly.
“This gave (the team) the second loss and eliminated us from the tournament,” said Hall.
Since the substitution had occurred much earlier in the game and the protest was not lodged until the final inning, “I felt like I literally got kicked in the stomach (but) the girls kept their heads up,” Hall said.
As evidence of the girls keeping their poise, the team earned the Donna Brooks Good Sportsmanship Award for the 12-U Ponytails Division.
The 10-U team, coached by Drew Hall’s twin brother Kyle, defeated Okaloosa Friday night but took their first loss on Saturday against Paxton.
Saturday night once again pitted Wewa against Okaloosa, with the Gulf County girls prevailing in extra innings to set up a rematch against Paxton on Sunday.
To the disappointment of local fans, Paxton prevailed once more over the local favorites, winning the state crown in the 10-U X-play age group.
Besides finishing as the state runner-up, the Wewa 10-U girls received the Donna Brooks Good Sportsmanship Award for the Angels Division.
In an ironic twist, Paxton also was set to win the 12-U state title but was disqualified in the same manner as Drew Hall’s team had been – an error made not by the team but by the official tournament scorekeeper. This resulted in Belleview winning the state championship.