The Columbia County Parks and Recreation 11/12 Girls All-Stars advanced to the championship round of the 2014 Dixie Ponytails World Series in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., with flair Thursday morning.
After losing 7-2 to two-time defending champion South Carolina on Tuesday, the All-Stars, representing Georgia, worked their way back through the losers bracket with wins over Alabama and Texas on Wednesday. The All-Stars got another shot at South Carolina on Thursday, winning 2-0 on a combined no-hitter from Raegin Flanigan and Anna Burnett.
Flanigan, who pitched the first five innings to get the win, impressed manager Scott McChesney.
“Raegin just pitched lights out,” McChesney said. “In 20 years that’s probably the best game I’ve seen. It was exciting.”
McChesney preaches poise to his squad and it paid off against South Carolina where the All-Stars were the home team.
“I tell them if we ever go 0-0 late in the game don’t worry about it,” McChesney said. “The team that freaks out is usually the one that loses. And that’s what happened, South Carolina made two errors and we capitalized on them.”
Flanigan and Peyton Perdue scored for the All-Stars in the bottom of the fifth and Burnett shut down South Carolina in the sixth for the save.
After their game, the All-Stars were waiting for the winner of North Carolina and Virginia to see what would happen. With a Virginia win, the All-Stars would have to beat Virginia twice beginning at 9 a.m. Friday. A North Carolina win would leave three teams with one loss and the All-Stars would flip a coin with North Carolina to see who would play Virginia at 9 a.m. Friday. The coin-flip winner would be waiting in the wings for an 11 a.m. final game.
McChesney was hoping for a North Carolina win and then to win the coin flip and the one-game scenario because he was running out of innings for his pitchers.
“You only get 13 and she’s done,” McChesney said of Flanigan and why she couldn’t finish the South Carolina game. “With our three pitchers we only have nine innings between them. Our fourth pitcher would have to come in for the last three innings.”