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Gibson, Hendricks, Force Elite 16U crowned Vette City Showcase champs

Abby Hendricks of North Mac batting for the Force Elite 16U at the Vette City Showcase. Photo contributed.


Enquirer Democrat Reporter

An adverse start didn’t affect Hannah Gibson, Abby Hendricks and the other members of a resilient Force Elite 16U core at the Vette City Showcase last weekend.

Fueled by the motivation of missed opportunities that surfaced in a 6-3 loss and 4-4 tie June 23, the girls knew they were better than what they had shown in those first two games.

The Force went on to win six of its next seven and, ultimately, the championship.

The girls ended the first day on a high note, beating Indy Crush Mora, 12-2.

Hannah Gibson of Carlinville pitching for the Force Elite 16U at the Vette City Showcase. Photo contributed.

Force Elite started day two with another brief hiccup in the form of a 4-2 loss to Impact Gold Premier/Kimzey, then initiated its massive breakout. The girls hammered the Kentucky Stingrays, 8-2, to qualify for June 25 – a day to remember.

All four games from Sunday were decided by three runs or more, with the Force dominating its opponents, 33-5, as a collective. The girls pounded the TBSA Wahoos 9-1 and shut out Eagles-KB 7-0 to set up a rematch with the Louisville Stunners – the team that had beaten them in the tournament opener. Force Elite cruised, 8-2, and clinched the championship with another victory over the Kentucky Stingrays, 5-2.

Force Elite 16U, which is mainly based in Auburn and consists of all-star caliber athletes from surrounding areas, is 18-7-1 overall.

The girls will continue their season Fri., June 30 against KC Bombers Gold and Marek Fastpitch Academy. They also have a doublehader scheduled for Sat., July 1 with Heat Gold and the TBSA Wahoos.