All-Stars comeback again to gain top seed

Sunday, August 5, 2012
Jordan Yelensky (24) led Marshall County with a complete game effort on the hill and two hits in three at bats with three runs scored as the 12U all-stars beat Audubon, PA 5-2 in extra innings to win the top seed in the American Division I bracket and advance to the championship round on Monday. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Marshall County all-stars defied all the odds once again, winning in dramatic fashion 5-2 over Audubon, PA in seven innings in their final pool play contest at the 12U World Series to secure one of the four top seeds, entering double elimination play on Monday.

"Our pitching and defense is what got us through this thing, there is no doubt about," said Marshall County head coach Danny Hollingsworth.

Marshall County (3-1) is the only invitational team to gain a top seed and joins three undefeated teams, including defending champion Oviedo, FL, six-time World Series winners Pitt County, NC and Pacific Southwest Regional Champion Lodi, CA at the top.

The "On the Edge" quartette from Gainesville, FL belts out the "Star Spangled Banner" before the game.

"This is for all the naysayers in Marshall County who said we didn't belong here," said Hollingsworth. "Let alone we have a number one seed."

Marshall County will play the winner of Hazlet, NJ versus Washington, NC on Monday at 10:15 a.m. at the Hal Brady Recreation Complex in Alachua, FL.

"Now we have got to start all over again," said Hollingsworth. "We will come back tomorrow morning and I will get to scout a little bit."

Samantha King (16) drills a first-inning RBI base knock to put Marshall County up 1-0.

Jordan Yelensky led the way for Marshall County, tossing a gutsy complete game, giving up two earned runs on three hits, while striking out five and walking three.

Yelensky also had a huge night at the plate, going 2-4 with three runs scored and a stolen base.

Marshall County scored in the top of the first inning on an RBI base knock by Samantha King after Yelensky led off the game with a base hit and stole second base.

Leah Hollingsworth (18) makes a sparkling play at shortstop for Marshall County. Hollingsworth would be named game MVP in the contest.

From there, Yelensky and Audubon starter Stephanie Orman were locked in a scoreless pitcher's duel until the top of the fifth when Marshall County made it 2-0, beginning with a one-out Yelensky double.

Yelensky would come around to score on an Audubon error, but in the bottom of the inning, the Big Blue All-Stars tied the game on RBI base knocks by Gabby Zaczkiewicz and Brigitte Gutpelet.

There was no scoring in the sixth and the game went to extra innings where Haley Hartley led off the inning with a base on balls.

Hannah Singleton (17) delivers a two-run single in the pivotal seventh inning Sunday night at the Babe Ruth World Series in Alachua, FL.

Yelensky reached on an error to put runners on first and second before Leah Hollingsworth laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt, moving both Marshall County runners into scoring position.

After a pop-up for the first out, Blair Richards bounced a ball to second that was misplayed and Hartley scampered home with the go-ahead run.

Hannah Singleton delivered the death knell to Audubon when she drilled a two-run single to left field, giving Yelensky all the insurance she would need.

"She is on fire right now, hats off to Hannah Singleton on that big hit, I just love her," said Hollingsworth. "We got some big hits when needed them and have been doing that the entire tournament."

Sydney Thompson reached on a Marshall County error to lead off the home half of the seventh, but three consecutive solid defensive plays in the field gave Marshall County the win and a bye in the first round of championship play.

"We will go with big Sam (Samantha King) back out on the hill tomorrow," said Hollingsworth. "You have to with the horses that got you here now."