Valkyries Win 12U Division Fastpitch Softball Championship
Coach Austin: "I almost feel like it wasn't really a win!"
Editor's note: Our reporter was unable to contact the coach of Rock-n-Fire at the time of this article. We have since spoken with her and are aware that Rock-n-Fire is appealing the forfeit. We will add all new information that we receive as soon as possible.
The Valkyries won the Prince William Girls Fastpitch Softball (PWGFS) 12U Division championship Monday due to a forfeit by Rock-n-Fire coach Rebecca Horesky. League President Jeff Benskin, who is also an assistant coach of the Valkyries, said the commissioner did not receive Horesky's request to reschedule the game until Monday afternoon. Benskin said Rock-n-Fire had already been told that the game was postponed. Horesky was unavailable for comment.
"I almost feel like it wasn't really a win," said Valkyries coach Kyle Austin. "You hate to have it just handed to you. You'd like to go out and perform, compete, and win it that way. I think there were some administrative things that went wrong league wise, and it was unfortunate for them [Rock-n-Fire], but we were undefeated. That's what I know, we were undefeated this year."
The Valkyries unblemished record consists of 8 regular season wins and two playoff victories. Although the last game of the season was decided without the teams taking the field, the Valkyries showed pride in their accomplishments, as they conducted a team chant and then gave assistant coach Jeff Benskin a Gatorade bath.
Austin attributed his team's undefeated season to a great coaching staff who helped the team remain disciplined and free from the distractions that youth players are faced with, such as cell phones, boys, and gossip.
Third year pitcher Berith Austin had a solid year on the mound for the Valkyries, and coach Austin believes that his daughter has the potential to be a dangerous pitcher.
"She hasn't quite reached her ceiling yet," said Austin, "but every year she gets a little more intense and a little more focused. I think her velocity increases every time she goes out there. Once she learns how to control the ball and pick up a second pitch she's gonna be tough."
Offensively, the Valkyries were extremely dominant and won most of their games by way of mercy rule.
"We've been pretty solid throughout the lineup," said Benskin. "Most of our games we got five runs in the first inning and five runs in the second. There's been only a couple games where they held us and we went maybe six innings."
Benskin, who became league president in 2004, has been coaching in the PWGFS since 1999, and over the years he has seen many PWGFS athletes move on to college level softball.
"Of all the things that these young ladies could be getting into, this is a good thing," said Benskin. "They're learning fitness, they're learning to play together as a team, and they're learning all kinds of different life lessons that they will carry with them long after they leave this league. There's a world of opportunity for these girls, and by them playing in this league it betters the high school programs."
PWGFS will hold summer camps July 11-22. To register visit PW Fast Pitch. The fall season begins after Labor Day.