Wesley Chapel club finishes as national runner-up
By Kyle LoJacono
No softball team from Wesley Chapel had ever made the Dixie World Series — until the 2011 Angels showed up.
The Angels went 4-2 at the World Series in South Hill, Va., July 29-Aug 3, which included teams from 11 other states. The squad was representing Florida after winning the District 4 and state tournaments with a combined 8-1 record.
The team, part of the Wesley Chapel Athletic Association (WCAA), came up one win short of the ultimate crown, but the Angels showed their town is one that should be taken seriously in the future.
“We wanted to help put Wesley Chapel on the softball map,” said pitcher Logan Coward. “We felt we had a good chance to win districts and compete at states, but to be runner-up at the World Series was a dream come true.”
Wesley Chapel was knocked out in districts the last two years by Spring Hill, the 2010 World Series champion.
“We knew this was our best chance to do something special,” said pitcher Jordyn Kadlub. “Two years ago after losing to Spring Hill in the district championship, we saw what it took to win. So we worked hard on pitching and the rest of our game year round for two straight years.”
The Angels had become accustomed to winning games comfortably, outscoring their opponents 78-5 at districts and states. The pitchers and defense kept the opposition off the bases, and the goal was to use that same method in the World Series.
“Our strategy in pitching was to try and save our top two pitchers Jordyn Kadlub and Logan Coward for the later games, assuming we won our early games in the tournament,” said assistant Scott Kadlub, also Jordyn’s father. “Everything worked out as we hoped, with Riley Baxter, Shelby Westbrook and Jordan Rosenberg pitching the majority of the innings in first three games.”
Two of the first three contests were nail-biters for Wesley Chapel, defeating tournament host South Hill 5-4 in extra innings, Georgia 4-0 and Tennessee 1-0.
The Angels put up three runs in the first inning of their first contest against South Hill thanks to an RBI double by Jordyn and an RBI single by Melissa Wark. Wesley Chapel’s bats went cold from there, but the pitching kept the lead until South Hill tied it in the fifth.
South Hill took the lead in the top of the sixth, but Wesley Chapel loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the frame. Rosenberg stepped up to the plate and delivered a two-run walk-off single.
The Angels lost their fourth game to Louisiana 2-0, forcing them to come back from the losers bracket to earn a spot in the finals. Wesley Chapel defeated Tennessee 8-0 to secure its spot in the championship game.
Unfortunately for Wesley Chapel, the rematch with Louisiana was nearly a carbon copy of the first meeting, with the Florida squad coming out on the short end of a 2-0 score. The Angels posted just two hits total in the two contests against Louisiana.
Wesley Chapel pitchers threw 29 innings in the tournament, recording 45 strikeouts and posting three shutouts while allowing 13 hits and eight total runs in the six games.
“Our pitching staff was talked about throughout the tournament,” Scott said. “Not only our top two, but the fact that we had depth. Five pitchers who can throw hard and be consistent at this level.’”
The Angels can take some satisfaction on who they lost to and what it might mean for the future of the program.
“We lost to the team that was runner-up last year, who had seven returning players from that team,” Scott said. “Our pitching ability kept us in every game and gave us a chance to win it all, but we just did not have enough strength batting against the better pitching teams to either put back-to-back hits together or force errors.”
For information on the WCAA softball league or the Angels, visit www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=wcaa.
Wesley Chapel Angels
- Jordan Almasy
- Riley Baxter
- Chase Booker
- Logan Coward
- Jordyn Kadlub
- Baylie King
- Anna Margetis
- Paige Mulford
- Neely Peterson
- Jordan Rosenberg
- Melissa Wark
- Shelby Westbrook
- Will Coward, coach
- Scott Kadlub, assistant
- Scott King, assistant
- Mike Peterson, assistant