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 16 Kids, One Team Earn 2008 Chromy Awards

July 9, 2008 - Television has the Emmys, the music industry has the Grammys, the sports world has the ESPYs, so for the youth baseball and softball programs, we might as well have the Chromys.

The second annual Chromy Awards are based partially on input from coaches, observations made during the baseball and softball playoffs, and in some difficult cases, a blind-folded coin flip in which the coin was never actually recovered. In those cases, multiple winners were recognized.

The Chromys won’t be accompanied by nifty trophies or fancy certificates, but they are intended to recognize some extra-special plays and kids I observed during the four youth baseball and softball tournaments at the ball park.

So without hesitation again, (dramatic music, please), the 2008 Chromys are awarded to the following:


The Knightstown Meats & Catering Diamond Crushers had an amazing run to the championship of the minor league softball tournament. First, the team had to overcome a 13-run deficit to defeat the Brooks Insurance Agency Screaming Eagles, 17-16. Then, they had to win twice against the MT Media Stars in the championship. The Diamond Crushers did just that, knocking off the Stars 13-5 in the finale, after winning the first game 17-9.


In preliminary tournament rounds of the girls major league tourney, the Orange Crush were on the verge of elimination until they rallied for a 17-16 win over the Erwin Excavating Bratz With Batz. Shelby Patton drove in Tatyana Harsh with the winning run in the bottom of the fifth inning to keep the team alive, and they would go on to win the title.


After a see-saw game between the Knightstown Volunteer Fire Department FireHawks and Hinsey-Brown Funeral Home Sluggers in the girls major league tourney, the game was tied up at 14-14 in the last inning when Cassandra Cox stole home plate to score the winning run. It was a heads-up and gutsy play.


The defensive play of the tournament occurred during the FireHawks and Sluggers girls major league tourney game. The Sluggers’ Haley Fowler ripped a shot down the third base line that rolled all the way to the fence. Left fielder Madison Holder chased down the ball and fired a strike to Tori McDonald, who was the cut-off. McDonald then threw a perfect ball to catcher Bonnie Huckeby, who tagged out Fowler trying to score on the inside-the-park home run.


Codey Miller, of the girls junior league champion Diamond Crushers, played shortstop and pitched during the two-game playoff finale. She was the defensive standout performer, snagging a hard grounder and throwing a runner out in the first inning. In second frame, Miller caught a pop-up for another out. Then, in the third inning, Miller recorded all three outs by scooping up three ground balls and throwing the runners out. She threw another runner out in the fifth inning. Miller completed a tremendous all-around game by going 3-for-3 at the plate, scoring three times and driving home two more runners. In the first game, Miller was outstanding on the mound, striking out six batters in two innings of work. Offensively, Miller went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBIs. In the two championship games, Miller was 6-for-7 with five runs scored and six RBIs. She was the winning pitcher in both contests.


Morgan Helderbrand had a superior day at the plate for the Orange Crush, going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and four RBIs. Shelby Patton reached base four times, getting two singles, drawing two walks and scoring four times. The duo combined for five hits, seven runs and six RBIs in their team’s 18-10 win in the finale.


Tyler Burton, who was named the tournament Most Valuable Player, had a monster game in the championship, as the Knightstown Volunteer Fire Department Reds pounded out 22 hits on their way to a 15-6 win over the Elite Heating Cardinals. Burton went 4-for-4 and scored three runs.


Kaulin Kern pitched a three-hitter, striking out nine batters and leading the Knightstown Elevator Cubs to a 10-2 win over the White Flash Auto Parts Indians in the championship game of the boys major league tournament. Kern had an amazing all-around game. Offensively, he slammed two triples, reached base three times, had a sacrifice and scored two runs. On the mound, he was nearly flawless. Kern walked just four batters and was in trouble only in the first inning. Kern allowed just one hit over the final five innings. He was named the major league tournament Most Valuable Player.


In the minor league championship, Simmons singled, doubled and tripled, scoring three times in the 15-6 win. The effort was overshadowed because of teammates Tyler Burton, Lucas Lewis and Kaleb Buchanan.


Emerson had three hits and three RBIs, driving in the eventual game-winning run in the Cubs’ 10-2 championship win over the Indians in an effort that was overshadowed by MVP teammate Kaulin Kern.


In the two championship games, Grider had five hits and five runs, Lawhorne had five hits and six runs, and Brown had five hits and four RBIs. Those efforts were overshadowed by the tremendous all-around play of teammate Codey Miller.


Miller scored two runs, drove in two more and had two base hits in the championship game loss to the Orange Crush. Her clutch, two-RBI single scored Ciara Kline and Alyson Chapple to make the game close, but her effort was overshadowed by the fact that her team didn’t win.


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