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Athletes of the Week

State champs all the way

The Oakland Sidewinders 16U team is made out of players from Clarkston and surrounding areas. The team includes: back row, Meghan Tangney, Tara Perry, Coach Jeff Hicks, Selena Hicks, Coach Stu Hastings; middle row, Aly Edgemon, Morgan Craft, Cassie Edgemon, and front row, Sierra Burke, Carly Banchiu, Shauna Sawicki and Megan Hastings. Photo submitted (click for larger version)
July 13, 2011 - Oakland Sidewinders 16U is more than a team of young ladies from the Clarkston area but sisters.

They showed their unity during the National Softball Association Michigan State Softball Championship during June 23-26 and brought home the title in the "A" division.

"We played very well," said Coach Stu Hastings adding all 55 teams at the championship were good. "When you play very well things seem to come easy even though they are not."

The Sidewinders dominated the fields going 5-0 for the weekend starting with a 8-0 win over Eagles Fastpitch. During the next three games they continued to lead, taking down HangTuf Fastpitch, 10-5, Hurricanes Fastpitch Black, 7-2, and Gold Softpitch, 3-0.

The championship round brought them against Compuware, a team they lost to in the state finals a few years ago.

"Compuware is a very good team and a very good program," said Hastings. "In softball when it is close it is whoever gets the breaks, whoever makes a big hit here or a big defensive play there. Last time they did it and this time we did it."

The game was close until the girls blew Compuware away with their hitting during the middle of the game.

"Once we got the leverage the confidence grew and everybody started hitting," said Hastings. "They had the bases loaded and we kept them from scoring a lot of runs that took us from being even to having the advantage. Then we came back and scored."

They ended with a 9-0 win and are currently, 16-1 in the season.

The girls continue playing in college exposure tournaments before they head to the USSSA World Series where they finished as champions last year.

Hastings added the tournaments prepares the team for nationals because they are playing at such a high level of play.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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