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Gate City’s Flanary, Cove’s Byington enjoy All-Star turn

KEVIN MAYS, [email protected] • Jun 13, 2018 at 12:47 AM

ABINGDON — Gate City’s Alexis Flanary was not sure if she wanted to play in a high school all-star softball game.

“I was a little scared to come. My teammate, Alyssa (Clark), was here. But coming up here and playing with these different people, I had never done that before. I’m really glad I did it. It was a really good experience,” Flanary said after being named one of the two MVPs for the West in the Southwest Virginia Fellowship of Christian Athletes Senior All-Star Softball Challenge doubleheader.

The games featured recently graduated softball players from throughout Southwest Virginia, stretching from Lee County to Tazewell to Galax.

Flanary also won the home run derby.

“I really had a really good time because it was a chance to play with the people that I play against in my district and stuff and always thinking of them as rivals. Now, I get to think of them as friends,” Flanary said. “It was just really fun.”

The East, led by strong pitching from Galax’s Hayden Cassell, took a 4-0 win over the West in the first game. Cassell, named one MVP for the East, threw a near-perfect three innings. Union’s Emilee Mullins reached on an error in the third to thwart Cassell’s attempt at perfection.

Rye Cove pitcher Hailey Byington took MVP honors in the second game for the West after going the distance in a 6-3 win over the East. Byington allowed three runs on seven hits.

The experience of participating in the game, however, proved to be most rewarding for Byington, she said.

“I played against a lot of these girls through the years. And now, it was a chance to play with them and getting to wear my jersey one last time,” Byington said. “It was a good experience.”

Lee’s Jaycee Medley was 2-for-2 with an RBI for the West in Game 2, and Lee’s Arielle Tritt, Eastside’s Emily Moore and Union’s Jenna Wade all added RBIs.

Chilhowie’s Shelby Murphy of the East team finished 3-for-3 in the second game.

John Battle pitcher and Mountain 7 District player of the year Sydney Bailey pitched the final 2 2/3 innings for the East in the nightcap and held the West batters in check. Bailey was the East’s second MVP.

Email Kevin Mays at [email protected]

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