Lake Shore 12U Lightning Softball Excels At States, Nationals
By Colin Murphy
The 2019 season is one the members of the Lake Shore 12U Lightning softball team will remember for a long time.
The Lightning steadily progressed over the last three seasons since the team’s inception in the fall of 2010, and they stood out prominently among softball teams in Maryland and beyond this summer. Lake Shore won 47 games and compiled a 47-23 overall record playing against top competition from all over the Northeast.
The team of Aliceanna Weibley, Mara Gilkey, Rose Mozloom, Leah Miller, Lilly Bergeron, Alyssa Simms, Riley Price, Lilly Tinker, Samantha Waters, Taylor Barchanowicz and Ava Cicchetti achieved multiple distinctions as one of the state’s top 12U softball teams. The squad played in a whopping 12 tournaments, finishing in the top three in nine out of the 12.
In June, the Lightning played in the United States Specialty Sports Association B State Championships at Bachmann Park and finished as runners-up, falling 7-6 in extra innings to Bayside Breeze of Easton. Lake Shore went 4-2 in the tournament.
In July, the team traveled to Connecticut for the USSSA Northeast Nationals, where they played well and recorded a handful of thrilling come-from-behind victories. After going 2-1 in pool play and dropping their first bracket game in the double-elimination tournament, the team rallied for a 3-0 day on the second day of the tournament. The three wins included a 5-4 walk-off victory over the New Jersey Mystics, a 13-3 win over the New Jersey Madness and another walk-off win in a 4-3 victory over the Connecticut Fusion.
Still facing elimination the following day, the Lightning were all but buried in their next bracket game when they trailed the Pennsylvania Xtreme 9-3 with two outs in the final inning. Amazingly, Lake Shore rallied for six runs, getting clutch hits by Simms, Cicchetti, Price, Waters, Gilkey, Barchanowicz, Tinker, Miller and Mozloom to tie the game at 9-9. In extra innings, the team walked it off once again, getting an RBI double by Simms to win, 11-10.
Lake Shore won its next game 12-1 over the Pennsylvania Blue Thunder before finally falling 5-4 the New Jersey Ruthless in their sixth game in 24 hours.
For the tournament the team went 7-3 and finished seventh out of 44 teams.
“The girls represented Maryland and Pasadena like the champions they are,” said head coach Jimmy Simms, who coached the Lightning with assistant coaches Carl Cicchetti, Brian Price and Tom Waters.
With their excellent overall record and strong tournament performances, the 12U Lightning finished the season with the No. 1 ranking in the state in the USSSA’s points-ranking system for 12U teams.
Coach Simms said the girls’ resiliency and never-say-die attitude was a defining feature for them; 10 of the Lightning’s 47 wins were secured in clutch, final-inning or extra-inning moments.
“I am most proud of the group because the girls refused to quit on one another,” Simms said. “They share a genuine love for one another, they believe in one another, and it showed with how they play the game. It’s a testament to their character and to their commitment to one another to never quit and to play for your teammates.”
The team formed two years ago as a 10U fall ball rec team and has steadily improved, advancing up the available levels of competition. The team won only 10 games in its first year playing mostly USSSA C tournaments, followed by 22 wins as 11U’s playing in mostly B-level tournaments and 47 wins this season playing B and A tournaments, a trajectory that has yielded “a lifetime of memories and friendships,” said coach Simms.
Simms also noted the Lightning’s all-around character and work ethic outside of softball. All 11 members of the team are honor roll students, and five are principal’s honor roll students. Lake Shore’s 12U Lightning players also participated in multiple volunteer efforts this season, including Challenger Baseball games for physically challenged athletes at Lake Waterford Park and the Autism Awareness Bike Camp at Old Mill High School, where the Lightning helped teach bike-riding skills to children with autism.
“It’s an amazing group of young ladies representing what is best in Pasadena for sure,” said coach Simms.
Graduate of Avonworth High school in Pittsburgh, PA. Attended Allegheny Community College in Pittsburgh, PA where he helped lead the baseball team to Conference and Regional Championships.
Played 2 years of baseball at the semi pro level in the Pittsburgh area before moving to Maryland.
Galbreath began coaching softball for the Lakeshore Lightning in Pasadena, MD in 2004 at the 14u ASA Junior Olympic Level as an Assistant Head Coach and helped guide the team to a top ten finish in the National standings. He coached for Lakeshore Lightning 18U as the Assistant Head Softball Coach from 2005-2010. Galbreath also served as an Assistant Junior Varsity softball coach at Chesapeake High School in Pasadena, MD in 2006 and also as an Assistant Varsity Coach for the 2006 4A Sate Championship team.
Galbreath is in his fourth year as Assistant Coach at Prince Georges Community College.
Currently resides in Pasadena, MD with his wife Kathy and his son Jason. His daughter Katey attends Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, PA
(Youth1) â In a scene from the recent block buster film Wedding Crashers a character yells, âFootball and crab cakes: thatâs what Maryland does!âÂ The filmâs writer obviously has never seen the caliber of youth softball competition that Maryland has to offer. The proof was obvious last weekend as the top âAâ division teams gathered in Elkridge for the USSSA MD State Championships.
The 12U Lake Shore Lightning came into the USSSA state championships as one of the most decorated teams in the Mid-Atlantic region, having already qualified for the PONY National Tournament, the NSA National Tournament, and the ASA National Tournament by winning the ASA MD State Championship.
Additionally, they had not finished lower than 3rd in any USSSA tournament since October.Â But despite their overwhelming success, the Lightning were still hungry for more.
At the MD Championships, their hunger was obvious as they continued to dominate, outscoring their opponents 33-17.Â Suffering only one loss during the tournament, they defeated some of the best teams in Maryland including the MD Chill 12U Black and Bayside Blues, en route to their 5th consecutive USSSA MD State Championship.
With this title, Anna Bennett, Toni Braun, Nicole Burke, Alexandra Caulkins, Jennifer Charron, Amber Cosgrove, Coral Dittmar, Samantha Johnson, Natalie Lau, Hunter Royston, Kristen Selby, Haley Simonds, and Amber Singer, improved their overall USSSA record to 33-10 and have cemented their legacy among previous Lake Shore softball players.
Youth1 would like to congratulate the 12U Lake Shore Lightning on their amazing season and wishes them much success in the USSSA World Series.
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2022 Tournament Dates
The Lakeshore Youth Baseball and Softball Association is proud to announce the 2022 tournament schedule hosted at our PREMIER facility, located in beautiful Southwest Michigan, near the shores of Lake Michigan. Our complex is home to 12 fields in total, including two turf stadiums, with onsite concessions and ample parking. We pride ourselves in the quality of our tournaments, especially the attention to detail regarding our fields, with fields that are groomed and chalked between every game. Please consider attending one of our tournaments, you will not be disappointed!
Click HERE for a map to our field location.
May 20 - May 22: USSSA Pirate Treasure Quest (click Here to Register)
June 24 - June 26: USSSA Groundhog Classic (click Here to Register)
September - TBD: Pirate Diamond Cove
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May 27 - May 29: Lakeshore Spring Thunder Invitational
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