‘Burg 11-12s set to face regional competition

When a program has as solid of a structural foundation as the Wheelersburg 11-12 year-old All-Stars, state championships, and contending valiantly for regional titles, become an expectation rather than a hope.

And true to form, the Dusty Salyers-led 11-12s – who outscored their opposition by a massive 49-1 count en route to obtaining yet another state crown – are expecting nothing less when Wheelersburg heads into battle against its Little League Softball Central Region competition from Monday, July 23 to Friday, July 27 in Noblesville, Ind.
For Salyers, that’s just become the standard, or the norm, for the excellent Little League system that is in place at Wheelersburg.
“The players, parents, and the community are excited to get to go up to the regionals again,” Salyers said. “It never gets old, no matter how many times you get to go. The girls don’t realize how lucky they are and how fun of an experience that it is going to be for them.”
While there, the Wheelersburg 11-12s will be treated as if they are rockstars, as photoshoots and questionnaires, along with badges that resemble VIP passes, according to Salyers, will be handed out to the 11-12s on their journey.
But as Salyers is quick to point out, all of those special features are standards that the 11-12s have certainly earned due to their hard work and dedication on the softball diamond.
“They really do treat them as if they are superstars,” Salyers said. “But they deserve that. They work to get there.”
Need proof of that fact? After outscoring South Webster and Northwest by an astronomical total of 39-1 in District 11 play en route to winning the title, Wheelersburg defeated Tallmadge and Canfield — two of the biggest Little League powerhouses in the game — by a combined margin of 10-0 as the flawless defensive and pitching staffs that ‘Burg possessed controlled every facet of competition.
“You’re always going to go as far as your pitching and your defense takes you,” Salyers said. “I feel really good about where we stand as far as our pitching and our defense is concerned. I feel really comfortable with the team that we’re taking out there. I really believe that we’re going to come out there, compete well, and have a chance at the title.”
And offensively? If scoring six of their 10 runs with two outs tells you anything, Wheelersburg was clutch, and clutch in a big way.
Five hits from Rileigh Lang, including a triple and four runs scored, in 10 trips to the dish, along with three hits, three RBI, and a run scored from Maddi Kotcamp, paced the way for the 11-12s offensively. Those efforts dovetailed the efforts of AndiJo Howard and Ashlee Spence — who combined to strike out 24 batters while allowing only four hits — on the mound.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Wheelersburg will commence pool play action by facing familiar foes on both occasions. The first, Floyds Knobs (Ind.), won the Little League Central Region Tournament last year, and the second, Ashland American, features a number of familiar opponents from a Kentucky unit that sits just over a half-hour away from Wheelersburg.
But regardless of the opponents that they’ll face or the results of the contests that await them, the Wheelersburg 11-12s will ultimately put their best foot forward on every occasion. After all, when have they not done so?
“Their pitcher, who will be throwing against us, is actually teammates with a couple of our girls on their travel ball team,” Salyers said. “We’re fairly familiar with them and what we can expect when we play against Kentucky, and that’s really neat. All of the teams are going to be staying in the same hotel and are going to be right there with Ashland in the same area. It’s going to be a great time.”

When a program has as solid of a structural foundation as the Wheelersburg 11-12 year-old All-Stars, state championships, and contending valiantly for regional titles, become an expectation rather than a hope.

And true to form, the Dusty Salyers-led 11-12s – who outscored their opposition by a massive 49-1 count en route to obtaining yet another state crown – are expecting nothing less when Wheelersburg heads into battle against its Little League Softball Central Region competition from Monday, July 23 to Friday, July 27 in Noblesville, Ind.
For Salyers, that’s just become the standard, or the norm, for the excellent Little League system that is in place at Wheelersburg.
“The players, parents, and the community are excited to get to go up to the regionals again,” Salyers said. “It never gets old, no matter how many times you get to go. The girls don’t realize how lucky they are and how fun of an experience that it is going to be for them.”
While there, the Wheelersburg 11-12s will be treated as if they are rockstars, as photoshoots and questionnaires, along with badges that resemble VIP passes, according to Salyers, will be handed out to the 11-12s on their journey.
But as Salyers is quick to point out, all of those special features are standards that the 11-12s have certainly earned due to their hard work and dedication on the softball diamond.
“They really do treat them as if they are superstars,” Salyers said. “But they deserve that. They work to get there.”
Need proof of that fact? After outscoring South Webster and Northwest by an astronomical total of 39-1 in District 11 play en route to winning the title, Wheelersburg defeated Tallmadge and Canfield — two of the biggest Little League powerhouses in the game — by a combined margin of 10-0 as the flawless defensive and pitching staffs that ‘Burg possessed controlled every facet of competition.
“You’re always going to go as far as your pitching and your defense takes you,” Salyers said. “I feel really good about where we stand as far as our pitching and our defense is concerned. I feel really comfortable with the team that we’re taking out there. I really believe that we’re going to come out there, compete well, and have a chance at the title.”
And offensively? If scoring six of their 10 runs with two outs tells you anything, Wheelersburg was clutch, and clutch in a big way.
Five hits from Rileigh Lang, including a triple and four runs scored, in 10 trips to the dish, along with three hits, three RBI, and a run scored from Maddi Kotcamp, paced the way for the 11-12s offensively. Those efforts dovetailed the efforts of AndiJo Howard and Ashlee Spence — who combined to strike out 24 batters while allowing only four hits — on the mound.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Wheelersburg will commence pool play action by facing familiar foes on both occasions. The first, Floyds Knobs (Ind.), won the Little League Central Region Tournament last year, and the second, Ashland American, features a number of familiar opponents from a Kentucky unit that sits just over a half-hour away from Wheelersburg.
But regardless of the opponents that they’ll face or the results of the contests that await them, the Wheelersburg 11-12s will ultimately put their best foot forward on every occasion. After all, when have they not done so?
“Their pitcher, who will be throwing against us, is actually teammates with a couple of our girls on their travel ball team,” Salyers said. “We’re fairly familiar with them and what we can expect when we play against Kentucky, and that’s really neat. All of the teams are going to be staying in the same hotel and are going to be right there with Ashland in the same area. It’s going to be a great time.”

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