ALTON – Peel Wood Fired Pizza proved piping hot during the Amateur Softball Association Class C Co-Ed state slow-pitch tournament at Gordon Moore Park.
The local squad finished first in the three-day, rain-shortened tournament and thus successfully defended its Illinois championship Sunday. It was the team’s third state title in five years at Moore Park. Back in 2012, it won as Revolution and last year it prevailed as Westco.
“We were going for the state title again, so it feels good to win it,” manager Travis Cook said.
Peel Pizza went 4-0 overall, including a 9-1 win over Ball Park Motors of Jacksonville on Sunday morning. That game played out as the championship one since rainy weather washed out the remaining contests.
Ball Park served as the runner-up for the second successive year after it won state championships in 2013 and 2014. I’d Hit It of Marion took third and K&B Home Improvement of Jacksonville placed fourth in the 17-team affair.
“We saw the rest of the forecast for Sunday and decided to call the tournament afterSunday’s first game,” tournament director Dean Emerick said. Wet weather Friday night caused Saturday’s schedule to be rearranged and extended the tourney to Sunday.
By claiming its state championship, the Edwardsville-sponsored Peel Pizza qualified for the ASA Nationals, set for later this month in St. Joseph, Mo.
Brandon Keene of Peel Pizza was selected the tourney’s Male Most Valuable Player and teammate Haleigh Jenkins was named the Female MVP.
Other players chosen to the all-tourney team include: pitcher Bill Henricks, infielder Vinny Steele, outfielder Miriam Wegmann and utility players Derek Edwards and Amy Cook of Peel Pizza; infielder LeeAnn “Punky” Hittmeier, catcher Latoya Branscomb, plus outfielders Sarah Lange and Chris Reller of Ball Park; infielder Josh Smith and outfielder Tim Belford of I’d Hit It and infielder Ashley Sanders of K&B.