LAURINBURG — The Laurinburg 10U All-Stars were hard at work pumping out hundreds of BBQ plates on Thursday in their final fundraiser before heading to the 2018 Babe Ruth Softball 10U World Series.
This isn’t the first fundraiser the team has held — they’ve placed donation jars at local businesses, sold 50/50 raffle tickets, car wash and have held fundraisers at Domino’s, Main Table, Captain D’s and Zaxby’s.
First baseman Annagrace Adkins, shortstop Addison Johnson and outfielder Carleigh Nolan were working the drive-thru for the plate sale at Optimist Park and were pleased with the turnout just a few hours into the sale.
“It’s been going great, we’ve had a lot of business and people making donations,” said Adkins.
The plate sale has been their most successful endeavour. The fundraising, according to Adkins, has taught the team responsibility and patience.
“We’ve gotten closer as a ball team and I think that we’ve learned you have to save up for big trips like this because they’re very expensive,” said Adkins.
Head coach April Johnson was thrilled with response to the sale, even having to order more barbecue because the team ran out filling lunch orders.
“Our goal was to do 500 plates and then it started rolling,” Johnson said. “It was helpful that Optimist allowed us to use their facility. We did enough barbecue for 750 plates but we had to order more for our dinner shift.”
Johnson said the community support throughout the team’s fundraising has been wonderful.
“The community has been very supportive, wishing us luck, saying they’ll keep us in their prayers and no matter what they community is very proud of them — and we are too,” she said.
The Laurinburg All-Stars competed in the Eastern North Carolina Babe Ruth State Tournament in Winterville back in June. The team finished 2-2 after opening the tournament with a 5-0 loss to the eventual state runner-up Wilmington.
Laurinburg then picked up back-to-back wins over East Beaufort, 16-7, and Havelock, 18-1 before losing a second time to Wilmington, 7-6 in bracket play.
“This is our first time going to the World Series, we made it to the regionals but it got cancelled, so they sent us straight on,” said Johnson.
There weren’t enough teams registered for the Eastern Regionals so the Laurinburg all-stars automatically advanced to the World Series and will represent North Carolina’s Babe Ruth District 2.
Adkins, Johnson and Nolan weren’t nervous about playing on such a big stage.
“We got this,” Adkins said.
Laurinburg will be competing against 13 other teams in the 10U age division. The team will have a warm-up game on Sunday before beginning pool play on Monday.
Those in the community interested in watching the girls compete in the World Series can do so online, all of the Babe Ruth World Series games will be streamed live to the Babe Ruth Softball Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/BabeRuthSoftball/
Laurinburg will take on the Hominey Valley All-Stars out of Chandler in their first pool-play game and will play a total of four pool-play games to determine seeding for bracket play, which begins Aug. 2.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]