The ACC Masonry co-ed softball team. Back Row (L-R): Greg Quick, Taylor Chaffman, Billy Chaffman, Nick Hetrick, Sarah Gardner, Sam Robertson, Andy Thompson, Tyler Brown. Front Row: Jessica Derr, Emily Franklin, Andrew Derr, Ashley Franklin, Ali Zinnel.
The ACC Masonry co-ed softball team. Back Row (L-R): Greg Quick, Taylor Chaffman, Billy Chaffman, Nick Hetrick, Sarah Gardner, Sam Robertson, Andy Thompson, Tyler Brown. Front Row: Jessica Derr, Emily Franklin, Andrew Derr, Ashley Franklin, Ali Zinnel. (Courtesy photo)

ACC Masonry has been a big winner in its first year of play. And it isn't finished yet.

The Westminster-based squad took first place in the Carroll County Co-ed Softball League's regular season and then swept three playoff games on June 30 to win the co-ed loop's Upper Division postseason tournament. ACC has also won a berth in October's NSA World Tournament which will be played in Columbus, Ohio.

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While team organizers Greg Quick and Taylor Chaffman might have been at least somewhat surprised at the extent of their team's success, Quick says he expected a good season all along.

"I'm not surprised we're this good," Quick said. "I knew we brought in a lot of talent. It was a matter of meshing as a team, and we did that. I'm very proud of the team."

He also thanked team sponsors ACC Masonry in Westminster and Hanover-based BFPE International for their support this season.

The players, who average in their 20's, are an experienced crew. Many have played in the Co-ed League for at least several years. Several played on the loop's better teams.

However, things were slow for awhile.

ACC split its first four Co-ed League games. Quick explained that lack of hitting and crucial errors were the culprits in the losses.But things came together nicely afterward, and the team won its last ten regular season contests, including four forfeits.

It finished in first with a 12-2, first place mark.

"The biggest thing that helped us was hitting well. Our defense also made good plays to stop the other teams from scoring," Quick said.

The strength of the female players was also a factor in the team's good play. Sam Robertson was Exhibit A in that department.

She cleared the right field fence at the Carroll County Sports Complex, over 300 feet from home plate. The other ladies also provided offense, if not quite as dramatic.

"All of our girls hit really well. It takes good girls to win ball games, and having good girls makes it easy to win," Quick said.

"Our defense is really good. We have good arms in the outfield and a lot of speed. Our men can play anywhere, And we have a few girls who can play infield or outfield."

If 12-2 was dominant, ACC really demonstrated its superiority on the last day of July at the Carroll County Sports Complex.

None of the three playoff games went more than four innings.

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ACC scored four runs in each of the first two innings and three in the fourth to swamp We Got Runs 12-1 in game one. Andy Thompson and Jessica Derr each were 2-for-2.

It scored 10 runs in the first inning and nine more in the fourth to crush Usual Suspects 20-8 in Game 2. Billy Chaffman and Robertson each went 3-for-3. Taylor Chaffman and Sarah Gardner were 2-for-3.

That brought on the championship game, and ACC was ready. It scored five runs in the first and nine in the second to up-end Usual Suspects again, 17-5.

Tyler Brown, Ashley Franklin and Nick Hetrick, the top three in the batting order, were each 3-for-3. Hetrick would bat 1.000 in the tournament and Franklin hit .818 (9-for-11).

Gardner, who played first base, batted .833 (10-for-12) and was named the tournament's female MVP. Brown was named male MVP, and he batted .916 (11-for-12).

While it was rolling in Carroll's co-ed loop, ACC was only so-so in several USSSA tournaments this season. Two weekends ago, it did finish fourth in the USSSA Class B/C co-ed state tournament, splitting four games.

"We had one bad inning in each of the games we lost, and we didn't hit," Quick said. "Other than that, we played pretty well (in the tournament)."

Perhaps because it was played in the familiar surroundings of the Carroll County Sports Complex, ACC did better in early June's NSA unlimited class Maryland state tourney.

Things didn't start well; it dropped its first two games and fell into the tournament's consolation bracket.

But then it recovered to win two games to take the consolation bracket championship, thereby winning a paid berth in October's NSA tournament in Ohio.

ACC also plans to trek up to York for the Sept. 9, USSSA Pennsylvania state tournament. And Friday night, it began play in the Carroll County Co-ed Fall Softball League.

The players like winning,and they want to do some more. Quick thinks more good news is in the works.

"We feel we'll do well. If we hit, we'll do well. We feel good about it, and we're definitely up for the challenge," he said.

sports@carrollcountytimes.com

410-857-7896

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