BKW Little League softball team goes undefeated with 16-0 record
Refuse to lose: The Berne-Knox-Westerlo Little League majors’ softball team had an undefeated regular season of 16-0 this year; the team scored over 20 runs in eight different games. From left to right, back row: Coach Tara Wesley, Paige Daguillo, Taylor Meacham, Talia Carpenter, Riley Longendyke, Jaida Wesley, Reagan Smith, and Coach John Meacham. Front row: Kaelyn Lobalbo, Rebecca Burroughs, Alex Loucks, Miranda Grzywaczewski, and Renee Zieske.
HILLTOWNS — After talking with Berne-Knox-Westerlo Little League president Kevin Toomey and other officers that have been around for a long time, John Meacham, the head coach of the majors’ softball team, came to the conclusion that his team may be one of the best in the league’s history.
The 2014 BKW Little League major’s softball team went 16-0. It scored over 20 runs in eight different games.
“People don’t recall a team ever doing this before,” Meacham said this week. “It’s a small town up here.”
BKW fielded and hit well, Meacham said, and the team was led by the pitching of Miranda Grzywaczewski, who finished the season with 128 strikeouts. After the regular season, BKW placed third in an All-Star tournament.
“Pitching means so much in softball, and she gave us the best chance,” Meacham said of Grzywaczewski. “She did all this work before the season — pitching clinics and classes — so there was a drastic change in her game. She went from average to being the best pitcher in the league.”
In sports, going undefeated for an entire season is impressive at any level. BKW played each team in its league twice, so, after winning the first eight games, Meacham said that the girls started to get really excited, knowing that something special was happening.
“Coaching young girls isn’t easy, but they became more unselfish, and were willing to do what was best for the team,” said Meacham, who has coached his daughter, Taylor, for six years. “They were content with the entire team aspect, enjoying softball more as the games went on. Some girls who weren’t much into it at the start were really into it at the end.”
BKW had two tight games during the season, Meacham said. During one of those, Meacham had to leave in the middle of play for a prior engagement, which made the players’ parents nervous. Tara Wesley, his assistant, took over, and BKW won by one run.
“They pulled it out,” Meacham said. “Tara won a sectional title with BKW’s varsity team in 1992 or 1993, and she’s a big part of our team.”
When BKW played its last regular-season game, everyone knew that it would complete the undefeated run, Meacham said. A celebration complete with trophies, signature T-shirts, and ice cream sundaes flowed.
“They handled themselves very well,” Meacham said of the players. “This is the last step before modified.”