Since its inception 24 years ago, King of the Mountain has been one of the southeast’s largest and toughest fastpitch tournaments. East Georgia Crossfire/Felix based out of Twin City emerged as the victors of that tournament this past weekend.
Head coach Dave Henry and assistant coaches Tony Felix, Chris Kearson, and Devon Furnari took their core group of girls, some of whom are local while others are from nearby areas, to Covington March 19-20. That team, who has now spent four years together, went through their three pool games undefeated and earned themselves an automatic spot in the championship.
In pool play, East GA Crossfire/Felix 14U defeated CSRA YardDawgs from the Thomson/Augusta area 8-0. The team also downed the Georgia Titans from Watkinsville 12-4 and went on to get the best of Alpharetta Fire from Alpharetta 6-1.
In the title game, East GA Crossfire/Felix beat the CSRA YardDawgs 9-1.
“Our team always starts out a little slow the first game. By the second inning of our first game, they flipped the switch and were at full speed. They never let up throughout the day,” Henry said. His team outscored all of their opponents 35-6 in four games.
“The competition was really solid,” he continued. “We didn’t draw any easy teams in our pool games. All three of the teams we faced in pool games ended up finishing in the top five of the tournament. I’m very proud of the progress we’ve made as a team.”
Local players on East GA Crossfire/Felix 14U include David Emanuel Academy’s Kyli Bell and Emanuel County Institute’s Jayne Kearson. Others on the roster include Kenny Felix from Edmund Burke Academy, MaKenna Furnari from Bulloch Academy, Laura Gayle Dailey from Jenkins County Middle School, Maggie Brannon from Portal Middle School, Priscilla Dillon from Tattnall County High School, Millie Fordham from Metter High School, Aniston Powell and Emerson Powell from Toombs County Middle School, and Rheaghan Powers from Pulaski Middle School.
Stringer pitched a complete game against the Alpharetta Fire. Furnari pitched all but one inning with Felix coming in during the last inning to close against the YardDawgs in pool play. Powers pitched two complete games, one against the Titans and the title game against the YardDawgs.
“Winning the 24th Annual King of the Mountain tournament was really big for our team and the East GA Crossfire organization as a whole,” Henry said. “We have great team chemistry. All of our players are team players. Our coaching staff works really well together, too.”
He continued, mentioning the organization’s other teams: East GA Crossfire/Rich and East GA Crossfire/Stringer. Both of those teams, he said, are “very strong” and win or place everywhere they go. East GA Crossfire has a 12U team as well; East GA Crossfire/Durden 12U, Henry added, is “very good” and scrappy.” That team just won the USSSA Battle for the Belts tournament on March 20 in Jesus.
East GA Crossfire/Felix 14U will next play April 10 in Waycross. After that, the team will play several more tournaments before their season ends in late June.
So far, in addition to the King of the Mountain win, East GA Crossfire/Felix 14U has finished second in the USSSA Rincon Spring Kick-off on February 27 and had a second and third place finish in the fall USSSA tournaments held in Brunswick and Rincon.