Hartselle softball teams reach Dixie World Series
Two of the four all-star teams who represented Hartselle in the Dixie State Softball Tournament last week emerged with championship trophies and earned the right to represent Alabama in Dixie World Series competition July 30-Aug. 4.
The 7-8 Darlings easily defeated all five opponents they faced and returned home from Enterprise with their fourth consecutive state title. They opened with a 15-11 decision over Geneva and then defeated Butler 19-5, Enterprise 13-1, Geneva 10-0 and Enterprise 15-4 in the championship game. They will compete for a second World Series championship in Denison, Texas, playing South Carolina in the first round July 31.
The 13-15 Belles had to stage some last inning heroics to get by Troy, 5-4, in the final game of their state tournament at Midland City, North of Dothan. They entered the final round unbeaten but dropped a 4-5 decision to Troy in the bottom half of the seventh inning in the finals and were forced into a winner-take-all second game. In that game, the score was tied at 4-all until Hartselle scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning on a throwing error In games leading up to the finals, Hartselle defeated Geneva 12-2, Valley 15-1, East Montgomery 8-3, and Geneva 15-1.
The 13-15 all-stars will compete against seven other state winners in Dixie World Series play in Pineville, La.
The Darlings outscored their opponents 72 to 21 in the state tournament and remained unbeaten in post-season action. They are batting .650 as a team and are playing outstanding defense. They pulled off two double plays in the state tournament.
“From top to bottom, we’re on fire in the batter’s box,” said team manager Chad Bevis, who was a coach on last year’s team. “We’re putting pressure on our opponent’s defense with line drive hitting and making plays on defense that you don’t usually see from girls this age.
“I believe this team is faster and stronger defensively than the team that was runner-up at the 2009 World Series.”
Hartselle’s Darlings were runners-up in the 2007 World Series and claimed the championship title in 2008.
Two members of this year’s all-stars played on the all-star team in 2009. They are Hannah Grace Bevis and Chaney Dutton. Other team members are Makayla Addie, Kalli Cartee, Emily Coward, Amber Crittenden, Kelsey Crow, Mallory Lott, Allie Mayfield, Victoria McClure, Morgyn Sparkman and Kylie Winton. Coaches are Alison Crow, Michael Crow and Brandon Dutton.
The Belles all-stars out-scored their opponents 59-16 in the state tournament and out-hit them 42 to 11 in the first four games.
Members of the team are Shayla Alexander, Amberly Anderson, Sarah Ellen Battles, Ashley Boggs, Riley Corum, Jada Hayes, Haley Jared, Kaylee McKissack, Leah Roberts, Madeline Sittason, Leah Stephenson and McKenzie Waddell. Matt Jared is manager and Donna Legg Battles and Reggie Corum are coaches.