One step from title
By By Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle’s 7-8 Darlings All-Stars smashed South Carolina 24-3 Tuesday night to claim the favorite’s berth in the finals of the 2008 Dixie World Series in Pineville, La. They were scheduled to meet once-beaten Louisiana in a battle for the championship trophy on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
In an earlier game Hartselle’s 11-12 Ponytail All-Stars were defeated by Louisiana, 10-0, in a loser’s bracket elimination game. The loss landed the team in a tie for third place,
The Darlings needed only one win against Louisiana to claim the World Series title in their division.
Against South Carolina Jordan Finn had four hits in four trips to the plate while Laninya Wiggins, Kenzie Parker, Paige Garner, Karly Agee and Carrie Hanners each went 3-for-3.
Hartselle grabbed a 4-0 lead in the first inning, scored six more runs in the second and added eight and two runs, respectively in the third and fourth innings.
For the Ponytails Ashley Boggs had a pair of singles and Haley Jared and Leah Stephenson each singled.
The Darlings racked up their third consecutive win against unbeaten Tennessee, 8-4, to reach the finals in their division. They were scheduled to play once-beaten South Carolina in a 7:30 p.m. game on Tuesday.
A win would send them to the finals against he winner of a Tennessee vs. Louisiana match up. They would only have to win once to claim the title. Their opponent would have to win twice.
In their third win a controversy erupted in the second inning after Brooklyn Wallace hit a ball over the fence in foul territory. The Tennessee coach accused the Hartselle team of using illegal bats. A lengthy debate ensued with umpires, coaches and tournament officials involved.
When play resumed Wallace crushed the first pitch and sent it sailing over the centerfield fence.
She and her teammates went on to build an 8-1 lead before Tennessee came back with three runs in the fifth and final inning.
Hartselle’s Darlings had easy wins in the first two games. They crushed Virginia 18-4 in their first outing on Saturday night after getting an early lead and remaining in control throughout the game.
The next night they smashed Texas, 17-6, after sending 28 players to the plate in the first three innings.
Both games were halted after four innings in keeping with a 10-run mercy rule.
The Ponytails dropped into the loser’s bracket on Monday night after losing to Tennessee, 4-2. They were slated to play Louisiana on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in an elimination game.
In that event, one team will draw a bye and the other two will meet to decide which team will play the bye team in the finals,” said assistant coach Chris Stephenson.
The Ponytails defeated North Carolina 17-1 in their first game on Saturday. Ashley Boggs led the way at the plate with a double and a pair of singles. McKenzie Waddell and Riley Corum each had a pair of singles.
A 10-run mercy rule ended the contest after four innings.
Amberly Anderson pitched the first two innings and was credited with the win. She had a strikeout and walked one batter.
On Sunday night, they edged out Texas, 4-2. Boggs had a triple and a single and Waddell doubled.
Four other players contributed singles. Anderson, Haley Jared and Riley McClellan each pitched two innings and combined for seven strikeouts for Hartselle.