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Darlings second in Sumter

By By Todd Thompson, Hartselle Enquirer
SUMTER, S.C. - Tennessee’s Ashton Hulme hit a 3-run homer to lead the Jackson-based Dixie Darlings team to a 15-14 come-from-behind victory over Hartselle in the championship of the 2009 Dixie World Series last week.
The win was the second for Tennessee against the Hartselle team in the tournament. Both victories were keyed by 3-run homers in Tennessee’s final at-bat.
Hartselle finished the season with just two losses in post-season play with both coming against Tennessee.
The second-place finish was the highest for the three Hartselle teams in the Dixie World Series. The Angels reached the semifinals before falling to Mississippi, while the Ponytails were knocked out with a loss to North Carolina in the loser’s bracket.
Hartselle was one of just two cities to have three teams qualify for the 2009 World Series. Lafayette County, Ark. also had three teams reach the tournament.
Hartselle’s Darlings, needing two wins over Tennessee to win the championship, opened up an 11-2 lead after getting eight hits in the third inning. At one point, Hartselle - the defending World Series champions - had seven straight hits.
Tennessee finished the tournament with 85 runs in six games. The only team to hold Tennessee to less than 10 runs in a game was Hartselle in the team’s first meeting - an 8-5 Tennessee victory that came when the Jackson team ended the game with a 3-run walk-off homer.
Members of the Hartselle Darlings are Hannah Grace Bevis, Chaney Dutton, Bailee Fincher, Emma Fincher, Paige Garner, Josie Halbrooks, Emma Hogan, Macie Holder, Alexis Rice, Carrington Standridge, McKenzie Worley and Natalie Zuck.
Brandon Dutton is the team’s head coach, while Chad Bevis, Terry Zuck and Keith Halbrooks serve as assistant coaches.
Hartselle beat Texas and Louisiana in elimination games to reach the championship game.
Hartselle finished the tournament with 74 runs in six games.
The Hartselle Angels were eliminated from the tournament with a 5-2 loss to Mississippi in the semifinals.
Tennessee won the Angels’ championship with a 3-0 win over Mississippi in the finals.
The Angels all-stars consist of Reagan Bowling, Kennadi Hogan, Calli Partlow, Rose Braun, Tori Blaylock, Gracie Poe, Lindsey Robinson, Courtney Blackwood, Reagan Martin, Kenzie Parker, Anna Mathis and Karly Agee. Derek Parker is the team’s head coach, while Danny Ikard, Tim Martin and Aaron Agee are assistants.
Hartselle’s Ponytails went 2-2 in the tournament, losing to North Carolina 4-3 in an elimination game.
Members of the Hartselle Ponytails are Jada Hayes, Kelly Thrasher, Maddie White, Klyne Osborne, Hannah Jenkins, Hope Cain, M.J. Wooley, Riley Corum, Sydney Crow, Ali Forth, Callie Garner, and Anna Stinson. John David Watson is the team’s head coach, while Greg Cain, Marion Burgess and Reggie Corum are serving as assistants.