Softball all-stars to compete at statePublished 3:31pm Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Hartselle will be represented by five USSSA all-star softball teams in state competition at Liberty Park in Birmingham Thurs. through Sat., Jun 27-29.
Hartselle’s 6U, 8U Black, 8U White, 10U and 15U teams all qualified for state tournament berths after competing in the North Area Tournament in Muscle Shoals last weekend.
The 6U team qualified as a third place finisher after playing five games in a losers bracket on Saturday.
This is the first year 6U all-stars have been allowed to compete in post-season play. Team members are Tiger Howell, Caroline Coulter, Isabella Guest, Madison Cryer, Haley Jones, AnnaBeth McCormick, Kameron Sparkman, Morgan Osborn, Morgan Shnaeyfelt, Emilee Vanvlett, Braelyn Harvel and Holland Foote. Coaches are Johnny Howell, Dan Coulter and Chad and Bridgette Guest.
“This group of girls takes off like a rocket in some games and in others they take a little more time to get started,” said Coach Howell. “They play well together and are getting better every game we play.”
They posted a 3-3 record in sub-area tournaments.
The 8U Black team advanced as a first seed after defeating Monrovia 15-6 in the North area championship game.
The team won the North Region Sub-A Area Tournament at Clements, going 6-0 and defeating Athens 14-1 in the finals.
Team members are Karsi Lentz, Alyssa McMinemon, Breanna Sengstacke, Larissa Preuitt, Catherine Keel, Lydia Firpo, Angel Dowdy, Kaelyn Jones, Kiera Stutts, Sage Patrick, Alanna Evans and Brantley Drake. Coaches are Jason Preuitt, Kristy Jones, Shaun Jones and Brad Drake.
“This team has a good mix of hitting and defense and relies on defense to win games,” said Coach Preuitt. “Our infield is solid and our outfield does a great job of keeping the ball in front of them and holding the other team to singles. All 12 girls have a great work ethic and all of the potential in the world. It has been a joy work with them and watch them get better every day.”
The 8U White advanced by finishing fourth among 12 teams in area competition.
Team members are Kirsten Segars, Gracie Jones, Brie Voss, Emma Parker, Callie Parker, Lydia Higginbotham, Marlee Jones, Zoey Crawford, Kennedy Sheats, Kendall Pylant, Brooke Collins and Mary Elizabeth Booth. Coaches are Mason Booth, Al Collins, Justin Jones, Chris Crawford and Brad Sheats.
“We have a lot of seven year olds on this team but they have worked hard and are playing beyond their age,” said Coach Booth. “I’ve got some great coaches helping me and the parents have been great supporters. We’re looking forward to finishing in the top four in the area tournament and moving on to state competition.”
The 10U all-stars earned a state tournament berth by finishing second to Decatur, losing 15-8 in the finals.
Hartselle’s Maddie Ferguson hit a gram slam home run in the first inning of the championship game but her team wasn’t able to hold the lead.
Team members are Hayley Clemons, Emma Ferguson, Mattie Ferguson, Jenna Smith, Natalie Wallace, Courtney Steele, McKenna Wright, Alli Parker, Presley Weldon, Kayla Weldon, Kayla Halbrooks and Allie Anders. Coaches are Chuck Parker, Melinda Wallace, Dusty Winsett and Shane Wright.
“These girl have really worked hard and improved a lot since they’ve been together,” said Coach Ferguson. “Several of them moved up from the 8U team that won a World Series title in 2012. Their strength is hitting and defense.”
The 15U all-stars finished third after having one of its players declared ineligible in a second round loss and was forced to fight its way back into contention from the loser’s bracket.
Team members are Alexis Blevins, Emily Clemons, Heather Grimes, Kayla Murphy, Hogan Kennadi, Jasmine Jones, Natalie King, Lauren Speer, Sawyer Swader, LaNinya Wiggins and Aubree Cuit. Coaches are Skip Drinkard, Kenny Hogan, Willie Jones, Heath King and Nick Cuit.
“These girls played exceptionally well even though we had the setback,” said coach Drinkard. “This team is coming together at the right time. We should be very competitive in the state tournament.