Dixie Youth players show amazing amount of heart

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Courier Sports Writer

This is Part 2 of the Cannon County Dixie Youth Association championship game recap from the weekend of June 10-12. This issue highlights the older age divisions, Minors (9-12), 9U Coach Pitch Softball and 14U Kid Pitch Softball.

(9-12 Minors Kid Pitch) First Bank Rockies 12, Murfreesboro Anesthesia Group Braves 0

This age division only had three teams this season, so they played a one day single elimination tournament. Earlier in the evening, the Braves who only had one win all season upset the Scott Equipment Reds 7-3 in the semifinals.

"That proves we have a lot of heart," Braves players Zach Martin said after the title game loss. "We have a lot of compassion, and that proves that we do anything we set our minds to."

However, they did it without their head coach, Tim Powers, who missed the game, because of a school board meeting during the same time. He made it back to the ballfield in time for the title game against the No. 1 seed Rockies.

"I was very happy, because I was over at the school board meeting and got my phone out and texted my wife," Braves head coach Tim Powers said. "She said we played good and we won 7-3. I was very pleased. "

In the finals, it was all Rockies as they run ruled their opponents in three innings. Austin Ferrell pitched a gem on the mound as he did not give up a hit in the win. He fanned seven Braves hitters, and only gave up a walk during the masterful pitching performance.

"It was pretty cool and pretty fun to win the championship," Ferrell said. "This season has been fun having this great team. I just practice a lot at home, and practice a lot at practice."

While, Dylan Taylor nailed two triples, including one down the third base line and another shot to deep center, which almost cleared the fence. He finished with six RBIs in the victory, while Garrett Crawford connected on a two-run inside the park home run after beating the throw home in the bottom of the second.

"All I did was swing the bat, and let it go," Taylor said of his hitting performance.

Rockies head coach Matt Bane added, "Tonight, was the perfect ending to a great season. These young men have played their hearts out all season. Tonight, they came to play and it showed."

(9U Softball Kid Pitch) Community Wellness Clinic Dirt Diamonds 15, Meals on Wheels Wildcats 14

Another championship game during the weekend was decided in walk-off fashion as Aubrianna Parker nailed a three-run inside the park home run as she beat the throw home in the bottom the fifth to give the Dirt Diamonds the title in thrilling fashion, 15-14.

"It was awesome," Parker said of the winning home run.

The offensive firepower was on full display for both teams in a well- played title game. The Dirt Diamonds exploded for six runs in the bottom of the first as Aubrianna Parker tripled home Amber Heisey and Jayda Blount for two runs. Parker later scored on a groundout by Braeleigh Parker. Macie Foster, who also played for the Thunder in the 5/6 Baseball Coach Pitch division also tripled to score Madison Foster. Macie played for two titles on the same night, and she also scored along with Madi Leath to end the scoring for them.

The Wildcats got on the scoreboard with four runs during their next two at-bats. Devin Grant had an infield single which brought home Belle Sanders in the top of the second, and three more came across in the top of the third when Katie Beth Fann, Annsley Holt and Sanders each scored to make the score 6-4 Dirt Diamonds.

In the bottom of the third, the Dirt Diamonds added four more runs, including a two-run inside the park round tripper by Annabelle Reinitz to extend their advantage to 10-4.

However, the Wildcats took the lead with seven runs as they batted around in the top of the fourth, including a triple by Lily Pope, which scored Ava Martin and Grant. Dani Young from the championship winning (3/4 Baseball T-Ball) Rattlers team also singled to score Pope. Kennedi Clark, Fann, Kendra Murphy and Holt also scored to give the Wildcats the 11-10 lead.

The Wildcats extended the lead, 14-10 in the top of the fifth when Grant, Pope, and Clark each scored for them. However, the Dirt Diamonds had one more at bat to win the title.

Reinitz tripled to score Leath, and then Tessa Vantrease doubled home Reinitz to make it 14-12 Wildcats. After a double by Heisey, which put her and Vantrease in position to win the game with one swing of the bat by Aubrianna Parker. She won the game with it.

"They played hard and came from behind," An emotional Dirt Diamonds head coach Chad Parker said. "We started out great, but we slowed down. They ended up having do to their job like I tell them to. That is what the Dirt Diamonds do. We come to play ball, and I cannot be more proud."

Wildcats head coach Keith Holt added, "We played awesome, and we battled back from a loss earlier in the week and won two games in a row. This was our second game tonight, we really hung with them. We just started off a little too slow. All in all we played hard and did really well."

(14U Softball Kid Pitch) Eagleville Phenomena 6, We Care Cannon Firecrackers 4

In this age division, three teams made up the league, so the team from Eagleville was a welcomed guest during the season. Coming into the title game, the Firecrackers had only lost twice during the season, and those two losses were to the Phenomena. However, they also beat them twice, so this was unofficially game five of the rubber match to decide it all.

Both teams had advanced to the title game by winning a semifinal game in the over 90 degree heat earlier in the day as the tournament was a four-team single elimination format with the Firecrackers being the top seed and Eagleville was the No. 2 seed.

In the top of the first, Firecracker pitcher Austin Grant had her rise ball going as she struck out the side, while also giving up a walk. The offense scored once in the bottom half when Addison Todd walked and later scored by stealing home to give the host a 1-0 advantage.

In the top of the second, Grant was still pitching well as she fanned three more Eagleville batters to keep them scoreless. Eagleville answered with a three up, three down in the bottom half of the inning.

However, they took over in the top of the third as they took a 2-1 advantage without a single hit. In the meantime, the Firecrackers fought back when Grant helped herself with their first hit of the game as she singled home Anna Williams to tie the game at two. They took the lead when Destinee Byrd hit an infield single which scored Shelby Reed and Todd to give them a 4-2 advantage after three innings.

In the top of the fourth Eagleville took control with four runs, including a two-run double to centerfield to give them a 6-4 advantage. It was the only hit Grant gave up during the entire game as she pitched well even in defeat as Eagleville held on by playing good defense in the bottom of the fourth to seal the title.

"The girls have played great all season," Firecrackers head coach Jeff Todd said after the loss. "Today, they were playing against an older team the whole ballgame. Every time we have played the Eagleville bunch it has been tooth and nail. I am very proud they would hang in there and play as hard as they did against an older bunch of girls."

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