News-Telegram Sports Editor
Double the titles, double the fun.
It took a while to get it done, but it happened.
Hopkins County teams scored a double play of sorts, sweeping first place titles in both the Angels and Darlings divisions of Dixie Girls Softball state tournament competition held at Coleman Park.
The Monday championship games were very exciting for all teams involved. The winners earned a berth in the Dixie World Series to be held beginning July 31 in Sumter Co., S.C.
The Hopkins County Americans overcame an early deficit to take a 12-8 win over Franklin County in Darlings Division action.
The Hopkins County Nationals had a tough fight on their hands and had to play Diboll twice to win the title. The Nationals lost the first game 4-3 to Diboll and then after a short beat, played the team again. The Hopkins County Nationals coming out with a 12-8 decision to claim the Angels division title. The game ended four and half hours after the first contest began.
Hopkins Co. American 14, Franklin Co. 8
This was a championship game and it had a different feel and texture than the other easy wins the American team had posted earlier in the tournament.
Franklin County jumped early on the scoreboard and the Mount Vernon team proved to be very feisty.
“We knew this would be a tough team to beat. But we hung in there and got it,” said American team coach Chris Voorheese said.
Mount Vernon had a 3-0 lead which was erased in the bottom of the first when Hopkins County scored five times. Maddie Millsap opened the game with a home run. Valori Voorheese reached base on a single and scored when Sadie Stroud doubled. Sadavia Porter knocked in two runs with a triple. The visitors from Franklin County tied the game at 5-all to make it a tight contest.
Teams exchanged defensive stands with Stroud making several key catches to prevent runs by Franklin County.
Sierra Smith had a double and Autumn Tanton and Takataria Miles slapped triples as Hopkins County broke open the game and went up 11-5. The American squad held on to win by the final of 14-8 and earn their second consecutive trip to the Dixie Girls Softball World Series.
Franklin County received the coveted sportsmanship award.
Correction- Aliyah Snyder was incorrectly identified as Sadavia Porter in a photo in Monday’s edition.
Hopkins Co. National 12,
This was a championship game to remember. Down 7-4 in the fourth inning the Hopkins County squad scored five times to record a thrilling come-from-behind win over a talented Diboll squad.
During the big inning, 12 batters went to the dish for Hopkins County, six drew walks as Diboll hurlers had trouble locating the plate. Perhaps the biggest hit of the night came off third baseman Kristen Allen. Allen slammed a two-out, two-run bases loaded single to left field over a drawn-in Diboll infield to give the Hopkins County team a 8-7 advantage. It was the first time all day the local All Stars had a lead over Diboll.
Summer Wyatt coaxed a walk to reload the sacks. Anna Sapaugh was walked to force in a run and make it 9-7. Destiny Godbolt walked and the lead went to 10-7 as Diboll changed pitchers.
Tatianna King hit a grounder to second base with the errant throw allowing two runs to score. Diboll did get an out on the bases, but the damage was done with Hopkins County going up 12-7.
Pitcher Sidney Dietze continued her stellar work on the mound. She surrendered a run in the fifth, but not the lead, as Hopkins County won by the 12-8 final.
The team will also be in the Dixie League Girls Softball World Series in Sumter Co., S.C.
Diboll, a spirited team which was plenty tough to defeat by local squads, also earned the sportsmanship trophy awarded by tournament officials.
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