Local All-Stars heading to state tourney
From Staff Reports

July 13, 2004 - Two Hopkins County boys All-Star teams are headed to the state tournament this weekend, another narrowly missed going, and a local girls softball squad is playing in the championship game of their state tournament this evening.

SOFTBALL

Angels

The Hopkins County National All-Stars advanced to the championship game of the Angels State Tournament with a 5-3 win over Honey Grove on Monday.

Hopkins County, with a 3-1 record, meets Paris at 6 p.m. today. If the local team wins, the teams will play a second game immediately following the first because Paris is unbeaten in the tournament. A loss in either game would eliminate Hopkins County.

On Monday, the Nationals were led by the pitching of Marissa Kelty, Magan Oxford and Caitlyn Nix in their victory.

BASEBALL

7-8-Year-Olds

A pair of "AA" Hopkins County All-Star teams, the Storm and the Braves, will advance to the Dixie State Tournament this weekend after winning separate district tournaments. The state tourney begins Saturday in Grand Prairie.

The Storm, representing the local National Division, is coached by Jon Landers and they went undefeated in the District 5A tournament played in Terrell. The Storm won 5 games, routing Terrell in game one by a score of 19-0. The next day they beat Broken Bow 13-2. Then rain delayed the tournament for three days, so the Storm had to play a double header on Thursday, July 1, outlasting Mount Vernon 9-3 in game one and ousting Terrell 14-1 in game two.

The Storm then faced Paris American in the championship game and swept the tournament with a 13-0 victory. Their margin of victory was a combined 68-6, winning four of their five games by the 10-run rule.

The Storm will have their first game in Grand Prairie at 12:30 p.m. Saturday against the District 1C winner.

The Braves, representing the American Division, are coached by Bryan Burney, and they swept the District 5C Tournament in Blossom in four games by a combined score of 40-6.

In their first game they defeated Paris National 13-0 with a17-hit attack paced by a homerun and single by Brennan Brock, and a pair of hits each from Carson Hicks, Landon Brock, Dallas Dannheim, Blake Adams and Mason Maeker. Also hitting safely were Alex Burney, Trevor McClure, Mitchell DeYong, Blake Doughtie and Chase Friddle.

They then beat Lamar County back to back in their second and third game by margins of 8-3 and 8-2, respectively. In the first game, Burney and McClure each had a double and single, Friddle, Brennan Brock and Carson Hicks had two singles each, and Maeker, Blake Blevins, Doughtie and Dannheim each hit safely. In the next game, Burney had three hits, including a double, while Brennan Brock, Hicks and McClure each accounted for a pair of singles. Driving in runs were Adams, Maeker, Blevins, Dannheim and DeYong.

The Braves then faced Paris again in the championship game and won 9-1. They were led by Brennan Brock, who knocked in three runs with a pair of triples, and Hicks, who had a double, single and two RBIs. Burney, McClure, Doughtie and Friddle each had a pair of hits, and DeYong knocked in two runs.

The Braves' first game at the state tournament is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday against Grand Prairie Blue. Grand Prairie Blue advanced to the Tournament by winning the District 8B title in Waxahachie.

9-10-Year-Olds

The Hopkins County Sidewinders, playing in the district tournament in Cooper last week, came within one win of advancing to the state tournament. They won their first three games, but lost the next two to Paris, who advances.

In the first game, the Sidewinders beat Commerce 13-7 behind Kody Chester, who rapped three doubles, and Kade Koon, Tanner Stonaker and Kason Childress, who all went 3-for-3. Justin Humphries started on the mound and gave up one run in three innings of work while striking out five. It also started streak for Stonaker of catching every inning of every game.

In the second game, Hopkins County beat Paris, 12-6, despite falling behind 6-0 in the second inning. The Sidewinders came back with 11 runs in the bottom of second. Alex Buchanan had a double, while Eric Holder and Zack Miller each reached base safely twice. Miller also had a key catch in left field in the third inning. Kris Ford pitched the final three innings of the game and allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out four.

In the third game, Hopkins County beat Delta County, 16-3, as Cabo San Vig went 2-for-3 at the plate and pitched three innings, giving up a single run. John Bell also went 2-for-3 and Cason Clark had a long hit.

In the final two games against Paris, the Lamar County team won both, including 15-6 in the final game. Chester and Koon each had two hits and Collin Crawford pitched two innings, giving up just two runs in the first game. In the final, Ford pitched four scoreless innings as Hopkins County came back from a 7-0 deficit to draw within 7-5 in the third inning. Crawford went 2-for-2 with a double, Ford went 2-for-2, Bell and Childress each had a double, and Humphries reached base safely twice.

"Our kids, coaching staff and parents represented the county well with dignity, sportsmanship and respect for the game on and off the field," said coach Martin Bell. "I'm most proud of the heart that the kids showed in overcoming adversity in difficult situations. They showed a lot of character."

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