All three local teams still in the mix for Dixie State titles

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor

July 9, 2007 - All three Hopkins County teams playing in the Dixie Angels and Darlings State Tournaments at Coleman Park are still in the running for a state championship as they take the to the diamond this evening.

Weather permitting, that is.

City workers have done a remarkable job getting the fields ready to play after record rainfall in June and early July. A heavy shower on Sunday caused up to a three-hour delay in some games - meaning Lamar County and Fannin County's game was not played until midnight.

Getting the fields ready after another shower Monday morning is the latest challenge. But, if the fields are playable, all three local teams will be vying this evening for a chance to advance to Tuesday's championship games.

Darlings

The two Hopkins County teams - American coached by Rowdy Crowson and National coached by Jill Dietze - met Sunday night as the last two remaining undefeated teams. The Americans stayed unbeaten.

The teams played a best-of-three series earlier in the year to determine which one would receive a bye in the state tournament as the host team and which one would go through the district tournament. The Americans won the bye, though it appears the teams are destined for another re-match in the double elimination tournament.

On Sunday, the Americans won, 5-3, though the Nationals had the tying run at the plate when the last out was made in the coach-pitch format.

The American team was led at the plate by Sierra Nickerson, who had two hits and scored twice, and Myesha Buford, who had two hits, scored once and drove in two runs. Hannah Crowson and Jaye Doughtie also each had a hit and scored. Others with hits for the Americans were Story Thompson, Ragan Sachs and Lexi Lyle.

For the Nationals, Carrington Chancellor, Sidney Dietze and Jacelyn Wilkinson each had a hit and scored a run. Destiny Godbolt added a triple, Lexi Anderson singled and Jacy Ashford reached base twice.

That sets up the Nationals to play at 6 p.m. tonight against Paris in an elimination game. The Nationals beat Paris 17-6 in an earlier game as Aleigh Avery and Chancellor each scored three runs for the local team.

The Americans will play the following game, at 8 p.m., against Crosby, who the Nationals put in the losers bracket with a 10-4 victory in the opening game.

If both Hopkins County teams win, they will face each other again at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the championship. Because the Americans have not lost, they can lose and still play tomorrow due to the double elimination format.

Angels

The Hopkins County Angels team, coached by Sharon Womack, Mike Moore and Jamie Harris, is scheduled to play either Lamar County or Fannin County at 6 p.m. tonight in an elimination game. The winner advances to tomorrow's championship round.

On Sunday, the Angels lost to Lamar County 3-1, but then came back to eliminate Red River County in the next game.

In the loss to Paris, Desiray Debase scored the team's lone run.

Against Red River County, the Angels scored three runs in the first on a two-run triple by Kasey Moore that drove in Katie Barnett and Debase, and Sarah Womack's RBI single.

In the second inning, Womack had a two-run single, Sam Horton drove in a run with a grounder and three runs scored on bases-loaded walks by Barnett, Debase and Moore.

In their opening game, the Angels beat Dayton 4-0 behind a strong pitching performance by Moore. Debase, Moore, Brandie McLaine and Haley Wilburn all scored.

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