Meridian Star

Sports

June 8, 2014

Locals square off on diamond

MERIDIAN — Southern Steel Service capitalized on a seven-run third inning to catapult itself to an 8-7 win over Miller Cattle Company in the first round of the 8-and-under softball tournament in the State Games of Mississippi played at Northeast Park Saturday.

“It’s hot, but it’s a lot of fun,” Southern Steele Service coach Charrisa Shirley said. “We tailgate, we have a tent up with Gatorade and water for the kids. It’s just a fun experience, and the more the parents will let the children have fun with their friends, it makes it that much more fun.”

Added Miller Cattle Company coach Kelvin Jackson, “This is a great opportunity for these girls at their age to participate in the State Games. To be able to learn the game, and play the game of softball, and to work to get better is just a great opportunity for them.”

Southern Steel Service entered the top of the third trailing, 5-1, but smacked five RBI singles and a two-run single by Carson Mott to take an 8-5 advantage.

“We had two girls get a hit (Saturday) that had not made a hit before,” Shirley said. “And those two hits led to two girls scoring and furs to get the win.”

After relinquishing its lead in the top of the third, Miller Cattle Company battled back in the bottom of the frame with an RBI triple by Grace Reynolds, who eventually scored on Allison McCoy’s RBI single. Yet Miller Cattle Company would come up a run shy of tying the game.

“We want the girls to first have fun,” Jackson said. “Second, we are teaching them the basics of the game so they can continue to improve, so as they continue to age, they’ll continue to get better and enjoy the game.”

For Miller Cattle Company, Ashley Jackson, Angel Mae Morris and Jenna McCoy each registered RBI singles.

For Southern Steel Service, Caroline Hodges, Brooklyn Baughman, Jena Marie Shirley and Kaylie Church recorded RBI singles.

 “I think this is awesome,” Shirley said. “I grew up playing softball and it’s great for my daughter to be able to play on a team, and for me to be the coach is just awesome, and our parents are awesome. Our girls love this and gave 100 percent.”

Southern Steel Service advanced to the winner’s bracket of the tournament with the win, while Miller Cattle Company fell to the loser’s bracket.

“The State Games of Mississippi has been fantastic about their information and organizing of the teams,” Shirley said.

Added Jackson, “This is just an awesome opportunity for the kids — it’s like a mini-Olympics.”

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