The Hendrix Park 10U Fastpitch Softball Diamond Dolls having won their district championship after travelling to Madison, Ga., to compete for the prestigious State Championship in the Region 3A Class C tournament held in mid July.
With the second place finish, the Diamond Dolls became the first team since fast pitch was introduced at Hendrix Park to place that high in post season play.
"I am very proud of the girls’ determination in coming back after losing the first game," Coach Tony Leggett said.
"Hard work before the tournament and a tremendous amount of heart on the part of the girls was key factor in their team’s success," added Assistant Coach Dennis Seger.
The Dolls found themselves in a difficult situation after the tournament opener ended in a loss, but returned the next day having found their focus at the plate and dominated until the championship game where they fell to Dodge County to take second place.
The Dolls suffered their first loss in game one against opponent Trion.
With nine strike outs, the Dolls could not muster enough momentum to power past the Trion team, whose performance at the plate was only marginally better suffering eight strike outs. With the score tied in the eighth inning, the Dolls scored a single run to put them up by one before the Trion defensive shut out the Dolls leaving the bases loaded.
Two Trion runs later, the Dolls found themselves in the loser’s bracket with a tough battle ahead of them.
In game two, the Dolls dominated against the Putnam County All Stars.
With 12 hits and no strike outs, the Diamond Dolls offense had no resemblance to their earlier performance. The Dolls’ defense, having committed only two errors, would hold Putnam to only two hits and the 6-2 win.
The Dolls continued their winning performance against Bowden County in game three with a 17-2 win in the fourth inning. The Bowden County defense lacked the ability or control to stop or even slow down the Dolls’ bats. With fifteen hits and a homerun by batter Kaylin Leggett, the Dolls’ command of the plate completely overshadowed the Bowden offense’s two hits. The Dolls’ defensive control on the field was nearly perfect giving up only a single error.
Having moved one step closer to the championship game, the Diamond Dolls had to face Morgan County - whose performance in the tournament up to that point had been somewhat lacking. However, the Morgan County All Stars gave the Diamond Dolls more of a battle than was expected. A perfect and errorless defensive game for the Diamond Dolls accompanied by control at the plate led the Dolls to another victory with a 6-4 win.
With only two teams between the Diamond Dolls and the state title, they found themselves having to face earlier opponent Trion.
Having suffered their only loss against the Trion team in game one, the Diamond Dolls quickly took control of the game and never looked back. Once again, the Diamond Doll bats would find their marks, out hitting the Trion team 15 hits to 2. Another solid defensive performance held Trion to only two runs while the Dolls drove home 10 runs to take the win.
The championship game would put the Diamond Dolls against Dodge County, whose success up to this point was based mainly on their team’s bunting ability. Throughout the tournament, the Diamond Dolls’ infield had allowed only a single bunt to reach base unhindered by either throwing for the out or the fielder’s choice. Once again, it would be Dodge County’s bunting game that would make the difference giving them the 8-5 win. The Diamond Dolls actually recorded ten hits to Dodge’s nine hits but the hits came sporadically and Dodge County’s ability to move batters into scoring position with the bunt would be the deciding factor in the game.