Play ball: Area softball teams vie for the state title during playoffs

by Josie Fox

Hard work and dedication has paid off for softball teams from Rusk, Alto, Jacksonville and Troup as they headed into week long softball tournament play on Monday, July 8.

6U Girls T-Ball

The Rusk Sassy Sluggers and Alto Glitter Girls traveled to Rockdale for this year’s tournament, along with 14 other teams, all fighting to bring home a state title. First round play began Monday at 4 p.m. with Rogers Tigers, China Spring Aces, Rusk Sassy Sluggers, Salado Diamonds, Normangee Panthers and Quitman Titans taking the field. The Itasca Lady Cats, Milano Lil Eagles, Groesbeck Diamond Divas, Alto Glitter Girls, Alba-Golden Crush and Buffalo Lady Bison were scheduled to hit the field at 6 p.m. Rounding out the first day of game play, China Spring Storm, Holland Hornets, Rockdale Heartbreakers and Riesel Diva Express all took the field at 8 p.m.

The Sassy Sluggers headed into this year’s tournament undefeated, and working hard to end the season that way. The team, coached by Matt Gunter, won their first game on Monday against the Salado Diamonds. The Sassy Sluggers will play the round two game on Tuesday against the China Spring Aces.

The Alto Glitter Girls ended their regular season with just two losses. The team started district play off with a loss in the first round, but bounced back and earned the second play title.

In their first game of state tournament play, the Glitter Girls went up against the Groesbeck Diamond Divas, with Groesbeck winning. For round two, the Glitter Girls will go up against the Buffalo Lady Bisons on Tuesday.

8U Girls Coach Pitch

Rusk is playing host to 19 teams all competing for the state championship title for 8U Girls Coach Pitch. Of those 19 teams, three are from the Cherokee County area, the Alto Heartbreakers, Troup Thunder and Rusk Bearcats.

Rusk, Alto and Troup all fell in their first round of play on Monday. During round two play on Tuesday Troup Thunder will square off against Denison Buzz. The winner of that matchup will go on to play Alto to see who will advance to the next round. Meanwhile, the Rusk Bearcats will play against the Elkhart Rangers on Tuesday.

10U Girls

22 teams converged on Corsicana Monday to begin the battle for the state championship in 10U Girls softball. The Jacksonville Texas A&M team went into district play undefeated and earned a spot in the state tournament after their performance in district. Game play began on Monday with Jacksonville facing off against Salado Aftershock in the first round of play with Jacksonville securing the win. In round two of play on Tuesday, Jacksonville will face off against the Corsicana Sassy Bats.

12U Girls

Troup Shockwave is one of the 18 teams traveling to Clifton for state tournament games this week. Troup ended their regular season with a 6-2 record. Game play was originally set to begin on Monday, but inclement weather led to officials calling a postponement.

Troup is scheduled to play against the Fruitvale Lady Cats on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

15U Girls

Two teams from Rusk have traveled to Denison to vie for the state championship title in the 15U Girls softball league.

Rusk Velocity, who went 7-2 during regular season, won first place in district and secured their spot in the tournament were set to play Quitman Ripshot on Monday night. However, officials called the games on Monday due to impending weather and games were moved to begin on Tuesday morning.
The Rusk Lady Eagles ended their regular season with a 9-1 record and finished second in district play. The Lady Eagles went up against Maypearl on Tuesday morning.

***Updated scores and standings***

The Rusk Sassy Sluggers lost their Tuesday game against China Spring Aces, but will advance to round three to take on the Rockdale Heartbreakers on Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m.

The Alto Glitter Girls faced their second loss during game play on Tuesday, ending their tournament play.

The Alto Heartbreakers ended their state tournament run following a second round loss against Hubbard Extreme.

The Rusk Bearcats are advancing to round three play following wins against the Elkhart Rangers and Denison Wolf Pack on Tuesday. The Bearcats will go against the Rockdale Hot Shots Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Troup Thunder will also continue into round three game play as they take on Whitehouse Lady Cats Wednesday at 6 p.m. The Thunder defeated Denison Buzz and the Corsicana Tigers on Tuesday.

Jacksonville Texas A&M suffered a round two loss to the Corsicana Sassy Bats on Tuesday. The team will advance to round three play against Crawford Parker Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Following a rain out on Monday, Troup Shockwave ended round one play on Tuesday with a win against Fruitvale Lady Cats. Troup will face off against Academy Lady Sting on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

The 15U Girls teams also faced a rain out on Monday, and the teams playing double headers on Tuesday. Both Rusk Velocity and the Rusk Lady Eagles won their first round games on Tuesday morning, leading to a Rusk face-off for round two play. Velocity emerged the winner on Tuesday night and will advance to round three against the Moody Lady Bearcats on Wednesday morning. The Lady Eagles will also advance to round three game play, facing off against the Comanche Maidens.