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6U team undefeated state, national champs

The 6U Pike County All Stars Softball A Team dominated as they went 16-0 and were undefeated in all games – including the open, region, state and national Braves Country tournaments.

The All Star State and National championship team includes Evie Allison, Willow Beat, Gracie Boswell, Hailee Clanton, Natalie Kate Faircloth, Tinsley Hammock, Cypress Keller, Lily Krug, Hadlee Nixon, Abbi O’Neal, Harper O’Neal and Hayden Preskitt. The team is led by head coach Craig Smith and assistant coaches Brandon Allison, Jonathan Faircloth, Brian Hammock and BJ O’Neal.

“I’m super proud of the accomplishments of these players, coaches and parents,” said head coach Craig Smith. “We had just a couple weeks to pull everyone together and from the very beginning the team bought into our mantra of Humble Hustle and Heart! They did their best to keep God first and glorify Him with their talents and in winning the championship! The Pike community should be so proud of these players, coaches and parents because they couldn’t done a better job representing what Pike is all about!”

They played at Gresham Park in Perry June 15-16 and defeated all four teams, outscoring them 60-15 overall.

In the state tournament, the 6U All Star team were undefeated as they played at the Southern Pines Recreation Park in Dublin June 22-23.

In the first game, the team defeated the South Walton All Stars by a score of 14-2. They collected 16 hits with Hadlee going 2-for-2 and batting three runs in. She, Hailee, Gracie, Abbi, Natalie Kate and Hayden each got two hits. The team was also strong on defense and turned a triple play.

In game two, they faced the 6U NG Blackwell All Stars and won 15-8 with 21 hits.

In a close game, the 6U All Stars beat the Perry All Stars by a score of 15-13. The team was able to win in the bottom of the third inning as Hailee picked up an RBI on a ground out, Gracie doubled to score two runs, Tinsley hit into a fielder’s choice to score a run and Hayden singled to score a run.

In the state championship game, the team pulled out a win in dramatic fashion with a 16-15 walk off victory over the 6U Mill Creek All Star Gold team. The Pike team was trailing 15-14 in the bottom of the fifth inning but they picked up the lead in the bottom of the fifth on singles by Willow and Hayden.

The team had a total of 23 hits in the state championship game as Lily went 3-for-3 with three runs batted in and Harper and Hayden each had three hits as well. Hadlee, Gracie Abbi, Evie, Natalie Kate and Tinsley each had multiple hits in the state championship win.

In the Braves Country All Star Nationals in Kennesaw June 29-30, the team defeated the Landrum Lady Cardinals All Stars 13-1 and the NG Blackwell All Stars 14-7 on June 29.

It was a close game and a walk off victory for the 6U Pike County All Stars on June 30 as they again faced NG Blackwell – this time in the Nationals championship game. The Pike girls struck first with four runs in the first inning but Blackwell tied the game at four in the top of the third inning. Pike jumped back in the lead in the bottom of the third after Evie singled, Lily doubled and Hailee grounded out, each scoring one run. Blackwell made a comeback in the fourth to make it 8-7 and Willow singled to tie up the game at 8-8 in the bottom of the fourth. In the bottom of the fifth, the Pike team added three more runs but NG Blackwell took the lead by a score of 12-11 in the top of the sixth inning. The team earned the Braves Country Nationals championship titled as Hadlee singled and Willow singled in runs in the bottom of the sixth to win the game 13-12.

In Braves Country All Star Nationals championship game, the 6U Pike team faced the Mill Creek All Stars and dominated with a 15-9 victory. Mill Creek struck first with five runs in the first inning and one run in the second inning. Pike responded with three runs in the second and tied up the game in the top of the third with a double by Abbi and a ground out by Hailee that scored runs. The 6U Pike All Stars got 24 hits in the game with Abbi, Evie, Natalie Kate and Hayden each getting three hits.

“Cypress knocked in the 15th run sealing the national championship,” said coach Smith. “She had struggled some batting up to that point and it was awesome to see her come through after all the work she put in to get back right. Praying together at the games is a big part of what we’re about.”

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