• 55°

Franklin Co. girls ready for state

MEADVILLE — If practice makes perfect, than the Franklin Countygirls should be one of the top teams in the Dixie Girls FastpitchSoftball State Tournament. Opening ceremonies begin Friday night asdo bracket drawings at the Brookhaven Hansel King Sportsplex.

The double elimination tournament will last through Friday, July13, and Franklin’s Dixie Girls will serve as tournament hosts.They’ll compete in the 8-team Belles Division.

“We’ve been having practice as much as possible,” said FC DixieGirls coach Pam Rushing. “I hope we come ready to playSaturday.”

The FC Dixie Girls are made up 12 young ladies ranging from theages of 13-15. The team has held several practices over the lastfew weeks, including a day/night practice session on Tuesday and aholiday practice drill Wednesday on the Fourth of July.

Hitting and pitching maneuvers have been the virtue to everypractice session for Rushing, who is assisted by Christi Thorntonand Melissa Crosby. Keeping the team focused has also been a bigduty, which the three coaches have carried out quite well.

“When something’s not going right we run laps,” said Rushing.”Every team in this tournament is going to be good. We have to beready.”

A State title is the ultimate goal, and a reachable one.Carthage and Mize are the early favorites in the Dixie Girlstournament field.

Making up the FC Dixie Girls roster will be Karlee Mullins(2B/OF), KeKe Collins (1B/3B), Diamond Newman (IF/OF), Haley Crosby(IF/OF), Rachel Dier (Pitcher), Allison Hauer (IF/OF), HeidiThornton (Pitcher/IF), Courtney Reid (Catcher/IF), Tammy Alexander(IF/OF), Vandriana Norman (IF/OF), Shelby Lofton (Pitcher/IF), andVintrice Briggs (IF/OF).

Heidi Thornton (14-years old) will serve as the team’s numberone pitcher. She has five different pitches she can throw.

Courtney Reid (15-years old) will serve as the elder statesmanin the group and as the team’s most versatile player. Strongdefensive support will be provided by Karlee Mullins, VintriceBriggs, and KeKe Collins.

Two other Franklin County teams in different tournament agedivisions will also take part in the week-long statetournament.

The 11-12 year FC All-Stars will be made up of Kim McDowell,Siedriq Middleton, Trynise McKnight, Latoya Griffin, BriannaGrayson, Sarah Clanton, Jordan King, Sarah Case, Alex Farrell, andDeAnna Cothren.

Coaching the team will be Michael Middleton and KevinCrosby.

The 7-8 year old FC All-Stars will consist of Montana Lofton,Brandi O’Neal, Scarlett Zumbro, Emily Strittman, Tyneisha Anderson,Tainya Robinson, Hunter White, Noel Parker, Morgan Rushing, andKenyatta Griffin.

Cody Stewart and Randy Atkins will serve as coaches of the 7-8year olds.