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Submitted / The Outlook Alex City's 8U softball all-stars placed third at their pre-area tournament last weekend and will now head to Holtville for an area tournament today.

After a grueling pool play schedule, Alexander City’s 8U softball all-star team placed third at its pre-area tournament last weekend. The all-stars will now head to Holtville for their area tournament to see if they can advance once more and make it to the state tournament.

In its first game of the day, Alex City faced off against the defending Dixie Softball World Series champions Tallassee. Despite the tough draw, AC pulled through and earned a 13-10 victory.

“Tallassee always has a powerhouse program so we knew we would have to play our best to have a chance to win,” Alex City 8U coach Josh Brewer said. “Our girls were ready for the challenge and played great team ball to help pull through for the win.”

Alex City struggled with errors and allowed Phenix City to score five runs off errors in Game 2. Phenix City came away with an 8-3 victory before Alex City moved on to tournament play.

Facing off against Tallapoosa County rival Dadeville, Alex City turned up the heat and earned a 22-12 victory to advance to the semifinals and a rematch with Phenix City.

Now nearing 10 p.m. Saturday night, Brewer said the girls were tired from being at the ballfields for more than 12 hours and exhausted from the heat.

“Nevertheless, our girls played another outstanding game,” Brewer said. “But we had one bad inning, giving up four runs with two outs and we lost 11-7.”

Despite the loss, Alex City still advances and had several highlight-worthy performances.

Offensively, Khylee Fleetion was a perfect 9-for-9 with six runs scored on the day. Ryleigh Ruffin and Journey Brewer each went 8-for-9. Ruffin scored six runs and Brewer scored five including one home run. Jira Russell finished 7-for-9 with four runs scored and one home run.

“No doubt Kyleigh Leonard was the team defensive MVP of the day, making play after play each game inside the pitching circle,” coach Brewer said. “She made a few plays that you don’t see much at the high school level. Mark my words, this lady is going to be a star one day.” 

Brewer also said Bentlee Mann, Heidi Fuller, Jaryah Coleman and Averee Vick also had outstanding defensive performances. Alex Carter, Kirklynn Marable and Madison Morgan all had key contributions on both sides of the ball. 

Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.