Facing an extremely tough bracket at the state tournament last weekend in Millbrook, Alexander City’s 8U All-Star softball team put up a good fight but had to settle for fourth in the state.
“I could not be any more proud of each one of our girls,” Alex City 8U coach Josh Brewer said. “You have good days and you have bad days. Unfortunately, Saturday just wasn’t our day. As a team, it was by far our worst outing of the season. We just couldn’t get anything going offensively all day long and made crucial errors on defense early in games that we couldn’t recover from.
“There’s no doubt in my mind we were the best team there; we just couldn’t get out of our own way to keep from beating ourselves. Nevertheless, our girls played with heart and dignity and represented our community well.”
Alex City started out with a big victory over Chelsea, 15-4. After giving up three runs in the first inning, the all-stars began to settle down and played great defense the remainder of the game.
In Game 2, Alex City was paired against Phenix City, the defending state champion. AC struggled in the first inning, allowing six innings, and it couldn’t recover. It fell, 10-5.
Alex City then won against New Site, 13-4, and lost to Millbrook, 7-2, before being eliminated.
Khylee Fleetion led the all-stars by going 9-for-11 at the plate with four runs scored. Kyleigh Leonard followed by going 8-for-11 with five runs, and Ryleigh Ruffin and Jaryah Coleman each went 6-for-9. Madison Morgan was 5-for-8 and Heidi Fuller was 4-for-6; both of them had several key RBIs.
“Kyleigh Leonard once again was a force to be reckoned with in the field,” Brewer said. “Journey Brewer also made multiple key plays behind the plate while Jaryah Coleman did the same from third base. Kirklynn Marable, Alex Carter, Averee Vick, Bentlee Mann and Jira Russell all played outstanding defense in the field as well. Each one of these girls contributed in large fashion to helping our team.”
Despite the loss, coach Brewer was still happy with the outcome and was impressed with the players for their hard work throughout the summer.
“This was a great experience and we are already looking forward to next year,” he said. “This is a very young team with names you will be hearing for a long time. At the end of the day, this is about way more than softball. These girls are a family. They have each other’s back; they’ve fought for one another, cried together and laughed together.
“They have learned about hard work, commitment, dedication and discipline. Those are the things that really matters. That’s why we are really here. In my book, that’s a win any day.”