By RYAN HERMAN
The Boger City Optimist Sweetees 6-under girls all-star softball team received a trophy for winning the Dixie Youth state title last summer.
This year, it gets to go to a world series.
The 12 girls from Lincoln County captured the team’s second state title in as many summers on Tuesday, and this summer will get to participate in the inaugural Dixie Youth 6-under Sweetees World Series, July 25-30 in Bay St. Louis, Miss.
The team, made up of Akira Connor, Lorelye Turbyfill, Whitney Newell, Grace Parker, Gabby Parker, Alexis Rector, Breanna Childers, Raegan Allen, Aidyn Armstrong, Bailey Hollar, Taniyah Thomas, Aniston Moore, and coached by head coach Kevin Newell and assistants Adam Turbyfill, Derek Allen and Stephen Parker, went undefeated in the state tournament for the second straight year.
There was not a tournament beyond state play last year –– the team also went undefeated in the state tournament in 2013 –– but that changed in 2014.
Newell, who also coached last summer’s team, made sure his girls were ready to take on the southeast region’s top teams.
“It’s been awesome to watch these girls put the fundamentals of the game together over the season, which has led to our success,” he said.
The Sweetees opened the state tournament, which was held Saturday-Tuesday in Eden, with a 29-19 win over Fuquay-Varina. They beat East Columbus 27-17 in the semifinals on Sunday, then beat it again 25-13 for the title on Tuesday.
They will open the world series on July 26 against the Tennessee state champion. The 10-team tournament also includes state champions from Mississippi, South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Arkansas, Alabama and Louisville. The host team will also participate.
The world series will open with a ceremony on July 25.