A popular bumper sticker G.R.I.T.S., meaning Girls Rule in the South held true over the weekend, most notably in the Cal Ripken Eastern Tennessee Region as the 8, 10, and 12 year old Marshall County girls all-stars swept away their Warren County opponents for a state title trifecta.
It all started Saturday at the Richard Cashion Sports Complex in Lewisburg with the 8 and 10 year olds playing a best two out of three series versus the Lil' Lady Pioneers from McMinnville.
Curtis received plenty of offensive support from the start in game one as Marshall County put up five runs in the first inning on just one hit (a Taylor Walls one-out single).
Jasmine Runk, Sydne Solomon, and Hannah Sheppard all walked and scored on passed balls or wild pitches by Warren County and Walls also came home on a passed ball, as did Brook Paul, who reached base when she was hit by a pitch.
Warren County managed two unearned runs in the bottom of the inning as Hailey Wood reached on a leadoff error by Marshall County and would eventually score on a passed ball with one out.
The Lil' Pioneers found the scoreboard for the last time of the tournament when Amy Webb drove home Emily Mikkola to make it a 5-2 ballgame.
Marshall County put the game away in the second inning, lighting up the scoreboard a half dozen more times to take a commanding 11-2 lead.
Alli Hobbs had an RBI bases loaded bunt single, Solomon drove home one with a double, and Sheppard knocked in one on one of three hit Marshall County batters in the inning.
Marshall County scored four more in the third and Curtis closed the door on Warren County in the run-rule win.
In game two, King faced just twelve batters the entire ballgame, striking out five and walking two, while not allowing a ball out of the infield or a runner past first base in her three innings of work in the second run-rule win for Marshall County.
Marshall County scored four runs in the first inning on consecutive RBI base knocks by Walls, Solomon, Grace Thrasher, and Sheppard and they never looked back.
Walls drove in King and Curtis with a double in the second inning to make it 6-0, and in the fourth, the hometown girls tacked on six more for the 12-0 lead.
King induced a ground ball out to Curtis at second and after striking out the last two Warren County batters in the ballgame, the state title was theirs.
8U Girls win a tough one before romping to title
Hannah Davis tallied five hits off the pitching machine in the doubleheader, while Ali Adams and Riley Lentz both had four base knocks.
Anna Blanton also pitched in with three hits and Karley Daughrity and Mackenzie Walls both managed two hits apiece, while Carissa Curtis, Brantley Hollandsworth, Abbie Woodard, Ally Blanton, and Kallie Hasty had one base hit piece apiece in the contest for the state champs.
Cooksey game winner sparks 12U girls to state title
On Sunday in Bellevue, it was the 12U girls' turn to cash in the trifecta in a best two, out of three series with the Warren County Lumachicks and in game one, skipper Danny Hollingsworth's squad needed some late inning heroics to spur them on to the title.
Miranda Cooksey's last inning game winning single that scored Hannah Singleton saved Marshall County, who led for much of the ballgame before a Lumachicks' sixth inning comeback tied the game.
Marshall County jumped out to a 3-0 first inning lead and added an unearned run in the second with Singleton scoring the run again.
Emily Martin led off the bottom of the fourth with triple into the leftfield corner before Hollingsworth put on the squeeze play for Leah Hollingsworth, who laid it down perfectly, scoring Martin for a commanding 6-0 lead.
Samantha King was cruising along in the circle for Marshall County until the Lumachicks got hot, scoring five runs in the fifth to cut the Marshall County lead to a single run.
Lexi Locke had a two-run double in the frame and Lexi Rowland, Mackenzie Pistole, and Neva Tackett all drove in one run apiece.
Taylor Patin and Laura Beth Brown came through for Marshall County in the home half of the inning as they each knocked in a runner to stretch the lead back to three runs at 8-5.
Uncharacteristically, Marshall County let Warren County all the way back in the title hunt when they allowed three unearned runs on zero hits in the top of the sixth inning.
With game tied at eight, Singleton led off the bottom of the inning, beating out an infield hit.
Singleton stole second base and was move up to third on a big fielder's choice at bat by Halle Chapman.
Cooksey came up and wasted little time, drilling the second pitch from Locke to right field that easily scored Singleton from third with the game winner.
In game two, Jordan Yelensky started for the Marshall County stars in the circle and got out of a first inning jam, thanks mostly to a sweet 9-3 double play gun down from right field by Allison Sheroski.
Cooksey walked to lead off the bottom of the inning and scored on a Martin RBI two batters later to give MC a 1-0 lead.
Warren County took their only lead of the weekend in the top of the second when they scored twice with the go-ahead hit coming off the bat of Shelli McCormick.
Yelensky led off the bottom of the second with a base hit, stole second and scored on an error with Brown at the plate.
Amanda Patterson came in to run for the MC catcher and proceeded to steal second and third base before scoring on a RBI single from Patin.
Singleton, who had a base hit before the Patin run scoring knock, trotted home on a an RBI groundout by Cooksey to make it a 4-2 ballgame.
The Lumachicks would not go away yet as they scored one run in the third on an RBI by Pistole, but Marshall County busted the game wide open in the home half as they scored five runs to take a 9-3 lead.
The big blow was a two-run double by Patin and a pair of RBIs by Yelensky and King added to the six-run bulge.
Coble had driven in Yelensky in the bottom of the fourth on a sacrifice fly and in the top of the sixth, Coble bookended a pair of strikeouts around a groundball out to Singleton at second to seal the state title.
The MCYBSL will host the 10 and 12U Cal Ripken Southeast Region Softball Tournament at the Richard Cashion Sports Complex on Bobby Hurt Drive in Lewisburg, beginning on July 21.