Let the show begin

Saturday, August 4, 2012
The entire contingent of Marshall County players, parents, and supporters pose for a photo next to the Babe Ruth League World Series logo Friday night before opening ceremonies in Alachua, Florida. Photo by Anthony S. Puca

The town of Alachua, Florida and the Santa Fe Babe Ruth League pulled out all the stops last night for the opening ceremonies of the 12U World Series.

For the first time ever, the World Series has expanded from 10 to 20 teams from literally coast-to-coast, and as the squads marched onto the field with their banners, the crowd went wild.

Cornersville resident James Holder, who has two daughters (Kianna and Aliyah) on the team said, "We are pretty excited and very proud of all the girls. You can't get any higher than this."

"I hope they are ready," added Holder. "Sometimes you can't tell, but I am sure they just want to get to playing the games."

After a pair beautiful renditions of the "Star Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America", motivational speeches were delivered by dignitaries from the National Babe Ruth League headquarters and the town of Alachua.

A local father and son team was next as they lightened up the evening and had the crowd rolling in laughter with their slapstick routine of Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?"

University of Florida head softball coach Tim Walton followed the comedic duo with a motivational speech and then a fantastic pyrotechnic display ended the opening ceremonies, setting up today's real fireworks as the Marshall County All-Stars kick-off the tournament at 9:30 a.m. versus Angola, Indiana.

After a short break, Danny Hollingsworth's squad will take on host Santa Fe at 1:30 p.m.

"You can't get any better than this," said Marshall County supporter Willie Paul Davis. "This is the most exciting time of these girls' lives so far and the Marshall County all-stars are going to win this World Series."

By the end of today, the all-stars will hopefully, be in position to make a run to the second round of pool play tomorrow where they will most likely need a 3-1 or 2-2 record to advance to Monday' double-elimination round.