The Dothan 10-U All-Stars softball team won the Dixie Angels state tournament in Eufaula on Tuesday, completing a dominant run by beating Montgomery American 10-0 in the three-inning championship game stopped early by the run-rule.
Dothan run-ruled every team it played in the state tournament, outscoring their opponents 68-2 and advances to the Dixie Angels World Series in Fairview, Tennessee, beginning July 28.
“It was amazing from start to finish … they just put a whipping on everybody in front of them,” Dothan coach Doug Duke said. “We made one error, gave up two runs and just dominated.”
Dothan opened the tournament by defeating Auburn 12-1, followed by wins over Enterprise (10-0), Lafayette (10-0), Montgomery American (12-1), Wicksburg (14-0) and then Montgomery American again in the championship game.
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Between the district tournament and the state tournament, Dothan outscored their opponents 130-9.
“We knew we had great pitching,” Duke said of going into the state. “You never know how your hitting is going to do, because when you’re playing the best teams in the state so you think, ‘OK, now we’re going to face better pitching than you saw.’ But our district is probably one of the best districts in the state, so we probably faced some of the best teams in all of the state (in district).”
The games are normally scheduled for five innings unless a team is 10 runs ahead after three innings. The only game Dothan played more than three innings was a 12-1 win over Montgomery American in four innings.
“We’re sitting there going, ‘This has got to be something that’s never been done in the state tournament that they’ve 10-run ruled every team that they’ve played,’” Duke said. “I mean in three innings we can’t even clear our bench before we’re already done.”
Besides outstanding pitching, Dothan also was tremendous on offense.
“They put the ball in play,” Duke said. “One night the power went out in one of the transformers and the lights went out and one bank (of lights) were still working and we tried to still play and one coach came up and said, ‘No offense, I know you’re winning 9-0, but the way you guys are hitting the ball somebody is going to get hurt on my team.’ He said, ‘You guys are literally hitting the ball harder than we’ve ever seen.’
“We were just rocketing the ball from the top to the bottom of the lineup. It was just a fun weekend all the way around.”
Duke said it was a total team effort, from the kids to the coaches to the parents.
“The kids have all bought in,” Duke said. “I’ve got five or six dads that coach travel ball and they all could be me … they all could be the head coach … and they all bought in and it’s just been the most amazing group of parents from the moms and the dads. It’s been amazing.”
Leading pitchers for Dothan in the state tournament were Ella Duke, McCarty Clark and Abby Smith, who combined for 54 strikeouts and only allowed 11 hits. Duke also led the team in hitting with a .842 average.
Members of the Dothan team: Annabelle Sanders, Abby Smith, Addie Harger, Ally Kole Skinner, Amelia Rollins, Ella Duke, Emily Humphrey, Landry Thomas, Liz Barfield, McCarty Clark, Taylor Creel and Taylor Preston. Coaches are Doug Duke, Kenny Sanders and Ray Rollins.