Zion Chapel Belles advance to State Tournament

Published 10:26 pm Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ashford forced a winner-take-all elimination game with a 10-4 win over Zion Chapel in the Dixie Belles District tournament at the Troy Sportsplex on Tuesday.

Zion Chapel knocked off Ashford 13-6 on Saturday but could not muster the necessary offense in the first title game.

Though both teams qualified for the state tournament by advancing to the district championship game, the teams were required to play the ‘if-necessary’ game for seeding purposes.

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Ashford jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Bailey Kyle, Crystal Wise and Katelyn Miller all collected RBI singles in the inning.

It would take two innings before Zion Chapel could get the bats going. Ashford’s Bailey Hughes had not allowed a hit until Kinley Parker singled to lead off the home half of the third for Zion Chapel. Caroline Brown followed with a single before Carson Nelson plated a run with a single. With the bases loaded and two outs, Zion Chapel’s Faith Dewberry, who has been red-hot at the plate, was walked to score another run and cut Ashford’s lead to 4-2.

Ashford added a run in the fifth on a Lizzie Goss ground ball, Carrie Grace McWaters, who singled earlier in the inning, scored on the play.

Zion Chapel would answer with a run of its own in the bottom half but would leave two runners on base. For the game, Zion Chapel would strand 11 runners and found it difficult to string hits together.

Ashford blew the game open with five runs on five hits in the sixth inning.

McWaters and Wise would finish the game 3-for-3 for Ashford.

Bailey Hughes had a pair of hits.

For Zion Chapel, Carson Nelson was 2-for-3. Haleigh Dewberry, Faith Dewberry, Caroline Brown and Gracen Bright all collected hits.

At press time, the teams were preparing for the championship game. Both squads will travel to the Dixie Belles State Tournament in Smiths Station.

In the second game, Zion Chapel’s late rally fell just one run short, with Ashford getting the win, along with the No. 1 seed, 12-11.