ELIMINATED: Troy Dixie Darlings eliminated from District Tournament with 8-5 loss to Greenville
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Throughout the tournament season, the Troy Dixie Darlings had no trouble hitting the ball and hitting it hard.
During the warm up tournament in Troy and the sub-district tournament in Luverne, the Darlings were able to out-slug their opponents. But the district tournament brought stiffer competition. And although the hitting continued for the Darlings, it wasn’t enough as the season ended with an 8-5 loss to Greenville Saturday.
The Darlings were able to hang around with Greenville for most of the game and were able to carry a 5-2 lead into the fifth inning. But just like the 15-4 loss to Dothan Friday, one big inning late for Greenville spelled the end for the Darlings.
“Overall they played a pretty good defensive game,” Darlings head coach Shane Griffin said. “Just like the first game, it came down to just one inning. We just threw the ball around again and it cost us the game.”
In the fifth inning the Darlings were able to get two outs on the board fairly quickly. It was the third out that gave them the trouble.
“We hit the ball better on Saturday than we did in that first game on Friday,” Griffin said. “The ball really didn’t roll as much on the field (due to the weather on Friday), but I’m not going to use that as excuse, both teams had to play in it. There were a lot of balls that were hit really hard that didn’t seem like it because the field was so wet.”
The Darlings finished the two tournaments in 2015 with a combined record of 3-4.
“I am very proud of my girls. We only had three weeks to get ready for the tournament,” Griffin said. “When you bring in different girls from different teams, it’s kind of hard getting everybody on the same page. I thought they gelled together really well. “
After a long regular season of playing with one team, the girls had to acclimate quickly to playing with a new group of girls and coaches.
“I thought it was a good experience for the girls,” Griffin said. “They were able to continue to work on things that will make them a better softball player.”
From the first week of practice until the final out on Saturday, Griffin continued to see a progression from his players as they continued to learn the game of softball.
“At the beginning of practice we were a poor defensive team,” Griffin said. “We ended up being a good defensive team. We struggled at the beginning, but once we were able to play games we got a lot better.”
Griffin said the players weren’t the only ones to benefit from the post-season experience.
“I was very blessed to be able to coach this team,” Griffin said. “They gave me the opportunity to work with these kids and it was a great experience.”