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American Darlings looking for deeper run in World Series

A more experienced Halifax American Darlings all-star team is looking for a deeper run in this year’s Dixie Softball Darlings World Series being played in Louisiana.

American, a solid all-around team blessed with power, speed and defense, plays Georgia Saturday in the first round of the Dixie Softball Darlings World Series in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Halifax American outscored its opponents 172-23 in eight games during district and state tournament play, with five different players hitting a total of 19 home runs.

American Manager Sunshine Martin knows the World Series will be the supreme test for her team, but she thinks her team is ready for the challenge. 

“We definitely have more experience, and I would say this team has a little more hitting,” acknowledged Martin.

“We’ve had several teams we have played tell us we bang on the ball one through 12, and we do.

“That’s a definite plus, and we have depth with girls who can play any position.”

Defense is also a strong suit, according to Martin, pointing to her team’s closest game, a 13-11 win over Timberlake to win the state tournament.

“Our left fielder (Kamyria Woody-Giggetts) made two outstanding catches on hits if they had gotten by her would have been game changers,” recalled Martin.

“She made a running catch to her right and squeezed both of them.”

American went 1-2 in the World Series last year, losing its second game to the team that eventually won the World Series and an elimination game by one run to the host team without one of its key players, Martin explained.

The team has a lot of softball “IQ” for being so young, she added.

“I think our bats, number one, are our best line of defense, and our girls probably run the bases better than any team you see at this age level,” said Martin.

“They know if it’s a fly ball, they’re tagging.  You don’t see that a lot of times at this age level.

“We do a lot of situational work in practice, so these girls do understand the game.  One thing we do is move them to different positions, so that they know what to do.”

“We have the parents play the girls, and we don’t cut them any slack.

“If we can get them out, we get them out, and they know if they can beat us, they can handle anything.”

Halifax American is as well prepared for a tough World Series as the coaches can make them, Martin noted.

“It’s been an awesome team to coach, and we’ve been doing more fine-tuning with this team as opposed to coaching,” she said.

“We taught them the fundamentals last year, so this year we get the chance to teach them extra stuff, and that’s been fun. 

“There’s always a situation you can’t practice, but we hope with the knowledge we’ve given them, they can figure it out.”