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I first have to start out by saying congratulations to the 9-10-year-old softball team who went to Winchester and brought home the Kentucky Little League state championship. The road to the championship wasn't easy for the girls. In the pool play portion of the tournament, the team lost their very first game to North Oldham. After winning their next two games to advance to the title game, guess who was there waiting for them? That's right, North Oldham. Well, this time, Marion County was ready and took the hard fought 2-1 win to take the first state championship title for Marion County little league softball.
Now the 11-12-year-old boys team has the opportunity to do the same thing. Recently, the team ran through the district five tournament to secure a spot in the state tournament. In their four games, the local team outscored their opponents by a combined score of 35-8. Wow! Outscoring the best that the other leagues have to offer by 27, and not having a game closer than four runs is an impressive feat. Hopefully, that dominance can continue into the state tournament and they can follow their younger girls counterparts and bring home a title.
In fact, the core group of this team are proven winners. According to Joe Mattingly, who has a son on the team and has followed the team for the past three years, all but two of this team have now won the district title for three years in a row. They won as 9-10-year-olds a couple of years ago.
Last year, who can forget the way the 11-year-old tournament played out here in Lebanon? After an absolutely crazy game in which the local team stormed back from being down 6-0 in the third inning to win 11-10 in the wee hours of the morning, they fell in the state championship game. Now there is just one more step for this team to take, bring the state championship back home to Marion County and advance to play in Indianapolis next month.
I guess we got spoiled last year when the boys state tournaments were all in Lebanon. This year we will have to pack up, hopefully for a few days stay, and head to Prestonsburg. Now if you didn't know where Prestonsburg was the first time you heard the name, don't feel bad. I didn't either. When I asked Jessica where the heck Prestonsburg was, her response was, "Well, it's not quite in Pike County." I thought great, a three hour plus drive. But, this could be the year for these kids. They have been so close before, and now winning this tournament means they get a chance to play on.
We've already had one state championship winning team come out of Marion County this year. Why not another? All I can say is good luck to the 11-12-year-old team as they make the long journey to Prestonsburg to compete. With all of their preparations over this season, and years past, this seems like their year. Hope I'm right.