Local teams show strength over break

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A number of county baseball and softball teams are spending their spring breaks on the diamond this week at various tournaments around the Alabama Gulf coast area.

Teams from Thompson, Pelham, Oak Mountain, Briarwood, Spain Park and Chelsea are taking part in the boys&8217; Gulf Shores Invitational baseball tournament and the girls&8217; Spring Break Beach Blast softball tournament.

The tourneys can give these squads a chance to play teams that they don&8217;t face in regular season play, size up state-wide competition and see where they stand skill-wise for the upcoming playoffs.

At the same time, spring break ball gives some of these teams a chance to prove that they are a team to be reckoned with in their respective classes.

Take the Pelham Lady Panthers softball team for instance.

As young as they are, the Panthers have dominated their opponents early on in the season, netting double-digit wins in multiple games and forcing more than a few games to be called early.

The Thompson Warriors baseball team has had similar success this year.

The Warriors are 9-3 overall and 4-1 in area play. In their first game of the Spring Break tournament, THS dominated Albertville 18-1.

Still, there are a number of teams that are not competing in Spring Break tournaments making their presence felt this season.

AISA defending state champion Shelby Academy is one of those squads. After starting the year 1-2, the Raiders have gone 5-1 in their last six games and their currently unbeaten in area play.

Great hitting and tough pitching characterize a number of Shelby County teams.

With the level of talent that these squads are bringing to the diamond every night, don&8217;t be surprised to see eight or nine of the local teams making deep trips into the AHSAA and AISA playoffs