Alabaster 6U softball all-stars challenging for state trophy
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor
ALABASTER — While the high school softball season ended nearly a month ago, several players looking to one day reach the varsity level are still slugging it out for state supremacy.
The Alabaster 6U All-Stars softball team is one of those teams, and is defying the odds in pursuit of a title. Alabaster 6U is in the midst of battling for a USSSA Alabama State Championship, but may have faced its toughest challenge yet: Simply making the tournament.
“We got a tough draw in the second pre-area tournament,” head coach Steve Hall said. “We had to do well (in area) to get into state.”
After struggling in the pre-area tournament, Alabaster 6U entered the area tournament seeded fifth of five teams. In order to keep the season alive, the squad had to finish fourth or better in area.
The bats came alive, and the team not only did well enough to make state, but win the double-elimination tournament as well. The team lost just one game, taking down Springville, pre-area winners Leeds and McCalla before squaring off with Hoover in the Championship round.
Alabaster 6U lost the opener, but then beat Hoover in game two to eliminate them from the tournament and secure a place in the state tournament.
A combination of experience and youth has put the squad in a great position, Hall said.
“We only got four girls back from last year,” he said. “(They’ve) done an incredible job. They understand (they’ve) got o run hard, makes smart plays. (They are) an extremely smart group of girls.”
Hall said he feels that his team has all the tools to be successful in the state tournament in Clanton this weekend. The team already knocked off Blount County, and as of press time, was waiting to find out its opponent in round two.
“The real key is defense,” Hall said. “It seems to be we’ve had everyone on the team step up. All these teams have hitters. They key is limiting the big inning.”
Check back with Shelbycountyreporter.com for updates on the team’s progress.