With younger softball players, often just putting the ball in play is enough to create offense. So Marlee Franks simply didn’t let that happen.
Franks, the starting pitcher Saturday afternoon for Caledonia’s 12U team in the Dizzy Dean Softball state tournament, overcame a rough start to strike out seven hitters in three innings of work as Caledonia took a 10-2 lead and went on to defeat Batesville in Caledonia and reach the championship game.
Caledonia scored 10 consecutive runs after Batesville took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. The first two batters walked, stole second, went to third on a throwing error and scored on a pitch that got away. But Franks didn’t walk another batter and, while she did plunk a few, the strikeouts kept her out of trouble.
Caledonia previously defeated Choctaw County and JP Hudson in the tournament. Caledonia will play at 3 p.m. Sunday for the title, with a second game, if needed, to follow.
Over in West Point, Lowndes County All-Stars are alive in the 10U South baseball tournament. They defeated Louisville to reach the championship game of the main bracket, where they were defeated by Choctaw County on Saturday.
But as that is their first loss, Lownes County All-Stars will play at noon Sunday in the consolation bracket final against the survivor of Saturday night’s games. A win there will send Lowndes into the championship and a rematch with Choctaw County.
No local teams remain in the 8U baseball tournament, also in West Point, after Lowndes County, which already had defeated Caledonia and Ripley on Saturday, came up short against Choctaw County. Choctaw County will play Newton County for the right to face Union for the championship.