Two Columbia County Recreation Department baseball all-star teams earned trips to the Dixie and Junior Dixie Boys Baseball World Series after impressive wins at the state tournament level.
The best and most dominant performance of the summer, however, didn't come from either team. That accomplishment belongs to a group of 11- and 12- year old girl's softball players.
Competing in the 2006 Dixie Ponytails Georgia State Tournament in Forsyth, the Columbia County Recreation Department girl's fast-pitch all-star team dominated the state by sweeping all five games en route to a state championship.
Under coach Mary Sarver, the Columbia County girls outscored the rest of the state 51-3, including a 22-0 win over Crawford in the tournament's second round.
Sarver said she knew the girls had talent but didn't expect to dominate.
"I was confident but not that confident," she said. "I thought we'd do really well because we have a real good pitching staff. That's the key with Dixie."
The impressive pitching performances started with a perfect game from Katie Shead in a 10-0 first-round win over Jasper County. In game 2, Becca Olson and Kayla Oates combined for a no-hitter. Brooke Sarver and Shead turned in complete game, one-hit performances in games 3 and 4 while Olson and Sarver combined for another one-hitter in the championship game.
Although the girls are barely middle-school age, Sarver said they already have the necessary experience to win.
"This is the first time this group of kids have played together in a tournament, but they've come up through the recreation department," she said. "With the fast pitch these girls have only been pitching 1-2 years. They've just picked up on that."
The next step for the team is the 2006 Dixie Ponytails World Series in Alexandria, La. Carver said playing at the World Series level won't be as easy.
"We expect a lot tougher competition. We're going to have to bring our A game in order to win it," Sarver said. "We've been told if you run through the state tournament you've got a good shot of winning at the World Series. Who knows? This is brand new for all of us."
The Columbia County all-stars, known as Team Georgia at the World Series, will play their first-round game July 29.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.