8-and-under All-Stars finish fourth in Dalton, their highest placement in age-group history

ONE OUT AWAY FROM PLAYING FOR IT ALL: The Baldwin County 8-and-under softball All-Stars went farther than any 8U team in county history. The team is pictured bottom row, from left: Peyton Beck, Bailey Rollins, Holley Youngblood, Dawn Bryan, Ra’Dajah Williams and Jordan Spear. Back row, from left is Brayden Latimer, Taylor Prestridge, Taylor Wood, Cire Foston, Cadence Bandows and Emma Lewis. Back row, from left is coaches Jason Latimer, Todd Prestridge, Warner Bandows and Traci Rollins.

Contributed photo
The Union-Recorder

The Baldwin County 8-and-under All-Stars are smiling big these days after doing something no other 8U team has been able to do in the county’s history.

Competing in the recent Dixie Youth State Tournament in Dalton, the team finished fourth in the state and were knocked out of the semifinals by the Perry All-Stars.

The team, however, did finish 3-2 at the tournament, best in history, and have brought home a U-R Player of the Week selection.

“We really did good overall. We got beat by Perry and Lee County. Lee County ended up winning the whole thing. We did good and did well, and went farther than we have gone before,” said head coach Todd Prestridge. “We sent three teams packing. We played hard and had a good showing. We ended up one out short in the bottom of the fifth in the semifinals. We still finished in the final four.”

According to Prestridge, this was the first time Baldwin County sent an 8-and-under softball team to the State Playoffs.

“It was fun. It was hot and was kind of an endurance test. They were wore out at the end. We played one game on Friday, two on Saturday and two on Sunday,” he said. “If we had won Sunday night we would have played in the championship game.”

Prestridge was quite ecstatic at the progress his girls made this season on the softball diamond.

“They have come a long way. They improved a lot. We beat Monroe County Sunday morning and they beat us in the District Tournament earlier — and that got us to the Final Four,” he said.

The Baldwin County All-Stars came within one out of defeating the Perry All-Stars and advancing to the Championship Final. Lee County later defeated Perry for the championship.

“We did real well. We were the underdogs. Nobody expected us to do much, but we were one out away. You never know what could have happened, but they did us proud. They did very, very well,” said Prestridge. “We had some good support from the Baldwin County parents and grandparents. Also, congratulations to all the the other youth teams in State and National tournaments.”


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