ALACHUA – Pitt County, from North Carolina, emerged victorious in this year’s Babe Ruth Softball 12U World Series. This makes two in a row for the team, as they also won the World Series last year. Teams from nine states came to participate in the highly competitive tournament, which was held at the Hal Brady Recreation Complex in Alachua.
The series for girls ages 11 and 12 attracted teams from Washington, California, Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Texas, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Florida.
Doug Robinson, president of Florida Babe Ruth Softball, received the National Babe Ruth Softball Volunteer of the Year award, out of a field of volunteers nationwide. “Babe Ruth is happy with what we’ve done here,” said Robinson.
The City of Alachua hosted the series in 2010 and 2012, and Robinson believes local businesses saw more traffic this year because eliminated teams played each other in a second tournament, the Commissioner’s Cup.
The 300 players and coaches participating in the World Series Championship and Commissioner’s Cup were in town for at least six days.
“The whole community was opening up their arms to bring the World Series back,” Robinson said.
Out of the 22 teams who participated this year, 12 advanced into the tournament bracket and the remaining 10 went into the Cup.
The local Santa Fe team, coached by Jason Mallard, was championship runner up to Pitt County, N.C. after two come-from-behind wins, one of which was a 6-5 win against Mount Olive, N.J.
In the game that got them into the championship, Santa Fe was down 5-3 at their last at bat after two outs, and Olivia Hanson hit a three-run triple to end it.
Robinson’s daughter, Courtney, played her best tournament yet and was named to the All World Series Team and received a golden glove for the defensive team.
“When I walked into the opening ceremony I saw the awards and thought, ‘I am going to get one of those.’ I was really happy when I did,” Courtney said.
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