Lebanon — It didn’t come completely as smoothly as they wanted it too, but the Lebanon 12U Softball All-Stars got off to a strong start in the opening game of the state tournament in Lebanon.
The All-Stars jumped out to a 11-2 lead and head off Don Ayres Times Corners Little League (Fort Wayne) by an 11-9 score.
”I am happy, especially against a team like (Don Ayres),” Lebanon head coach Debbie Redman said. “They have played us well the last four years, and to get a big first win off of them makes me happy. We still have a lot of stuff to fix though.”
Lebanon jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Payton Ray led the inning off with a walk, and two batters later scored when Payge Redman tripled her home.
Redman later scored on a single by sister Payten to make it 2-0.
Don Ayres scored two runs without a hit in the top of the second, capitalizing on two Lebanon errors, but Lebanon immediately re-established control of the game.
Brooke Dodson was hit by a pitch with one out and advanced to second on a single by Ray. Katie McDuffie laid down a sacrifice bunt, but the throw to first was wild, allowing Dodson to score and advancing Ray and McDuffie to third and second base respectively.
Payge Redman singled home Ray to make the score 4-2. McDuffie scored on a wild pitch and Livi Ward hit an RBI-fielders’ choice to score Redman and make it 6-2.
Coach Redman said the girls knew they had to bounce back in the bottom of the second inning.
”It was important,” she said. “We had a couple of errors and we gave them those runs. Our girls know we have to be aggressive at the plate and hit the ball. You can’t expect walks. This isn’t normal Little League play; these girls are going to throw strikes and we have to be ready to hit the ball.”