Ready for action

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The South Alabama 12-and-under World Series team is excited to be a part of the tournament this week. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Sometimes it’s the little things will make all the difference.

South Alabama 12-and-under softball coach Candace Tucker said on the cusp of the Babe Ruth Softball 12U World Series the girls are excited about the opportunity.

“They’re extremely excited,” Tucker said. “It’s been a battle for us as coaches to balance between them having as much fun as they can have this week and also getting as much out of practice as we could.

“The girls are ready,” she said. “I think they’re a good group, and they like being together. They’re ready for whatever comes at them.”

The World Series will be held Aug. 4-9 at the Andalusia Sports Complex. The first three days will be for pool play between teams in the American Division and the National Division.

The top three teams from each division out of pool play will advance to the double elimination bracket, which begins on Sunday.

South Alabama’s team is a part of the American Division, and will kick start its pool play Thursday at 5:30 p.m. on Field No. 3 against Ohio Valley, of the National Division.

Tucker said the team has been bringing in other pitchers from older teams in the county to help the girls get used to a faster pitch behind the plate.

“That’s something we have not seen even in the tournaments that we have played — the faster pitching,” she said. “We’re trying to get them ready for the faster pitch.”

Leading up to the World Series, the South Alabama team and its 15 players have competed in four tournaments — two in Montgomery, one in Wetumpka and one in Ft. Payne.

South Alabama won the 12-and-under state tournament in Ft. Payne, won the Wetumpka tournament, won one tournament in Montgomery and came in second place in the other Montgomery tournament before narrowing down the 15 players on the team.

As for the keys to success in the World Series, Tucker said it’ll come down to who “executes better.”

“We’ve got to bunt,” Tucker said. “I think defense definitely plays a part no matter what game you’re playing.

“I think it’ll come down to the little things — the bunting, the base running — a lot of stuff like that,” she said. “It comes down to whether we can execute and defend those little things other teams can’t. It’ll come down to who does the little things.”