Andalusia 12Us to play state tourney

Published 12:02 am Friday, July 19, 2013

Under the blazing, early-afternoon sun on Thursday, Andalusia toiled away during its practice at Johnson Park to get ready for the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association’s Girls State 12 and under fast-pitch softball tournament in Gadsden.

The Lady Bulldogs, which are comprised of All-Stars and club team players, will play in a seven-team, double elimination formatted tournament that starts today. Andalusia will carry 10 players.

Andalusia 12U coach Anthony Mikel said the tournament is an ASA (Amateur Softball Association) sanctioned event.

“We’re going to go and do our best,” Mikel said.

Mikel said the girls will wear the All-Star uniforms that they wore during the state Babe Ruth tournament last month. Andalusia’s 12U All-Stars finished runner up.

Because of an arm injury to pitcher Tessa Walker, Mikel said he had to recruit Mary Katherine Salter to fill the spot.

The Lady Bulldogs are in the bottom-half of the bracket with Boaz, Piedmont and Hamilton. Andalusia plays Hamilton tonight at 9 on Field No. 3. If Andalusia wins or loses its first game, it will play on Saturday.

The other three teams in the tournament are Centre, Talladega and Childersburg. Childersburg had a first-round bye and won’t start play until Saturday.

“We’re going to give it our best shot,” Mikel said. “We need to play the basics, have some bunting and hitting and hopefully have some strong defense.”

In addition to the 12U age group, the same complex will host the 8U, 10U, 14U and 16U state tournaments as well.

Tournament play starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, the championship game is slated for 7:30 p.m.