Remembering dean

Published 12:02 am Thursday, March 20, 2014

Straughn’s Carolina Fussell catches a throw at second base. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn’s Carolina Fussell catches a throw at second base. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

For Lee Lumpkin, it seems unreal that it’s been almost 10 years since her daughter, Kirsten Dean, died from her injuries after a car accident in April 2004.

In Dean’s memory, Straughn High School started the annual Kirsten L. Dean Memorial Softball Tournament in 2005, and today the school will be kicking off its 10th edition of the tournament.

“There is not a day that passes that we do not think of her,” Lumpkin said about Kirsten. “We all miss her terribly.

“I have to say that it is very touching that even after 10 years, this school and community continue to honor my sweet girl with this tournament,” she said.

Tournament action will get underway this afternoon at 4 with pool play. There are two pools with three teams in each.

Straughn, Florala and Red Level are in Pool A. New Brockton, Brantley and Andalusia are in Pool B. Pool play will be held today and tomorrow with the tournament transitioning into single elimination bracket play on Saturday.

Lumpkin said Kirsten loved playing softball at Straughn and supporting all of the Tigers’ teams.

“For this school to continue to remember Kirsten in this tournament just goes to show that her love for Straughn was not just one-sided — it seems that Straughn loves Kirsten, too,” she said.

Single elimination play will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday with the No. 2 seed in Pool B playing the No. 3 seed out of Pool A. The No. 2 seed of Pool A will play the No. 3 seed out of Pool B at noon. The No. 1 seed out of Pool A plays at 2 p.m., and the No. 1 seed out of Pool B plays at 4 p.m.

The championship game is slated for 6 p.m.

SHS coach Kenny Skipper said he hopes a lot of folks come out and support the tournament.

In a make up game against Brantley on Wednesday afternoon, Straughn fell 13-5 to the Lady Bulldogs.

Brantley led 7-0 after the second inning, but the Lady Tigers bounced back in the bottom of the third with five runs.

Sarah Langford and Derriunna Gantt got back-to-back RBI walks with the bases loaded; and the Lady Tigers added two runs when Carolina Fussell reached on a throwing error to cut it to 7-4.

Straughn’s Molly Stewart then hit an RBI single to get it to 7-5.

Brantley’s Jessica Hermeling hit a two-run home run in the top of the fourth and the Lady Bulldogs added three runs in the seventh to pull away.

The Lady Tigers only had one hit in the game and were struck out 14 times by two BHS pitchers.

“We’ve got a really good softball team, but until they starting being in the game, then we’re going to continue to struggle,” Skipper said. “We’ve got a lot of stuff we’ve got to work on. Right now, I’ve got one girl (Gantt) who is throwing strikes. The biggest thing is that we’ve got to play defense when we throw strikes. We’re not hitting. We’re not playing up to our potential in any facet of the game. When we do, we’re going to be something else.”