Young softball team in the thick of things at USSSA Series

By By Tony Krausz/assistant sports editor
July 22, 2004
Conventional thinking would lead one to believe that the Newton County Diamondgirls 10-and-under softball team shouldn't be where it is right now.
The softball squad composed of players from Newton and Lauderdale Counties arrived in Lafayette, La., Wednesday and open pool play in the USSSA slow-pitch World Series today. The double-elimination portion of the tournament starts Friday and runs through Sunday.
The Diamondgirls' roster holds 11 players, and only one player is 10 years old. The 10 nine-year-old players on the roster make the team one of the youngest in the age group.
The Diamondgirls have been going against conventional wisdom all year.
The team finished the regular season first in the state, and it is ranked fourth nationally. The Diamondgirls were ranked No. 1 earlier in the season.
Newton County won both the USSSA tournament and the NSA tournament this year, and the team qualified for both of those organizations' World Series and the ASA World Series.
The decision was an easy one considering the festivities held Wednesday night at the opening ceremonies.
The USSSA World Series drew 105 teams to Lafayette, ranging from eight-and-under teams to 19-and-under teams, and the event kept all of the participants entertained on Wednesday.
Players were treated to a pizza party and participated in base running, accuracy and distance throwing contests during the opening ceremonies.
At 9 this morning, the Diamondgirls will begin play in the 10-and-under division which has 20 teams vying for the title.
Bishop said the team's success will come down to its play in the field.
But no matter where the squad finishes in the tournament which brings teams in from across the country Bishop said the youthful squad is already considered a success.

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