Spring Hill skipper Paul McGee hasn’t altered his team’s approach to this weekend’s 3rd annual Dixie Softball Ponytails (ages 11-12) All-Stars “X-play” World Series at Ponchatoula Area Recreation’s Millville and Wadesboro Fields in Louisiana.
The double-elimination event will feature 12 teams from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and host Ponchatoula, La.
Mississippi was granted two entries when Georgia elected not to compete.
McGee’s team arrives in Cajun Country unblemished at 6-0 with its District 4 and state championship trophies in tow.
Despite traveling to within 40 miles of Baton Rouge, McGee has eased off the proverbial gas pedal in preparation.
“We’re sticking to what has gotten us here: hitting and pitching,” declared McGee. “There really hasn’t been a point of emphasis since states. Now, we have pitched some of our other pitchers more and more against live hitting.”
If there’s a key to success, Coach McGee believes is not allowing one error to morph into additional trouble.
“We don’t want to make a bad play worse. We have to be patient. Errors will happen; there’s no doubt,” he said. “By why compound matters by missing the cutoff on, say, a relay throw? We’re really just trying to play smart ball.
“I’ve got a good group of girls and they’re all hungry and ready to go,” noted McGee. “I’m not wearing them out in practice. It’s more about getting our work done and going home.”
McGee’s club feels it’s been battle-tested at districts and states.
“We had tough games with West Pasco in districts and Belleview at states,” he recalled. “Plus, in preparing for this we scrimmaged with ours Belles (ages 13-15) and Debs (ages 17-19). The thing about this team is they all play well together.”
McGee isn’t labeling this weekend’s World Series just another tournament.
“I haven’t downplayed it,” he said. ‘This is a great opportunity for our girls. The Spring Hill team that won two years ago isn’t the only team who could win this.”
Spring Hill opens its title quest Saturday at 12:30 p.m. against Aynor, S.C.
“This tournament isn’t about me or our coaches,” detailed McGee on his team’s approach. “It’s all about putting the girls in positions to be successful. Honestly, I don’t have a personal goal. I just want the girls to have some fun and play hard. If we do that the wins will come.”
At a Glance
What – 3rd annual Dixie Softball Ponytails (ages 11-12) All-Stars “X-Play” World Series.
Who – Twelve teams in a double-elimination format featuring representatives from: Alabama, Spring Hill (Florida), Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and host Ponchatoula, La.
Where – Ponchatoula Area Recreation’s Millville and Wadesboro Fields.
When – Saturday through Wednesday (weather permitting)
At Stake – World Series title.
2014 Spring Hill Ponytails (ages 11-12)
NO. NAME POSITIONS
1 Mackenzie McIntyre* INF
3 Lourdes Penichet OF
4 Hannah Rizzuto* P/INF
7 Cecilia McGee* INF
9 Tiana Stifanic* OF
15 Hayden Kimbrough INF
22 Serena Stifanic OF
24 Raquel Camuglia OF
28 Audrey Selby* P/INF
29 Alyssa Kelly* P/INF
44 Ashley Drewal INF
77 Morgan Johnson* OF
* Denotes returning Angels or Ponytails All-Star.
Head coach – Paul McGee
Assistant coach – Scott McIntyre
Assistant coach – Frank Rizzuto