The Diamond Girls celebrate after winning the softball championship June 9, 2012, at Patterson Park in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Photo submitted)
The Murfreesboro Baseball Association crowned eight champions on the diamond this past weekend.
Two of those were historic for different reasons: One team was trying to win for their sick teammate, while the other made history as the league’s first ever softball champion.
Last week, The Murfreesboro Post profiled 6-year-old T-ball player Colton Sheets, who is currently battling leukemia. He watched as his Cubs teammates advanced to the next round of the playoffs.
On Saturday, Sheets was not able to be in attendance as his Cubs teammates won the division title over the Blue Jays.
But, he was with them in spirit.
“Colton is always with us,” Cubs head coach Keith Stephens said, following the game Saturday. “We talked with the family before the game. He could not be here because he was sick. He is going to be with us until the end. All of our players love Colton, and he is part of this family.”
As for the action on the field, the Cubs and the Blue Jays made several defensive stops on a warm, sunny morning. The score was tied at three after the first inning. However, in the next couple of innings the Cubs broke the game wide open, which included back-to-back inside the park home runs in the second. Also the Cubs defense got the job done in the late innings and pulled away for the 20-5 victory.
“Everyone played with heart, and it was unbelievable to have a team that loves baseball,” Stephens said.
After the game, both teams received trophies from the league for its performance. Also, Stephens gave out several game balls and was in tears as he thanked each of his players for their contributions to the team this season.
History was also made Saturday, when the league crowned its first ever 7- to 8-year-old girls softball champion. The Diamond Girls finished off a perfect season with a victory over the Lady Boltz in the title game.
“I’m excited, I do not know how to act right now,” Diamond Girls head coach Jeff Dotson said after the trophy ceremony.
This year’s softball division was made up of four teams, including the two that faced off in the finals. The remaining teams were the Glitter Girls and the Lady Raiders. It was a typical coach pitch format, but the coach had to throw the ball underhanded similar to what they would see in a fast pitch game.
At first, Dotson had a hard time finding somebody to pitch the ball. Later in the season, he found somebody, first base coach and father to one of the players, John Thompson, who had the right pitching motion.
“He had the perfect pitch,” Dotson said.
Late in the game, Thompson took one for the team as his daughter hit a comebacker that nailed him. The rest of the team got a laugh out of it, and the good news was he finished the game.
“It was the first of the season,” Dotson said.
As for the players, they are just glad to get a chance to showcase their skills.
“The girls have been phenomenal all year long,” Dotson said. “They have been down a couple of times, but they fought back and showed heart.”
A couple of kid pitch champions were crowned the night before in two divisions. In the 11- to 12-year-old division, the Cubs defeated the Mets 11-5 for the title. The team was lead by Kyle Wilson and Chase Clear. Both of them went deep during the win. For Clear, it was his first home run ever in his life that cleared over the fence.
“I could not help, but smile as I went around the bases after hitting it,” Clear said.
The team finished the season with a 12-2 record.
“We worked hard all season for this championship,” Clear said.
This weekend, some of the state’s best youth baseball players head to Barfield Crescent Park for the Tennessee Baseball Players Association Summer Classic.