Dillon Dixie Ponytails Outclassed Opponents to Earn District Title

By Lonnie Turner

Girl’s softball is alive and well in the City of Dillon, which is evident after watching the 12u and 15u teams just outclass their competition in the recent sub-district tournaments held at the City of Dillon Sports Complex to advance to the state tournament in Florence.

The younger girls were nearly untouchable as they scored at will and shut down their opponent’s bats with some stellar pitching during the week-long tournament. Starting last Monday, Marlboro County was completely shut down by Tiffany Dwyer, who pitched the first no-hitter of the tournament. She faced only one over the minimum of 12 batters in the 4-inning game striking out nine. An opening walk to lead-off batter Alexus Thomas was erased when Macy Johnson threw her out at second on an attempted steal and ten batters later, Hanna Easter walked, but Dwyer struck out the last two batters to win 20-0. Camryn Sawyer was perfect at the plate for the Dillon Ponytails, rapping out 2 singles and a double while driving in two runs and scoring twice. Eight other Dillon girls contributed in the 11-hit attack including Erin Bailey (single, 3 runs, 2 RBI), Ashley Phillips (single, 2 runs, RBI), Kurstin Hopkins (single, 2 runs), Dwyer (single, RBI), Brittany Miller (single, 1 run, RBI), Taylor Blackmon (single, 3 runs, RBI), Macy Johnson (single, 3 runs, RBI) and Tara Grimsley (single, 1 run, RBI).

On Tuesday, Tori Grimsley duplicated Camryn Sawyer’s pitching performance, throwing the team’s second no-hitter in a row, this time at the expense of the Lake View All Stars. She, too, faced one over the minimum number of batters in the four-inning contest. Hannah Miller walked and was thrown out in an attempted steal by Dillon catcher Erin Bailey and Logan Spivey walked before Grimsley recorded her fifth strikeout of the game to end the second inning. Grimsley struck out five of the final six batters that she faced for a total of ten “K’s”. With the pitching still strong, the Dillon bats continued to put runs on the scoreboard, scoring 18 runs on 15 hits. Bailey led the way with a solo home run and a double in two trips to the plate. She was one of six girls that had two hits apiece. Others included Johnna Rogers (double, single, 2 runs), Sawyer (2 singles, 3 runs), Tiffany Dwyer (2 singles, 2 runs, 2 RBI), Grimsley (2 singles, 1 run, 1 RBI) and Shamiya McLellan (2 singles, 1 run). Auhkiria Smiling knocked in two runs with a second inning single and Macy Johnson joined Taylor Blackmon with a hit apiece.

It was Tiffany Dwyer’s chance to shine again on Wednesday as she shut Mullins out, 21-0, throwing her second consecutive no-hitter. She walked three in the four-inning contest and struck out five as the Dillon bats continued to blaze away with 13 hits, 9 coming in a 14-run second inning as nineteen batters paraded to the plate. Brittany Miller tripled and singled in the inning and added another hit in the third. Aukieria Smiley hit a solo homer in the first inning and added a bases loaded triple in the third to lead another six-run outburst. Camryn Sawyer and Taylor Blackmon combined for six hits with each collecting three in as many times at bat. Shamiya McLellan and Kurstin Hopkins added singles in the big second inning.

In Thursday’s match-up with the Marlboro County All Stars, Lexi Jackson finally did something no other girl had done in the first three games, she was safe with the first hit off Dillon pitching, but she was quickly erased when Macy Johnson threw her out at second on an attempted steal. Marlboro County also scored the first run on Dillon in the tournament taking advantage of four bases on balls three innings into the game. Relief pitcher Johnna Rogers settled down and struck out three of the last four batters that she faced. Erin Bailey’s bat was red hot as she led the team with three consecutive hits and Aukieria Smiling drove in three runs with two hits including a run scoring triple that put Dillon out front, 1-0, in the first inning. Camryn Sawyer also had two hits in three trips to the plate. Rogers and Taylor Blackmon were also productive with their bats driving in a pair of runs apiece with a double and a single respectively. Tori Grimsley was the winning pitcher and Makayla Poston was tagged with the loss.

Dillon won the Sub-District Championship with a convincing 13-2 thumping of Mullins. A trio of Dillon All Stars pounded out 2 hits apiece in the four inning game that was called on the 10-runs rule. Taylor Blackmon singled twice driving in three runs and Erin Bailey’s two singles sent two more runs across the plate. Lead off batter Tori Grimsley doubled to lead off the game and scored the first run of a six-run first inning and singled in the fourth after reaching base on a walk in three plate appearances. Brittany Miller, Camryn Sawyer, Johnna Rogers, Aukieria Smiling and Macy Johnson added base hits in the 11-hit attack. The Mullins All Stars finally got their bats buzzing with six hits off Dillon pitching, getting three straight hits with one out in the 4th when they scored their two runs. After Madison Collins grounded out to the pitcher, Katelynn Caulder doubled and Rylee White sent her home with a single and Kathryn followed with base hit to score the second run. Collins and Elizabeth Turners also hit safely for the Mullins All Stars.

Dillon beat Sumter in two games, 11-1 and 8-5, to take the District Championship and will play in the State Tournament which is scheduled in Florence later in the week.

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