Moncks Corner’s Dixie Belles all-stars brought home a state championship trophy by completing a clean sweep of everything in their path in Union July 13-17.
The stakes are as high as they can be for a Belles team now. They travel to Alexandria, Louisiana, for a run at the Dixie Belles World Series crown July 27-31. Moncks Corner represents South Carolina in the 11-team, double-elimination event.
Coach Brian Guerry gives these Belles (15U) an opportunity to make a deep run, even bring home another championship, because of team chemistry and talent.
“They hit for power,” Guerry said. “They hit for average. We’ve got speed. We’ve got defense. Most of your teams carry three pitchers. We’ve got six bracket pitchers. They’re relentless. They’re battle-tested. They are a family.”
Team members are Caroline Ballentine, Taylor Garvin, Emily Matthews, Bree McMillan, Savannah Ballentine, Payton Anderson, Gracie Decuir, Ashton Brabham, Courtlyn Cox, Logan Guerry, Lisa Holley and Karmen King.
In the state tournament, they outscored teams 54-16 to go 5-0. The one time Moncks Corner needed some theatrics, it pulled some out of the hat to stay unbeaten. It scored four runs in the seventh inning to clip Mullins 4-3 on July 16.
The squad returned to the ballpark about eight hours later to take out Jefferson, 11-5, in the championship game the morning of July 17.
Earlier, Moncks Corner coasted past Sumter (13-5), Union (11-0) and Jefferson (15-3).
Guerry’s squad batted .312 as a team and opponents hit just .157 while striking out 50 times against Moncks Corner hurlers.
Moncks Corner opens the world series against Texas on Saturday, July 27. With a win, it would square off with Mississippi on Sunday, July 28.
If it falls into the loser’s bracket, it tangles with the loser of North Carolina and Alabama on Sunday.
In addition to the host team, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee and Virginia round out the bracket.
“We’re amped up and excited,” Guerry said. “We truly have unfinished business in Louisiana.”
He’s referring to the town of Moncks Corner, not this group of Belles specifically. Guerry was head coach of the Moncks Corner Dixie Angels (10U) in 2017 and that squad finished runner-up to North Carolina in a world series played in Alexandria.
The Angels were all over the championship trophy but couldn’t quite grasp it in the end, losing a 2-1 game.
The Belles could become the first Moncks Corner softball team to win a Dixie World Series. Unity is a plus for this group.
“You grow together as a family and you don’t want to let your teammates down,” Guerry said.
The Belles will be celebrated at 5:30 p.m., on Wednesday, July 24 at the Market Pavilion located at 418 East Main Street, the Moncks Corner Regional Recreation Complex.
They leave for Louisiana Thursday, July 25 and opening ceremonies are Friday, July 26.
“I promised the town a ring in 2017 and we came back to try and get one,” Guerry said.