Softball stars are more than hits, pitches

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 31, 2009

Good morning, my name is Charles Devening. I have the privilege of being one of the assistant coaches of the Louisiana State Champions Dixie Belles fast pitch team.

You may have read about them in previous articles in The Natchez Democrat. However, there are some things that you might not know about this team. Kaitlan is very witty. Allison has a beautiful smile. Ellen is on the dance team. Laylay can cheer. Keke is not quiet. Laura giggles. Kimble can read opponent’s signals. Ginny can be quiet. Taylor can be loud. Mollie likes to hunt. Kennedy can look very sweet and very menacing. Whatever you do, don’t let Savannah iron your uniform.

I know all of these things because I have spent the last two years watching and helping these ladies practice. These ladies have been preparing themselves for this moment for years and didn’t even realize it. These girls and their families have become a part of my family.

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The members of this team are some of the most dedicated athletes you will find in this area. On Sundays, year round, when their friends are relaxing, these ladies are practicing with their beloved Coach Rut. Softball is what brought these ladies together. Coach Rut Horne is the one that perfected it.

Coach Rut taught these girls that hard work and dedication pay off. They have played their hearts out and left it all on the field night after night.

Saturday afternoon, Coach Rut’s team will go to work on the diamond in Sumter, S.C., in the Dixie Youth Fast pitch World Series. This team and their families have worked diligently to get the girls to this point.

All of our games will be broadcast live on the Web site starting with our first game Saturday against Florida.

Game time will be 1 p.m.

So please tune in and cheer the Ferriday Gators to victory. We have also had fantastic local support to help us achieve our goal of winning the World Series.

On behalf of the team, I would like to sincerely thank the following people and businesses for their generous support:

Louis Jones with Preferred Transport Company; Mark, Becky, Beth and Lanius Fortenbery with Fortenbery Operating; Three Rivers Co-op; Terry Guillory; Betty Burnett; Shelton Hand; Mike’s Tire; The Markets; Gary Blackwell with T&E Enterprise; Supervisor Mike and his wife Kim Lazarus; Buddy and Lynette Tanner with Frogmore Plantation; Jean Wagoner; Wagoner Gravel; Sports Center; Mike Bowlin and the Miss-Lou Fast pitch league; Concordia Bank; United Mississippi Bank; Delta Bank; Peoples Bank of the South; Bobby Meason with Meason Operating; Winnsboro Dixie; Bryan Painting; Bill Byrne; Brent Smith; Glen Perilloux; Anthony Hauer; Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Thank you very much on behalf of the Ferriday Dixie Belles.

Charles Devening is an assistant coach for the Dixie Belles.