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|Gators face Florida in World Series|
One year ago, the Ferriday Gators Dixie Belles All-Stars defeated Jefferson Parish Recreational District twice to advance to the Dixie Belles World Series and face Sumter, S.C. in their opener.
On July 22, the Dixie Belles avenged its only loss to JPRD before defeating Grant Parish in the championship game to advance to the World Series in Sumter.
Ferriday will face the Florida state champion, Mulberry, Saturday at 2 p.m. in South Carolina.
If Ferriday wins Saturday, they will play the Texas-North Carolina winner on Sunday at 11 a.m. The two losers of the opening game will play at 11 a.m. on another field.
Ferriday, which returned six players from last year's team which played three games, is participating in its third World Series. The Gators finished second in 2002 in Alabama.
"We are better offensively and this is the fastest team by far," said Ferriday coach Rut Horne. "Ten of our girls run track and eight bat left-handed. It's hard to beat speed. We may not be as good on defense, but when these girls do make an error, they get over it quick."
Ferriday lost to Sumter 2-1 last year.
After falling to Jefferson Parish 2-0 on July 20, Ferriday eliminated Winnsboro on Tuesday and had to face Jefferson Parish again in the semifinals.
Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Taylor Morace walked, Molly Devening hit into a fielder's choice, Kaitlan Melton and Allison Hauer singled to load the bases.
Kimble Devening hit a ball to right field that the fielder made a diving catch on.
Devening tagged up and scored and the throw was wild, allowing Melton to also score.
"Allison is the fastest player on the team," Horne said.
After retiring JPRD, which is comprised of players from New Orleans, in the top of the seventh, leadoff batter Ellen Bairnsfather
singled and stole second, Savannah Johnston delivered her second hit of the game, a single and KeKe Collins followed with a single to left field to score the tying and winning run.
Bairnsfather was the winning pitcher.
In the championship game, Ferriday pitchers held Grant Parish to just three hits and the Ferriday defense committed just one error.
Laura Perilloux was the winning pitcher, while Molly Devening was 2-for-3 in the big victory.
Horne said he didn't get a vacation last year because the girls played in Alexandria, so he is looking forward to the trip to South Carolina. The team will leave Thursday at 1 p.m.
"We played in a very tough district, so we should be ready," Horne said. "We're looking forward to the tournament. It's quite an accomplishment to go one year, but most of these girls are making their second trip. They have a lot to be proud of and will do a great job representing this area."
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