Paris dominating on the diamond

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The June 16 and 17 weekend was a good one for some Paris area ball teams.

Both the Paris Lakers and Paris Predators came home with championship hardware from Indiana tournaments.

Paris Lakers are Sandlot champs

SEYMOUR, Ind. – The Paris Lakers 13-Under baseball team came away with the USSSA Sandlot Showdown Tourney title at Seymour, Ind.

Twelve teams competed in four separate pools Saturday, June 16, for the right to advance to the championship round Sunday, June 17. 

The Lakers defeated the Indiana Havoc, 9-1 in their opening game and later routed Indy PowerHouse Huff by the score of 14-2. 

With a 2-0 record in pool play, and the fact they allowed just three runs in the two games, the Lakers earned the number two overall seed for the championship play Sunday.

In the quarterfinal matchup Sunday afternoon, the Lakers handled Indy PowerHouse Conner 10-6 to advance to the final four. Early Sunday evening, the Lakers slipped by the Indy Hurricanes 3-2 for the right to play for the title against the number one seeded Indy Titans.

With tournament rules limiting pitchers to just eight total innings for the weekend, coaches had to navigate through the Saturday and early Sunday games in order to keep arms available for the title game. 

Head coach Vince Porter praised the pitching performances from Briar Blair, Conner Breneman, Hunter Cash and Bryan Kohlmeyer.

For the first three innings of the title game, things went back-and-forth between the Lakers and the Titans. The Lakers held a 3-2 lead heading into the fourth inning, and then the floodgates opened. The Lakers scored nine runs over the final three innings to grab the trophy with a 12-3 victory.

Porter lauded the effort of not only the pitching, but the defensive play as well. 

“The kids played their hearts out all weekend in the brutal heat,” said Porter. “There were some tremendous plays in the field by the entire team, and we put the ball in play all weekend.”

With the title, the Lakers have qualified for the USSSA World Series later this summer at a site to be named. 

Members of the team include Reed Stuck, Briar Blair, Brady Crippes, Owen Porter, Braydon Atkinson, Bryan Kohlmeyer, Landen Englum, Conor Breneman, Hunter Cash and Dyas Miller. Assistant coaches are Greg Stuck and Ryan Crippes.

Paris Predators grab trophy

SANTA CLAUS, Ind. – A trip to Holiday World resulted in a first-place finish for the Paris Predators 8-Under girls softball team.

Playing in the USSSA Fast pitch Class B Santa Claus Classic, the Predators went 4-0-1 on the June 16-17 weekend to capture the crown. The squad finished pool play on Saturday with a 1-0-1 record, and grabbed the top seed in Pool A heading into championship Sunday. The ladies defeated Jasper County 12-2

in the opening game and came from behind to earn a tie with Kentuckiana by the score of 6-6.

Sunday was a grind with temperatures hovering around 95 degrees. The Predators defeated the Diamond Divas in four innings, 16-4 in the opening round. 

After sitting for two games, the Predators played another come from behind game to defeate the Southern Stix. Paris trailed 7-1 in this contest but battled back for the win. 

This set the stage for the title game where the Predators squared off with the Eagles from Mt. Vernon, Ind. A tough opponent, the Eagles came to the matchup averaging nearly 20 runs per game to this point.

Defense proved key for the Predators as the girls held the Eagles to seven runs and prevailed 12-7 to grab the crown.

With the win, the Predators improve to 32-19-1 on the season, including a pair of championship victories, a second place finish at Effingham and a couple of third place finishes so far this year.  

The Predators participate in the NSA State tournament in early July and finish this season with a couple of doubleheaders.

Paris Predators is a girls fast pitch travel organization that normally travels within a two-hour radius in Illinois and Indiana. They play such teams as Marshall, Casey, Effingham, Charleston, Mt. Zion, Sidney and a few teams in Terre Haute. 

Tryouts for the upcoming 8U season is Saturday July 28, at the American Legion complex. Eligible girls must not turn 9 years old before Jan. 1, 2019. 

This is a competitive travel team requiring dedication and determination. Indoor winter practice is required to prepare for a season of six to eight tournaments as well as home and away doubleheaders.

Current team members include Landrie Stevens, Emma Kraemer, Audrina Malovski, Bryarlee Burgin, Taylyr Fudge, Olivia Martin, Mariah Hale, Bailey Rhoads, Morgan Coombes, Klaire York and Sadie Sallee. Coaches include Chad Stevens, Corey Martin, Shawn Sallee and Jill Coombes.