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franklin county times

North Alabama Elite sweep area, state titles

By Staff
Kim West, Franklin County Times
The members of the North Alabama Elite 18-and-under softball team spent part of their summer vacation winning the National Softball Association All-Stars area and state championships.
The Elite, based in Phil Campbell, played three games in the five-team North Area tournament, including wins against Guntersville and Russellville. The Elite beat Guntersville 6-4 in the first game, and pounded the Russellville Rage 12-0.
The Elite allowed just two runners on base to defeat Guntersville and win the area championship in only three innings.
In the NSA State Tournament, the Elite faced a 9-team field and played four games.
The Elite beat the Athens Crusaders 13-1 (three innings) in the first game and the Russellville Rage 10-0 (four innings) in the second game. The Elite started slow against Vestavia Hills in the third game and produced just one run in the first two innings. But the Elite broke through in the third with 10 runs to beat Vestavia 13-0 and advance to the championship game on June 24.
The Elite once again faced Guntersville and won 8-3 by scoring four runs apiece in the second and sixth innings.
Laurie Ricard, Alis Hutcheson, Amber Hutcheson, and Kisha Landers scored in the second inning, and Chasity Morgan, Kara Sykes, Shaela Pace and Jessica Malone scored in the sixth.
"Coach Russell and I congratulate all the players on a job well done. We bid a fond farewell to departing players Rachel Howard, Kisha Landers, Kara Sykes, Melissa Russell and (my daughter) Alis Hutcheson," said North Alabama Elite coach Greg Hutcheson, who managed the team with Mike Russell.