LAURINBURG — After five days of double-elimination tournament play, the field competing in the Dixie Softball State Tournament had been whittled down from 59 to 16.
By the end of the Wednesday, only eight remained.
The champions of the eight divisions — Sweetees, Darlings, Angels (traditional and x-play), Ponytail (traditional and x-play), Belles and Debs — will head to Louisiana next weekend to compete in the Dixie World Series.
In the youngest age bracket, 6U Dixie Sweetees featured five teams. In the end it came down to Duplin County and Central Columbus. Duplin County was crowned the Sweetees state championship with a win over Central Columbus.
The 8U Dixie Darlings started the tournament will 11 teams and after days of double-elimination play the last two teams standing were Duplin County American and East Columbus. Duplin County picked up a second state championship with a win over East Columbus.
The 10u Dixie Angels had two champions, one in the traditional bracket and the other in x-play. The traditional bracket featured six teams while the x-play had eight. The Angels traditional championship saw Dunn pitted against Hope Mills.
Dunn took the title with a victory to advance to the World Series.
The Angels x-play championship was a battle between Mount Olive and Duplin County. Since both teams had lost a game during the tournament the championship was a best-of-two. Duplin County took home a third state championship with a win over Mount Olive.
The 12U Dixie Ponytails also had two state champions, traditional and x-play. The traditional bracket featured six teams and saw Dunn and Hope Mills face off in a rematch.
Dunn was crowned the Ponytails traditional state champion with a win over Hope Mills.
The Ponytails x-play bracket tallied 11 teams at the start of the tournament — on Wednesday it was down to South Columbus and Lumberton. South Columbus picked up the victory and will represent North Carolina next weekend.
The Dixie Belles, 13U age division, started with eight teams and when the dust settled only Pembroke and West Lincoln remained. Pembroke was victorious and punched its ticket to the World Series.
The tournament’s oldest age bracket, the 18U Dixie Debs, featured four teams and crowned its champion on Tuesday with West Chatham defeating Brunswick, 10-0.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]