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Renegades take aim at nationals

[7/28/03]The River City Renegades softball team will represent Vicksburg for the first time in the American Fastpitch Association 18-and-under national tournament in Beaumont, Texas, beginning today.

The team, which has been together for four years, received an at-large bid from the AFA based on its performance last year.

The Renegades did not qualify in any tournaments this summer, but won a Monroe, La., qualifying tournament last summer to earn the bid.

“We couldn’t attend last year because of finances,” coach Steve Angel said. “One of our goals this year was to get our butt to a nationals no matter what.”

Angel worked during the offseason to get the team tax-empted, and the players hit the pavement gathering donations to pay for the trip expenses.

The national tournament will feature 132 teams from California to Maine.

In their first match tonight at 8:30, the Renegades will face American Pasttime from California. On Tuesday, they will play Orange Crush from Texas at noon, and Royal Purples Gold at 1:30 p.m.

The core group of Renegades has been together for four years and range from 15 to 18 years old.

Several of the players are from Vicksburg, including Kelsey Hudson and Shannon Arnold of Vicksburg High, Katie Barnett of Warren Central and Courtney Angel of Porters Chapel. Others come from as far as Hollandale and West Point.