Blazers off to rough start at home tourney|[07/05/08]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Vicksburg Blazers had madevplans to head to Tupelo this weekend to play in the American Softball Association State Class B Fast-pitch Tournament. Instead they learned that the United States Fast-pitch Association had moved its state tournament from Flowood to Vicksburg and decided to save some gas money and play at home. They are the only local team in the 39-team field which opened Friday with pool play.

The Blazers are competing in the 16-and-under division. There were eight teams in the bracket, but the Mississippi Mayhem dropped out to leave the field with seven. The double elimination draw begins today at 3:30 p.m. when the seventh seeded Blazers take on No. 2 seed Mississippi Shockers at 3 p.m. at Halls Ferry Park.

“We were all set to go to Tupelo and then one of the teams we played at Ridgeland told us that the USFA tournament was coming to Vicksburg,” said Blazers assistant coach Tom Patton. “The one thing we see about the USFA is that it’s more player friendly. They allowed us to bat all 11 of our players while in ASA, it’s just the top nine.”

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Unfortunately for the Blazers, they were unable to get through their 11-girl order against the Madison-based Mississippi Motion. Motion pitcher Morgan Malone retired nine of the 10 Blazers she faced in three innings as the Vicksburg team lost 12-0.

While the Motion is a select team, the Blazers are mainly made up of players from Warren Central along with a couple from Rebul and Central Hinds Academy. Three Blazers started last spring for the Lady Vikes