Area Sports...

 July 5, 2000


CPRD Girls Make Return Date To State
For seven members of the Commerce Parks and Recreation Department 14-under softball team, a trip to the state tournament is nothing new.
Last year, the 12-under girls' softball team from Commerce went to Lumpkin County as the district champions and returned with the state trophy.
A year older and an age group higher, the Commerce 14-under team claimed the District 7 title Saturday by beating Lumpkin County 10-7 in the finals.
Commerce made quick work of its district foes, winning all three of the games it played.
Commerce opened with a 13-1 win over Union County in its first game. Opening with a 4-1 lead after two innings, Commerce scored nine runs in the next three to end the game by the run rule.
Lumpkin County made a late run at Commerce in the winner's bracket final with two runs in the seventh. But Commerce's offense had plated four runs in the first two innings, while the defense shutout Lumpkin for six innings.
Commerce served as a good host for the next few games, not participating while the loser's bracket was finalized.
Lumpkin County downed Dawson County to win the loser's bracket final and set up a rematch.
Commerce appeared ready to run away with the finals win, scoring eight runs in the first two innings, taking an 8-2 lead.
However, Lumpkin County scored five runs in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to 9-7. Commerce added one run in the bottom of the sixth to pad the lead.
The local all-stars would not need it, though. Lumpkin had runners at first and second with the tying run at the plate in the top of the seventh. But the Commerce defense responded one last time to end the game.
Brittany Whitfield led Commerce with a .667 batting average over the three games. Stephanie Rainwater was one of the three batters to best .600 at the plate with a .636 mark. Jena Fields and Lauren Mize also had hot bats with averages of .625 and .600, respectively.
Leftfielder Lauren Lance and shortstop Ashley Evans were the defensive stars of the tournament., making several plays in the field to stop opponents' rallies.
Commerce advances to the state GRPA tournament July 13 in Adel at the Cook County Recreation Department fields.
The CPRD hosted the boys' 16-under baseball tournament last year and the this year's girls softball.
Before last year, the recreation department had not hosted a tournament in at least the past seven years, according to CPRD program director Ricky Woodruff.


District tourneys up and running
The Banks County Recreation Department all-stars will continue play in their district tournaments this week.
The 9-10 girls' softball all-stars will open their tournament Thursday against Union County at the Dawson County fields. That tournament is scheduled to end July 11.
The 11-12 girls' softball team will also open against Union County in Blairsville onThursday at 6 p.m. That tournament championship is set for July 10.
The 9-10 boys' baseball tournament will begin its district this Wednesday at 6 p.m. against Lumpkin County #2.
The title game is scheduled for July 8.
Banks County's 11-12 boys' baseball all-stars will begin Thursday at 8 p.m. against Rabun County in Dawsonville. The tournament is set to end by July 13.
This week's tournaments will wrap up district for the BCRD all-stars this season.


Jackson County drops first district tourney
The Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department all star teams endured a pair of losses in their first district tournament appearance of the season. The 13-14 boys' baseball team coached by Darren Glenn was eliminated from their district competition 15-5 by Barrow County, after losing to eventual tournament winner Forsyth County 11-1 in their first game.
The remainder of Jackson County teams will participate in district tournaments this week.
Jackson County features a pair of teams in both the 9-10 and 11-12 boys' tournaments. With only four teams in each tournament, chances are good that Jackson County teams will qualify for the finals, which begin Saturday at 2 p.m.
Both the 9-10 and 11-12 girls' softball teams begin district play Saturday at 10 a.m. in Madison County. Both teams will face Barrow County in the opening round. Finals are set for Monday, beginning at 6 p.m.
District tournament champions advance to the state level. State tournaments are scheduled for July 19-22 in Dublin (9-10 boys), Lee County (9-10 girls), Thomson (11-12 boys) and Glenn County (11-12 girls).


Ryan Crane back in action this weekend
Jefferson teenager Ryan Crane will join his racing counterparts Saturday at Montgomery Motor Speedway in Montgomery, Ala., for the eighth stop on the 2000 NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series.
After seven of 17 races, Crane is 13th in the series' overall standings, and third in the race for rookie of the year.
"I think we still have a good shot at rookie of the year. And if we have a good run, we can pull inside the top 10 [in series points]."
Slim Jim drivers have taken two weeks off since their last appearance, at Kentucky Speedway in Cincinnati, Ohio. Crane picked up his best finish of the year in that event, crossing the line seventh after running second with less than 10 laps remaining.
Saturday's event will mark Crane's first race at Montgomery, but the 17-year-old picked up some valuable practice time on the half-mile facility last week.
"It's a pretty fast track," Crane said. "The Southern All Stars ran there a few weeks ago, and turned in some pretty fast laps. We've never raced there before, but we went last Wednesday and did some testing, so we've got a good idea about the track. We're really looking forward to it. Goodyear has a new tire out that we tested, and we'll debut that tire at Montgomery." Crane is one of only three drivers on the tour who sport Goodyear tires.


Raiders tie with Marist to end summer season
In the last week of play, the Madison County Red Raider Summer League team continued their winning ways with a victory against Stephens County, 6 - 5.
The 2000 Raiders finished summer league play with a record of 17-8-3.
Chad Youngblood, Adam Nash, Eric Power and Kurt Cooper contributed two hits. Jonathan Pou, Joseph Hardigree, Andy Coile and Stephen Seagraves had a hit apiece. Nash was the winning pitcher.
The Raiders traveled to Augusta this past weekend. The Raiders were hot once again against Woodward Academy. Power, Coile and Nash each had two hits, with Youngblood, Seagraves, Hardigree and Cody Threlkeld each adding a hit. After eight innings of play, the Raiders were defeated 7 - 6. Threlkeld took the loss.
On Saturday, July 1, the Raiders went up against a very powerful Parkview squad. The Raiders pushed only two runs across the plate and were defeated 11 - 2. Pou had two hits, Coile, Power and Hardigree each added a hit.
In the second game on Saturday night, the Raiders defeated Glynn Academy of Brunswick 6-5. Pou, Coile, Nash and Threlkeld scored two hits and Youngblood and Seagraves each had one.
Chad Youngblood picked up the win.
In the fourth and final game of the tournament on Sunday morning, the Raiders tied with Marist 4 -4.
After four innings, with the Raiders behind 4 - 0, Madison County's bats heated up to score four runs to tie the game.
In the sixth inning, after strong defensive play, the Raiders were able to hold Marist with bases loaded and only one out.
Youngblood and Nash each smashed two hits and Pou, Power, Hardigree and Seagraves each had a hit. Nash picked up the win.


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