The Spring Hill Dixie Senior All-Stars pointed to their World Series berth this season, and according to coach Mike Sollazzo, thought they had a legitimate shot at the title. Apparently, the team was right in its confidence, as the All-Stars came just a couple innings short of the first Spring Hill Dixie title.
Spring Hill was undoubtedly one of the most feared teams at the tournament hosted by Covington, Ga., going 4-1 on the way to the championship game Aug. 7 against 2006 champion Sumter, S.C.
The South Carolina state champion had previously won the past four Senior World Series titles, and had to take out Columbia County, Ga., 12-11 to advance in the three-team final.
Spring Hill's J.T. Simpson started and went five innings on the mound, surrendering only four runs, three of which came in the opening frame. He left the game with a 5-4 lead thanks to a three-run homer from Lewis Coliacomo and a two-run shot from Joey Asquith. Coliacomo's homer was his fourth of the tournament.
The wheels fell off, however, after the pitching change. Jon Gaffney came in, and Sumter knocked him around for eight runs in the sixth. Three of the first four runs in the inning were unearned as Spring Hill committed its only three errors of the game on three consecutive batters to start the inning.
Even with that disappointment, Julian Perez had an opportunity to tie it up in the bottom of the last inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Perez came up to the plate. He flew out to the warning track in left, showing just how close the local Dixie All-Stars were to a World Series title.
No Hernando County Dixie team has won a national crown since the HYL Dixie All-Stars won the Majors World Series title in 2000. HYL also won the Series in 1983.
FOOTBALL: West Hernando Cougars are looking for Varsity Division players from ages 14-17 for the current season. Practices take place at Delta Woods Park in Spring Hill. Registration is $175 which includes equipment, uniforms and participation in a four-month season.
For more information, contact Bob McFarland at (352) 585-6524.
SOFTBALL: Spring Hill Dixie is preparing for this season's Girls Fast Pitch Softball League. Registration for players from ages 5-18 will be held on Aug. 22, 23, 27 and 29 at Anderson Snow Park in Spring Hill.
On Aug. 22, officials will be available for league entry from 6 to 9 p.m. On Aug. 23, registration times are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Aug. 27 and 29, officials will also be accepting paperwork from 6 to 9 p.m.
The cost is $55 for the first child in each family, $45 for the second child and each additional child is free. Financial assistance is available, and a copy of a birth certificate is required at registration.
The season runs from September through November.
For more information, visit www.shdixiesoftball.com or call (352) 688-5570.
BASEBALL, SOFTBALL: West Hernando Little League holds fall registration from Aug. 21-23. Registration times on Thursday and Friday are from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and on Saturday, WHLL representatives will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tee ball entry fees are $60, and entry fees for all other divisions are $120. Youths will have the opportunity to recoup their fees by selling raffle tickets provided by the league. A $30 volunteer deposit is also required at the time of registration.
Submit upcoming events, registrations, info to firstname.lastname@example.org.