E.A. Sports Today

Making history

Altha Ponytails claim league’s first Dixie Softball World Series title, first Florida winner since 2012

By Al Muskewitz/East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD – The Altha (Fla.) Ponytails took the two games that got them into the Dixie Softball World Series championship game down to the wire, but in the title game they left nothing to chance.

Coach Chucky McCrone’s team stayed alive in the tournament by rallying in its last bats, but in Tuesday’s title game they jumped in front early, got outstanding pitching and blanked Taylor County, Ga., 12-0, to win their league’s first-ever World Series title.

They became Dixie Softball’s first World Series champion from Florida since Spring Hill won the Ponytail X-Play title in Hartsville, S.C., in 2012, and the Florida’s first Ponytail champion since West Pasco American in 1980 in Pinson Valley, Ala. 

They’re only the ninth champion from Florida all of Dixie Softball’s fast-pitch platforms.

“With the way the country’s been here lately, this team has played one regular-season game together as a team,” McCrone said. “When we got to this tournament we knew the kids had it in them.

“South Carolina was a tough team. We played them three times. They beat us the first time, but we came back and rallied in Game 2 and wound up playing them again today and we came out ahead.

“Some of these girls came at 10U, they made it back last year at 12U and now they’re here again this year and we’ve taken it home.”

It took a large dose of resilience to make it happen.

They stayed alive Monday with a 5-4 walk-off win over Marion, S.C. They teams had a rematch Tuesday morning and this time Altha erupted for 14 runs in the top of the sixth to erase a 6-4 deficit and win 18-7.

“That speaks volume to the heart these girls have; I can’t even explain it,” McCrone said. “It was awesome.”

They didn’t wait to the end in the championship game. They jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and continued to pour it on. 

Chamiya Williams, who had an inside-the-park grand slam in the 14-run rally against Marion, had two hits in the game. Rylee McCrone also had two hits and reached base all three times she batted.

Tarrin McCone and Carrington Scott combined on the two-hit shutout with nine strikeouts. McCrone struck out eight over the first five innings. The two pitchers faced only one batter over the minimum. Only one runner reached second base. All of the outs were recorded in the infield.

“All I told them was leave your heart on the field,” McCrone said. “That’s all I need. Leave your heart on the field and the rest will take care of itself. “They’ve been wanting to do it for the last three years and we’ve finally done it.”



1980 – West Pasco American Ponytails

1981 – West Pasco American Belles

1982 – West Pasco American Belles

1983 – West Pasco American Belles

1999 – Hernando Belles

2010 – Spring Hill Angels

2010 – Belleview Belles

2012 – Spring Hill Ponytails X-Play

2020 – Altha Ponytails

NOTE: Florida has won three titles in slow-pitch, which was discontinued in 2001.

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