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Luverne Belles bring back title

Four years ago fast pitch softball was a mystery for many young girls playing in Luverne's recreations leagues.

Four years later, Luverne claimed its first championship with a 14-1 victory over Elba in the Dixie Belles sub-district tournament.

Luverne knocked off Greenville 13-7 in the first game, beat Elba 10-0 in Game 2 and finished off the host-team on Tuesday night with the 14-1 win.

"I'm extremely proud of these girls," said Luverne head coach Kip Smith. "They've been playing softball around each other for a long time, but this group right here has never been a part of the same team."

Shae Brantley, Taylor Wright, Hillary Hudson and Courtney Strops are the Belles' top pitchers, but Smith said he has a total of six pitchers he could use if the need arises.

Pitching and defense is the key, said Smith.

"Our defense is awesome - in every position on the field," he said. "But we still haven't put defense, pitching and hitting all together in one game."

Courtney Wolfe came up with the big hit on Tuesday night. With her team already up 6-0, Wolfe nailed a triple to right field with no outs and started a seven-run rally to seal the win for Luverne.

Luverne now advances to Troy and will face Eufaula in the first round of the Dixie Belles District Tournament.