SALUDA, S.C. (WJBF) – Softball fans in Saluda have something to cheer about.
The 12U Saluda All-Stars softball team are now the 2022 Dixie Youth World Series Champions.
“The Dixie Softball Inc. World Series is softball for girls, mainly in the southern states, usually you can have 14 states participate, this year I think we had 11 teams in the tournament, representing all states. It’s a qualifying event, you come and pick your all-stars out at you county level, you go to a district competition where you play your surrounding area, we won that, ended up in the state competition, won the state competition, which put us in the world series, and they we ended up in Louisiana and won the world series,” said Head Coach Jeffrey Jordan.
The win means everything to the players, and the coaches of the 2U Saluda All-Stars softball team.
“I told my girls last night that we’ve earned our place in history, we’re there forever, and nobody can take that away from us. We fought hard, and we worked hard through a lot of blood sweat and tears. We’re just really excited, this hasn’t happened like this in our small town. Our recreation department was formed in 1961 and until last year, in any sport, in rec wise, the recreation department, we hadn’t won a state championship,” said Jordan.
The girls have gone back to back with state championships. They finished third last year in the world series, and then let that loss push them to go out this year and win the whole thing.
The big win is some that will stay with the girls for years to come.
“It was just jubilation, tears, tears of relief, tears of joy. All the frustration and all the sweat, and the work that we put in, it all just culminated in that moment, and it was just a wonderful thing,” said Jordan.
Coach Jordan also got to spend a special moment with his daughter.
“She ran right up to me, jumps in my arms, and as a father, that is a special moment. You don’t have many father daughter combinations that get to do that, for me it was one of the most special moments of my life,” said Jordan.
The team wanted to thank Saluda and it’s citizens for their success. They supported them the whole way.
“We live in a great place. There’s a lot of things we don’t have, but what Saluda’s not short of is great people., and people that will come out and support,” said Jordan.
Even with the big win, the work still isn’t done for the 12U Saluda All-Stars softball. They’re already looking towards next year.
“We don’t have a second year player on our team, everyone we have is a first year player, we get the entire team back next year. If we got good team chemistry and work hard this next year, we look to make another run at it again, and that would be something very special,” said Jordan.
For the girls of the 12U Saluda All-Stars softball team, the skies the limit, and with the support of their community they’ll be looking to come back next year stronger than ever.