And when you’re talking about all-star tournaments — pitting the best of the best against each other — pitching is at a premium.
As far as pitching performances go, they just don’t get much better than the mound masterpieces turned in by a pair of Rockingham All-Stars in this past weekend’s Dixie Youth Softball District Four All-Star Tournament.
Samantha Jacobs of the 12U Dixie Ponytails and Allyson Taylor of the 10U Dixie Angels both hurled no-hitters to lead their teams to twin 1-0 victories in their respective tournament games on Sunday.
Both pitchers spun their gems in midday heat and humidity: With temperatures in the mid-90s, heat indices were topping 100.
And with not much run support, the margin for error was slim, indeed.
Jacobs was absolutely dominant in her game, striking out 15 as the Rockingham Dixie Ponytails All-Stars held off Montgomery County to advance to within one win of a trip to the Dixie Youth Softball state tournament.
In a six-inning contest, Jacobs’ 15 Ks constituted all but three of 18 possible putouts.
Rockingham got all the offense it would need in the bottom of the first. Taylor Davis led off with a single and went to second on a throwing error. She was able to come home on a Kelsey Mabe groundout.
Brent Mabe, Rockingham DIxie Ponytails All-Stars coach, said pitching is his team’s strong suit. Rockingham has given up just one run in 12 innings over two games.
In the 10U Rockingham Dixie Angels All-Stars’ 1-0 victory over Anson, Taylor struggled at times, walking four. But she bore down when needed and worked out of a couple of jams: Runners on first and second with two out in the third, and bases loaded with one out in the fourth.
Both times, visits to the mound by head coach Danny Lampley helped.
Rockingham got its lone run in the bottom of the second. Peyton Fann started the uprising with a single.
With one out, Taylor White reached on an infield single, and a throwing error allowed Fann to score.
Lampley was proud of his hurler for gutting out the adversity.
“Anson County has a great team,” Lampley said. “Allyson just had to settle down and get back to throwing strikes, and she was able to do that.”
The Rockingham Dixie Angels All-Stars were also scheduled to play Monday night, facing Montgomery. Because of the way the bracket was set up, Rockingham will have to win two more games to take the tournament title. A rematch with Anson County could be in the offing.
Contact sports editor David Vantress at 997-3111, ext. 14 or via email at email@example.com.