SPORTS

STATE BOUND: Destin All-Stars win Section 1 title, hit the road

TINA HARBUCK
Destin All-Stars sport the Section 1championship banner.

The 9-10 Destin All-Stars made a clean sweep in the Florida Section 1 tournament Saturday in Niceville with a 9-1 and an 8-7 win over Chaires-Capitola, earning the right to play in the State Tournament this weekend in Fort Myers.

"We're down to the last eight teams in the state," said Destin Manager Jade Stanford. "This is pretty special for them."

The Destin All-Stars will be hitting the road Thursday with plans to get in some batting practice before taking the field Friday in the first round of the State tournament at 8 p.m. EST. They are scheduled to play two games on Saturday. The championship game is slated for Sunday.

Destin earned the right to play in the State Tournament following a stellar performance on Saturday, giving their coach "a few more gray hairs," Stanford said.

"It was a team effort, the same as when they played against Niceville/Valparaiso," he said.

A couple of weeks ago, Destin came from behind to beat Niceville/Valparaiso for the District 1 title. Then on Saturday, they were faced with the same challenge against Charies-Capitola in the Section 1 tournament.

After winning the first game 9-1, Destin had to fight for the second win.

"We were down by five going into the last inning," Stanford said.

"But there is no quit in those kids. They willed themselves to win. The kids did it all. They believe in each other."

Destin had fallen behind 7-3. But in the bottom of the sixth, Destin chipped away until they rose to the top.

"We put pressure on them … started hitting the gaps and taking extra bases. The kids just did it.

"They believed the kid in front of them and behind them was going to do their job."

Destin's Benton Henderson and Aiden Garrity pitched in the first game, while Luke Edelman and Kia Bailey manned the mound in game two.

Destin All-Stars

Samantha Sherer

Benton Henderson

Kai Bailey

Preston Murphy

Cooper Stanford

Denym Padilla

Aiden Garrity

Luke Edelman

Jackson Crews

Max Moran

Blake Forester

Manager:  Jade Stanford

Coach:  Jimbo Murphy

Coach:  Travis Bailey