Explosion takes state – again

Published 5:32 pm Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The 18-and-under Bama Explosion travel softball team on July Fourth weekend won the 2008 National Softball Association State title.

Explosion began the double-elimination tournament by beating Wrecking Crew 6-3 on July 4. The team played North Alabama Kraze the next morning, winning in extra innings, 4-3, to send the Kraze to the loser’s bracket.

Bama would next play, on Sunday, a tough White Lighting Team, coached by University of Alabama player Kellie Eubanks. Once again, the game went extra innings, and Bama took their only loss, 3-4.

Fighting their way back out of the losers bracket, they beat Killing Time 12-1, and then had to play White Lighting again and beat them twice for the championship.

Game 1 saw three rain delays and extra innings until the ninth inning, when Bama broke through with five runs to make the score 9-4. White Lighting answered back with three runs of its own, but Bama would hold them at 9-7.

In the championship game, White Lightning jumped up quickly in the second to claim a 4-0 lead. Bama came back after another rain delay and put eight runs on the board in the fourth inning. It was enough to help give them the win, with the final score being 9-4.

Explosion coach Troy Loyed told his team after the win “that is the thing about you girls: you never give up; you always play as a team. I have never seen a team that can always bounce back under any conditions like you girls do. I am so proud and honored to be your coach.”

Stevie Martin, of Jemison, batted .750 for the tournament and has played for Bama Explosion since 2005. In that time, the team has earned three state NSA championships, one Amateur Softball Association state championship, a third place finish in ASA Nationals, an NSA World Series championship and an NSA Super World championship.

Bama Explosion was also inducted into the NSA Hall of Fame as the only team to ever win a triple crown in the same season. Since 2005, Bama’s record stands at an impressive 130-12.

Six of the eight 2008 seniors on Bama Explosion have signed softball scholarships, including Martin to Bevill State. Two of the 2009 seniors have verbally committed to play at the next level.

Bama Explosion is based in Moody and fields girls from Moody, Saks, Alexandria and Pleasant Valley in addition to Martin.