By Jay Neal
The Jacksonville JAXX 12U softball team enjoyed success on multiple levels during the recently completed season.
First, the team stormed through regular-season play by going undefeated (12-0).
The JAXX then won their Texas Teenage Softball Association District Tournament, which took place in Jacksonville.
To cap things off the young ladies from Jacksonville posted a 4-2 record in the Texas Teenage Softball Association State Tournament in Mabank earlier this month.
Team Jacksonville's only losses came to Belton and Troup, who finished one, two in the 21-team field.
The JAXX were coached by Roel Ramirez and Cory Hicks.
Ramirez said that he was proud of the way the JAXX played all year and was particularly pleased in the manner that the team carried themselves at the state event.
“Playing in the state tournament was a great experience for the team,” Ramirez said. “It was an eye opener for them in many ways because of the level of competition that you are faced with playing game after game.
“Our only losses were to the state champion and the state runner-up and our girls represented Jacksonville in a very positive manner, so we are extremely proud of them.”
After notching wins over Iola and Athens to start tournament play, the JAXX fell to Belton, the eventual tournament champion in the third round, which sent Jacksonville into the elimination bracket.
The JAXX continued to battle however and went on to thump teams from Mildred and Whitney in elimination games to earn a spot opposite their district rivals from Troup.
Jacksonville had posted two wins over Troup previously, but the Coldplay got revenge by downing the JAXX to advance to the tournament championship.
“We won two games in one night after the loss to Belton,” Ramirez explained. “Unfortunately it wasn't meant to be against Troup in this one.
“Three years ago the same Troup pitcher no-hit us and now we have improved as a team to the point of where all of our hitters, 1-9, were able to get hits off of her. We're pleased about that.”
Ramirez noted the outstanding play of two members of the JAXX team in particular.
“Desheera Whitaker hit just about everything that they threw her way,” Ramirez said. “She really did a great job with the bat and Winter Hammons was outstanding in the pitching circle this year. Winter pitched four games in-a-row in the state tournament for us and battled all the way and never gave up.”
Jaxx team members include, Desheera Whitaker, Winter Hammons, Maddy Crowe, Raven Ramirez, Raylee Ramirez, Jacey Hicks, Emily Moreira, Lauryn Johnson, Ashlynn Pierce, Yanelly Barrera, Ashley Murry and Sierra Mosley.