Competing on the 8-10 year-old Unicoi County softball all-star team were Carly Baxter, Kianna Woodward, Aaliyah Engle, Annabelle Eanes, Kyndal Engle, Kinley Carver, Emma Hummer, Kaley Toney, Reagan Carroll, Chloe Conner and Noly Cooper. The team is coached by Terry Higgins, Daniel Engle and Aaron Toney. (Contributed photo)

From Staff Reports

Unicoi County’s 8-10 year-old softball all-stars battled to the very end, but fell just short of a regional title.

After winning the state championship earlier this month, these future Lady Devils traveled to Cunningham, Tennessee, to play in the region tournament with other teams from Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Dickson County, Tennessee.

Playing in pool A, Unicoi County opened the tournament with a 5-4 loss to Georgia on Saturday, July 20, according to coach Terry Higgins. The team then bounced back with an exciting 4-3 victory over Virginia later that day. Higgins said they won on a walk-off in the bottom of the sixth inning.

On Sunday, July 21, Unicoi County bested West Virginia, 2-1, to advance to the championship game. There, they ran into a tough South Carolina team and lost, 3-0.

“All the girls played their hearts out,” Higgins said. “We finished in second place for the Southeast Region in the Tournament of State Champions.”

The all-stars advanced to the Southeast Region after winning the District 5 championship in June, then winning the state tournament earlier this month in Erwin.

The team is made up of players Carly Baxter, Kianna Woodward, Aaliyah Engle, Annabelle Eanes, Kyndal Engle, Kinley Carver, Emma Hummer, Kaley Toney, Reagan Carroll, Chloe Conner and Noly Cooper.

The team is coached by Terry Higgins, Daniel Engle and Aaron Toney.