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The summer of 2012 has been one to remember for shining efforts on the diamond.
That’s the glowing performances of four area teams – three banner baseball teams and a stellar softball squad.
Those teams include the Lancaster Post 31 American Legion team, the Lancaster Dixie Pre-Majors all-stars, the Lancaster Dixie Boys 13 all-stars and the Lancaster County Dixie Softball Darlings all-stars.
Each did well and produced their share of achievements.
The Lancaster Legion team, which won five games last season and missed the playoffs, fashioned a 23-win season and earned a bid to the Legion baseball state tournament.
Lancaster, the regular-season League V runner-up, posted back-to-back best-of-five series wins, prevailing 3-2 in each.
A second-round series win over state tournament host Greenwood earned P-31 a bid to the state tournament. Lancaster, after a first-round state tournament loss to Goose Creek, reeled off two straight wins, including a victory over perennial power Sumter.
Florence, the eventual state champion, halted Lancaster’s run with a hard-fought 8-5 comeback win. P-31 finished No. 3 in the state, a tremendous achievement given the team wasn’t in the postseason a year ago.
P-31 did return some key players for the 2012 season and they produced quite a run, its first appearance in the state tournament since 2007.
The Lancaster Dixie Pre-Majors, ages 15-17, garnered a coveted World Series berth after capturing the state title at the Lancaster High School field.
The Dixie Pre-Majors did so in impressive fashion, posting a 5-0 record in the state tournament, highlighted with a win over North Charleston to clinch the state title.
The Lancaster program, in hosting the state tourney, did well to build support for the event and have it run well over five days.
The heat and some rain made it tough at times, but it all came together with good teamwork and planning.
The state title earned the Lancaster Dixie-Pre-Majors a bid to the 12-team World Series and they also had a solid run after falling in their first game.
The stars downed an Alabama entry and the North Carolina state champion to aid a top five finish in the field. They proved they belonged among the elite.
The Dixie Boys 13 stars, after winning the district crown, came on strong to show what it was made of this season.
The Dixie Boys stars reached the final three of the state field, but had to play twice on the final day. They defeated York to earn a bid to the state title game, but it wasn’t to be as Sumter downed the Lancaster stars for the state championship.
Having to play two games in one day and doing so with a limited pitching staff made the odds that much tougher.
Still, it was quite a effort to make it to the state title game.
Then, there were the Lancaster County Dixie Softball Darlings all-stars.
They won the district crown and then captured the state championship and received a bid to the World Series.
The Darlings, after falling in the early rounds, rebounded to win the state crown.
In the World Series, the Darlings fell in their tournament opener, but came back to capture a win before being eliminated.
The girls, ages 7-8, showed a great deal of heart and drive to battle in the World Series.
All these teams did well. They had their share of success and produced some great memories.