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Wildlife Critters and Millpond Mafia win softball tourney
The Millpond Mafia men’s team and the Wildlife Critters women’s team won first place in the third annual Relay for Life Softball Tournament held April 26. Players for the Mafia are: Jason Thompkins, Brandon Simmons, Ryann Simmons, Stetson Strickland, Charlie Hall, Justin Way, Blake Strickland, Jason Poole, Tyler Deen, Russell Simmons, Rat Johnson, Wes Johnson. Critters players are: Deona Carter, Emily Guyett, Erin Madray, Brittany Fowler, Jennifer Deen, Kimberly Davis, Shalane Bell, Krisdean McGowan, Kath McClelland, Kelby Manning. - photo by Photos by Mike Riddle / Coastal Courier
LUDOWICI — The Long County Wildlife Festival had its third annual Relay for Life Softball Tournament April 26 to raise money to help find a cure for cancer.
The tournament was at the recreation department and the fun began at 9 a.m. and lasted until 5 p.m. It was a double-elimination tournament with three teams on the men’s side and three on the women’s.
The winning team on the ladies side was the Wildlife Critters, but getting to the top was no easy task.
In their first game they took on the Lady’s of Tibet.  That game went back and fourth, having only one scoreless inning, but in the end the Critters won, 13-5.
In the Critters final game, they took on a determined, but outmatched, Coastal Manor team, and won 14-1, bringing home the first place trophy.
On the men’s side, the road to victory for the Millpond Mafia was even more difficult.
In their first game, they took on the Blue Tide, and jumped out to a 7-1 lead after three innings. But the Tide showed they were in the tournament for the long haul, as they came back and won 16-15.
In the Mafia’s second game they took on the Southern Boyz, and won 12-1.
In the third game, they had a rematch with the Blue Tide who was 2-0 at that point, compared to Millpond’s 1-1.  In that game, both teams had outstanding plays and showed a lot of heart, but in the end the Blue Tide lost 12-8.  With both teams being 2-1, it required a rubber match.
The championship game was the longest of the day, resulting in nine exciting innings. The game couldn’t have been any closer, but in the end the Millpond Mafia beat the Blue Tide 15-14.
“Today was filled with food, fun, and softball and, most importantly, we helped the Wildlife Festival raise over $700 to support the American Cancer Society Relay for Life County Chapter,” tournament organizer, Deona Carter said.
“On behalf of the Long County Wildlife Committee, we want to thank all the players and spectators for making the event such a huge success,” she said. “A big thank you to Sam Taylor (LC Recreation Department director) and the LCRD for the use of their facility, the volunteer umpires, and the cooking crew.”
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