PDT Sports Editor
MINFORD — The Minford Lady Falcons Junior League softball team won the District 11 Little League Tournament Tuesday for the first time in more than two decades, but their journey doesn’t stop there.
The 13 and 14-year-olds will be traveling to the July 27 State Tournament in Elyria and coach Chris Payne will be leaning on the strength of his team to fuel a deep tourney run.
“The way they have come together has really been the strongest part of this team,” Payne said. “The way they have bonded has really helped them.”
Minford Little League board member Chad Ball seconded Payne’s assessment.
“They have put forth a lot of effort to get this far,” Ball said. “They have come together and worked as a team.”
On the diamond, Payne says the team needs to improve from the pitching circle in the week before the tournament.
“We are ready for the challenge,” he said. “We need to work on pitching and determine who our secondary pitcher is going to be and also work on our swings.”
The current focus for the Lady Falcons is fund-raising for their travels to Elyria and the community has stepped up to support the team.
“They have been going from business to business in Minford and Wheelersburg and a lot of the local teachers have stepped up to help raise money,” Payne said. “I know within a day and a half the girls have raised over $1,000.”
People wishing to support the team can contact Minford Little League President Rita Pitts at 285-2522 or bring a donation to McGovney Ready Mix, 55 River Ave. in Portsmouth between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Payne said the Lady Falcons’ success has been a product of continuity and work ethic.
“We have been working very hard for three years now and the girls have gotten better together,” he said. “Each year they have worked hard and steadily improved.”
Bob Strickley may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 203, or firstname.lastname@example.org.