Friday, April 18, 2014
Over the years, the Azalea Invitational Tournament championship game has seen everything from defensive battles to offensive onslaughts. The 2014 title game was settled by forfeit.
Unicoi County High School out of Tennessee took home the 2014 AIT trophy Tuesday after Canon-McMillan High of Pennsylvania forfeited the championship game. Unicoi coaches were told the other team had reached its limit on the number of tournament games its governing body allows.
On its way to the championship, Unicoi defeated Stratford 2-1, Wade Hampton 3-0, South Florence 5-4 and Clover in the semi-finals by a 6-4 margin.
“We had some tough games,” Unicoi coach Grady Lingerfelt said.
“The competition was really good. We have played in this tournament before but it had been about five years since the last time we were here. It’s nice to finally win it.”
The team has made some good runs at the AIT title before. In 2002, Unicoi lost the championship game to Hillcrest.
Unicoi pitcher/utility player Tiffany Laughrun was named the tournament MVP. Her team improved to 22-6 on the season.
Summerville, which lost to Canon McMillan in the semi-finals of the championship bracket, went 3-2 at the tournament. Stratford also finished at 3-2 while Fort Dorchester went 1-4 and Cane Bay went 0-4.
This year’s AIT featured 13 teams from across the state of South Carolina plus three teams from out of state.