If there’s one indication of how important it is to install baseball and softball programs at the middle school level in Montgomery, it was on display Saturday at the middle school softball championship tournament at the AUM Dixie Softball Complex.

The third-year program of Floyd Middle Magnet School easily walked through the tournament to win the title over the second-year program of Johnnie Carr. The first-year program of Dunbar-Ramer was a distant third.

The tournament was a quick addition to the 2019 softball schedule as a group trying to install baseball and softball programs in MPS middle schools ran out of time in trying to spread the word to all of the schools and instead concentrated on five schools, putting one on hold with the thought the other was joining, then losing both to a tight deadline for fielding a team this season.

“I thought the turnout would have been a little better, but with the short notice, I’m pleased with the turnout,” said David Thomas, president of the group. “I certainly hope (the tournament sent a message to the rest of the MPS middle schools) because I don’t think they fully understood what we were going to do in terms of paying for everything. I think some of them were misled, which is why it was so important to jump-start 2019 so we can get all of the schools on board for next year.”

Johnnie Carr defeated Dunbar-Ramer 25-5 before losing to Floyd 15-0 on Saturday morning. Carr defeated Dunbar 13-3 in an elimination-round game to reach the finals, where Floyd used six hits and six walks to roll to an easy 13-0 win in a time-shortened contest.

The Panthers scored four runs in the first with the help of an RBI single from Payton Garrett, then added nine more in the second inning behind an RBI single by Madalyn Sides, a two-run homer from Taniyah Brown and four runs via wild pitches.

Brown struck out five of the six batters she faced in the first two innings and Garrett pitched a scoreless third to complete the no-hitter.

“We’ve got a bunch of dedicated parents and a bunch of dedicated girls at Floyd,” Floyd coach Roman McLeod said. “And you’ve got to have good parents and good girls for anything to work and you’ve got to have support from the administration.

“As far as the tournament, it’s great for us to plug softball because softball is a growing sport. I would like to see every middle school program have a baseball team and a softball team because there is talent here in Montgomery that is just sitting around, needing something to do. Softball and baseball can fill that void.”

Next Saturday, the middle school baseball tournament championship will be held at Gateway Park beginning at 9 p.m.