A trip to the Jennie Finch World Series loaded with lifelong memories turned into one with plenty of winning for the local 6U and 8U Xplosion teams as they captured a pair of fourth-place finishes against a field loaded with top teams from across the region.

The 6U team of local softball stars made their mark while playing against teams from Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

They also made their presence felt against Finch’s own squad, which the Xplosion eliminated from the tournament.

While playing eight games in four days, Xplosion won six games via the 10-run rule. In fact, the team’s only two losses of the tournament came against the teams that eventually finished in first and second.

While playing on turf fields that turned hot temperatures into scorching conditions, the team held its own thanks in large part to a standout defense.

They even drew the attention of the former Olympian.

“You guys have really changed the game,” Finch said.

Xplosion’s 6U team usually competes in coach pitch but played in T-Ball due to the tournament’s regulations.

The team also improved to 27-2 on the year.

Meanwhile, the 8U team placed fourth out of 30 teams.

The team that boasts almost a completely local roster held its own against several teams comprised of top players from different regions.

They were able to overcome most expectations with a complete team effort in the tournament that was held at Frasch Park in Sulphur, Louisiana.

Each team will be moving up a level in the next months.

Josh Havard’s email address is

josh.havard@lufkindailynews.com.