The Halifax County Belles all-star softball team topped Charlotte County 22-12 Monday night at the Mary M. Bethune Complex in Halifax to win the Dixie Softball District 7 Tournament, but not without a late challenge.

Halifax County led 16-3 after four innings, only to see Charlotte County rack up nine runs in the top of the fifth inning to close to within four runs at 16-12. The Belles did not crack, however, rallying to score six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning with the help of a two-run homer by Ruby Long to take a 10-run lead at 22-12 and end the game under a slaughter rule.

With the District 7 title in hand, the Halifax County Belles advance to the Belles state tournament that starts July 12 in Rustburg.

Halifax County had 18 hits in the contest, with Long leading the team with four hits that included a double in the second inning and a homer in the fifth inning. Olivia Burton had three hits, and Brittany McDowell, McKayla Meadows, Zy Sims and Ayanna Garrett all had two hits each. Hailey Owen, Jordyn Lewis and Savannah Hudson had one hit each.

The Halifax County Belles also took advantage of 11 walks from Charlotte County pitchers.

Charlotte County finished the game with 11 hits, but it had only three hits through the first four innings. In the nine-run fifth inning, Charlotte County put together eight hits and took advantage of four Halifax County errors.

Gabby Hall led Charlotte County with a 3-3 effort at the plate, one RBI and scored twice.

Halifax County went through the tournament without a loss and advanced to Monday’s title game with a 16-6 win over Brookneal on Sunday.

Nine hits were tallied by the Halifax County Belles, with Lewis leading the team with two hits. Barksdale, Long, Sims, Burton, Owen, Garrett and Brooke Conner all had one hit.

Barksdale pitched the first four innings, striking out five batters and allowing eight hits. Braylee McDowell pitched the last inning, allowing no hits but yielding four walks.

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at

Joe Chandler is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at