Opening ceremony this evening at 6 as Dixie Debs World Series comes to Ruston

First pitch is Saturday morning at 9 at the Ruston Sports Complex, but the excitement begins this evening at 6 with the 2021 Dixie Debs World Series Opening Ceremony at Railroad Park in downtown Ruston.

State champion softball teams from Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana (Alexandria), South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia are in the double-elimination tournament along with the host Ruston team. The players are ages 16-18, with each squad fielding a 12-girl roster.

The opening ceremony begins at 6 and is free to all. Entertainment will be provided by local band Mourning Moon. Boudin and meat pie boats from Ponchatoulas will be on sale along with Kona Ice and refreshments. New Louisiana Tech softball coach Josh Taylor will be the keynote speaker after each team carries its state flag on stage during the festivities.

Competition begins Saturday morning at 9 at Complex C, fields 3 and 4, located at 708 Tournament Drive at the sparkling Ruston Sports Complex. Complex C is at the northeast corner of the complex near the old airport.

Tickets are $7 daily or $25 for an all-tournament pass and will be sold at the Complex C ticket windows. The World Series wraps up with a Tuesday evening 6 o’clock championship game on Field 4.

The tournament bracket and much more information is available on Facebook on the 2021 Dixie Debs World Series-Ruston page –

Game results on the bracket and additional information will be continually updated on the Facebook page throughout the World Series.

Georgia is the defending champion. The 2020 World Series did not have a full field due to pandemic issues.

Saturday’s first-round schedule begins at 9 a.m. with South Carolina taking on Virginia and the Louisiana state champion team from Alexandria facing Alabama. The 11 a.m. games pit Texas against North Carolina while Georgia meets Florida. At 1 p.m. on Field 4, the Ruston squad takes on Tennessee to wrap up the Day One slate.

Competition resumes Sunday at 9 a.m. The Monday semifinal rounds start at 4 p.m. with the championship contest providing the only action Tuesday, with the 6 o’clock first pitch.

The Ruston Dixie Softball Association is the host organization, led by co-presidents Jade Cannon and Stephanie Whitten.

“I’d like to encourage readers to come out and support these girls during the World Series,” said Whitten. “We are going to see some really good softball being played, and it will be fun to watch all teams.”

The event has been organized for months and the responsiveness from Ruston and the surrounding area has been very gratifying, setting the stage for a memorable and entertaining World Series.

“We truly appreciate the support from the community. It’s been wonderful, from sponsors to volunteers to the host families,” said Cannon. “An event of this scale takes a lot of volunteer help and our community has stepped up. The City of Ruston and the Ruston Convention and Tourism Bureau have been extremely gracious and helpful.”

With the remarkable host facility and a corps of helpful volunteers and sponsors, the RDSA is extremely eager to put the community’s best foot forward during the next five days.

“We want to show people what we have,” said Cannon, “so hopefully we can do it again.”

PHOTO: Ruston team

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