E.A. Sports Today

All 5 county teams split

[corner-ad id=2]Seven county teams in brackets in Tuscaloosa; Oxford, Alexandria debut Friday





By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

All five Calhoun County teams playing in the North Central softball regional in Tuscaloosa split their two games Thursday and will be fighting for their playoff lives going forward.

Faith (1A), Piedmont (3A), Wellborn (3A), Ohatchee (3A) and White Plains (4A) all went 1-1 in their quest to earn a spot in the championship round next week in Montgomery. Oxford (6A) and Alexandria (5A) open their tournaments Friday.

Class 1A: Faith wins big game

The Faith Lions (6-16) got great pitching from freshman Presley Whitten to beat Appalachian 2-0 and stay alive. Whitten was in complete control, scattering three hits and striking our four. Logan Boyd, Annakeri Davis and Whitten led the Lions at the plate with key hits.

Earlier in the day the Lions opened with a 10-1 loss to the Lynn Bears. The Bears lost to Brantley in the state finals a year ago and came in with a 6-0 record against other teams in the 1A tournament. Sara Jessica Christjohn and Hannah Reynolds got hits to give the Lions their lone run in the fourth inning.

”I thought we played great defensively, but made silly base running errors that prevented us from scoring more runs,” Faith coach Bradley Dawson said. “I am proud of how the girls responded after our game this morning. We came out and were the aggressors. This is such a big step forward for our program.”

The Lions played such a tough schedule against bigger schools this year and it has paid off. The Lions have played 16 of 22 games against teams still playing in their regionals. The victory over Appalachian (5-7) assures the Lions of a Top 24 finish in the state in Class 1A.

Faith will face Hackleburg (19-18) Friday at 8:30 a.m. If the Lions win they will play the winner of between Ragland (15-8) and Lynn (20-10) at 11:30 am. South Lamar (29-16) will take on Hubbertville (16-12) in the finals of the winner’s bracket.

Class 4A: White Plains shocked by Cordova

The fourth-ranked Wildcats were led down by their as they lost a 3-1 lead after three innings and fell to fifth-ranked Cordova 7-5.

The Wildcats (30-7) took advantage of Cordova wild pitches to score each of their first three runs and open up 3-1 lead. The game featured two future teammates pitching against each other as Anna Snider of White Plains and Cordova pitcher Faith Sims, both JSU signees, faced each other.

Cordova (20-14) picked up two more runs in the fifth inning and one more in the seventh inning and held off White Plains in the bottom of the seventh.

The Wildcats then bounced back with a vengeance against the Sardis Lions (17-18), rolling to a 15-0 win in three innings. Snider pitched the first and Amber Greenwood pitched the second and third inning.

Top ranked Curry (38-4) is also in the region and rode the pitching of Ashlee Swindle (35-4) to get to the finals against Cordova. Curry opened the tournament with an 8-1 victory over Cleburne County.

White Plains will play Friday at 10 against Oneonta (22-16).

Cleburne County stayed alive with an 11-5 victory over Hokes Bluff (10-14). The Tigers will also play on Friday, 10 a.m., against J.B. Pennington.

Class 3A: Bulldogs lose on call-reversal

Piedmont faced second-ranked Oakman after blanking Holly Pond in its opener, but fell in a tight one 2-1. Rachel Baggett gave the Bulldogs (23-22) a 1-0 lead with an RBI single.

The Wildcats rallied for two runs after a third-out call was reversed at first base. Piedmont could not score in the top of the seventh and suffered a heart-breaking loss.

The Bulldogs jumped all over Holly Pond in their opener with 5 runs in the second inning and coasted to a 9-0 win. Kayleigh Williams had a strong performance in the circle pitching a four-hit shutout. She struck out two and got some fine defensive play behind her.

Kendall Pressley had two hits, a walk and was hit-by-a-pitch to lead the Bulldogs at the plate. Torre Roberts and Rachel Baggett added two hits apiece and Roberts scored three runs.

Oakman (26-14) came in as the tournament favorite on paper, but the Winfield Pirates (19-18) are lurking in the shadows. The defending state champs played most of this season without star pitcher Madi Moore, who was Miss Alabama softball last year (25-5, 0.83 ERA) and will sign with the University of Alabama. The lefty injured her knee in the second game of the season and returned last week in time for the Area tournament.

The Pirates responded with two wins over Oakman and outscored everybody 24-1 in the area tournament.

The Ohatchee Indians ran into the steamroller in their first game as Winfield scored early and won 11-0. The Indians only had one base runner when Morgan Lee drew a walk. Moore struck out 14 of the other 15 batters she faced in the five-inning game.

Ohatchee (22-12) bounced back with an 8-6 win over Susan Moore (13-10). Syd Clements led the attack with a home run. Taylor Hamm, Sarah Martin and Morgan Lee had big days at the plate. Shey Clements and Hamm worked from the circle for the winning Indians.

Wellborn (21-12) brought out the big bats in its first game, scoring in every inning to romp past Susan Moore 12-2 in five innings.

Mikayla Ludwig was the winning pitcher as she only allowed two runs. Junior catcher Raegan Nunez and sophomore Kamryn Beasley pounded out three hits apiece at the plate to lead the Panthers.

Wellborn then ran into the Winfield buzz saw and were shut out 7-0 by Moore and the Pirates. Winfield scored all its runs in the first three innings.

Four local teams will face each other Friday morning as they fight for one state playoff berth with the loser of the Oakman-Winfield game. Piedmont will play Ohatchee and Wellborn will play Glencoe (25-9) at 10.

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