E.A. Sports Today

Tough day for county softball teams

[corner-ad id=2]UPDATED: Five teams fall out; Alexandria, Oxford drop into elimination round

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

It was a tough second day for all the 1A, 3A and 4A teams from Calhoun County in the North Central softball regional at Sokol Park in Tuscaloosa Friday.

Faith Christian, Piedmont, Wellborn, Ohatchee and county champion White Plains all were eliminated from advancing to the championship tournament in Montgomery.

The 5A and 6A teams didn’t have any easier, as both Oxford and Alexandria fell into the elimination round with last-inning losses after winning their opening games.

Class 6A: Jackets fall in seventh

Oxford defeated Clay-Chalkville 10-2 in the opening game of the regionals, then lost to Walker 1-0.

In the first game, Deidre Johnson doubled to right to start a three-run rally in the second inning. Haley Liner then singled to right after an Amber Dempsey single. Pinch runner Chloe Stone scored on a wild pitch and Taylor Ellison doubled home two more.

The Jackets added three more in the third inning on Johnson’s two-run single and Dempsey’s RBI double.

Morgan Whaley and Sara Howell had singles in the fourth inning to extend the lead to 7-0. Makenzie Trantham knocked home two more in the fifth to make it 9-0.

After the Cougars scored two in the sixth, Haley Lyner’s walk forced him Ashley Reeves to end the scoring.

Jo Jo Skinner out 13 of the first 16 hitters she faced and was the winning pitcher.

The game with Walker (18-11) was quite the pitching duel as Rylee Waldrep fanned 15 batters. The Jackets left the bases loaded in the third inning and stranded 10 runners total as they couldn’t get a run across.

Walker finally broke through with a run in the bottom of the seventh. The Jackets will play again Saturday at 9 a.m.

Chelsea (16-12), whom Oxford defeated three times this season, advanced to the finals of the Winner’s bracket with two wins.

Class 5A: Cubs drop heartbreaker to No. 1

Alexandria (32-18) opened play with an 11-1 win over Dora (22-22), but then lost in the seventh inning to No. 1 Hayden 6-5.

The gut-wrenching loss dropped Alexandria into the elimination bracket and a 9 a.m. game Saturday. Hayden (33-5) moved into the finals of the winner’s bracket against the winner of the Springville-Corner game.

Class 1A: Faith falls to the Panthers

The Faith Christian Lady Lions’ season came to an end Friday morning as they dropped a 6-2 decision to the Hackleburg Panthers.

The Lady Lions (6-18) jumped out 1-0 after two innings, but the Panthers (21-18) pulled ahead 5-2 after four innings.

Faith went 3-4 in the playoffs this year, including the area playoffs with a team full of freshman, sophomores and seventh and eighth graders. Coach Bradley Dawson kept his team together despite a very difficult schedule and it responded at playoff time with some very credible performances.

The Lady Lions got some great pitching from freshman Presley Whitten and only lose one player off of this year’s roster heading into 2016.

Class 3A: Piedmont falls to Glencoe

The highly competitive 3A bracket turned into a battle of three Calhoun County teams and Glencoe in the elimination bracket. Piedmont and Ohatchee met in one game while Wellborn took on Glencoe in re-matches of regular-season games.

Ohatchee (22-13) knocked off Piedmont in the Calhoun County Tournament by one run, but the Bulldogs gained a measure of revenge with seven runs in the third inning on the way to a 12-3 victory. The win washed away some of the bad taste from a hard-luck 2-1 Thursday loss to Oakman and set up a game with Glencoe.

Kayleigh Williams got the win pitching for the Bulldogs – her second of the tournament – and Torre Roberts went 2-for-4.

Glencoe then eliminated the Bulldogs 4-3 on a walk-off hit in the bottom of the seventh. It was their second one-run, last-inning lost of the tournament. Piedmont (24-23) led 3-1 going into the bottom of the sixth.

It wasn’t the first time Glencoe came from behind on the day. Wellborn (21-13) jumped on the Jackets 2-0, but they rallied to win 9-5.

Winfield won the region without allowing a run in three games.

Class 4A: Cleburne County eliminates White Plains

The Tigers lost in the opening round of the area playoffs to Saks and came back through to beat White Plains before losing the final game to the Wildcats. This time things would be different as the Tigers rallied from a 1-0 deficit to upset the No. 4 Wildcats 5-1.

White Plains had its chances but just couldn’t get key hits when it needed them and finished the season 31-8.

Cleburne County (29-11) reached that game by eliminating J.B. Pennington 6-1.

White Plains got there by surviving another scare, coming from behind with five runs in the fourth to beat Oneonta 9-5.

Anna Snider started things off with a three-run homer in the first and the Wildcats took a 4-0 lead into the fourth. Snider started in the circle but gave way to Amber Greenwood in the inning, Oneonta scored five runs and Snider returned.

No. 10 Cleburne County moved on to face No. 5 Cordova (21-15) with a state playoff berth awaiting the winner. Curry (40-4) captured the region title with a 3-0 win over Cordova earlier in the day.

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