E.A. Sports Today

Oxford softball top seed

Lady Jackets installed as No. 1 without much discussion; Alexandria, Piedmont, Pleasant Valley also earn first-round byes

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — Oxford pulled down the No. 1 seed for the upcoming Calhoun County Softball Tournament.

While it’s a nice piece of recognition, Lady Jackets coach Wendy McKibbin knows where the tournament is really going to be decided.

“Whatever you’re ranked or whatever you’re seeded, it doesn’t matter,” she said. “You have to play it out. We’ve played a lot of good competition, had a successful season so far, so we just have to continue to pick it up the second half of the season and do our best.”

The double-loss elimination tournament is April 12-15 at Oxford Lake. Admission is $6. All games except the championship and “if” games will be on a 75-minute time limit.

The Lady Jackets (21-6), Alexandria (19-6), Piedmont (18-10) and Pleasant Valley (17-10-1) were installed as the top four seeds and draw first-round byes.

The other seeds are Saks (10-16-2), Ohatchee (12-11), Wellborn (6-7), White Plains (7-14), Jacksonville (5-14-1), Faith Christian (2-14), Weaver (5-14) and JCA (0-8).

As the top seed Oxford, ranked third in Class 6A, is the last to open play. It faces the White Plains-Jacksonville winner April 14 at 5 p.m.

All the teams were nominated for seeds. The deepest debate came for 3 and 4, where the tipping point became play against common opponents outside the county. Piedmont pulled down the 3 seed — and away from No. 1 Oxford in the winner’s bracket — by virtue of its win over Hueytown. Pleasant Valley split with Hueytown.

“It’s two very good teams and it came down to common opponents outside the county; it could have gone either way, honestly,” Piedmont coach Rachel Smith said. “I was expecting to either be the 3 or the 4 and I would have been happy either way.

“I was going to go in there and if everybody else wanted to speak on our behalf and look at our record and who we’ve played I was going to allow that to happen; I’m not one to really boast on our own accomplishments. I think it’s much more powerful when everybody else speaks highly of you and who you’ve played, which is what happened in there, and I’m glad it worked out that way.”

(Records – overall, county — as of Sunday)

First-round games
April 12, 5 p.m.
No. 8 White Plains (7-14, 4-9) vs. No. 9 Jacksonville (5-14-1, 1-2-1), Field A
No. 5 Saks (10-16-2, 7-4-1) vs. No. 12 JCA (0-8, 0-1), Field B
No. 6 Ohatchee (12-11, 3-3) vs. No. 11 Weaver (5-14, 2-7), Field C
No. 7 Wellborn (6-7, 3-5) vs. No. 10 Faith Christian (2-14, 2-6), Field D

Second-round games
April 12, 6:30 p.m.
No. 4 Pleasant Valley (17-10-1, 8-2) vs. Saks-JCA winner, Field B
No. 3 Piedmont (18-10, 7-2) vs. Ohatchee-Weaver, Field C
No. 2 Alexandria (19-6, 5-1) vs. Wellborn-Faith winner, Field D

April 14, 5 p.m.
No. 1 Oxford (21-6, 4-0) vs. White Plains-Jacksonville winner, Field A

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