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Ohatchee’s young softball team promises return trip to the finals after experiencing it for the first time Friday

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

MONTGOMERY — The experience didn’t last as long as it would have liked, but it lasted long enough for the young Ohatchee softball team to know they want to have it again.

The Lady Indians’ first-ever trip to the Class 3A state softball finals lasted two games. When it was over coach Kendall Poe gathered her charges outside the field and, with parents and fans standing nearby, told them confidently “We will be back.”

Ohatchee lost to Dale County 7-3 and Prattville Christian 7-4 in their two games at Lagoon Park and after getting used to the surroundings didn’t look like a team that hadn’t been here before.

“We start a lot of eighth and ninth graders, that’s our core bunch, so this is a big deal for us,” Poe said. “The experience of getting down here is big, so we come back hopefully next year and have that experience as veterans and still kind of (be young). We’ll be back. We’ll be fine.”

Poe had been to the finals six times before as a player. She kept telling her players it was a different atmosphere than anything they’d ever experienced before.

Being on that bigger stage probably contributed to their slow start; they fell behind Dale County 4-0 after three innings. They did score a run in the fourth, but the Lady Warriors scored three in the bottom of the inning to break it open.

Freshman Regan Snow hit a two-run homer for Ohatchee in the seventh inning. Snow and junior Shey Clements both had two hits in the game.

The homer was particularly special because Snow said it was the first time her grandmother had gotten to see her hit a home run in a game.

“I’m just going to go ahead and say we’ll definitely be back and we’re going to come back stronger and harder each year,” Snow said. “I think they’re just going to have to be ready for us.”

Falling into the losers bracket so early put the Lady Indians (23-18) in a tough spot, but they didn’t go down without a fight. But, then, they didn’t win Area 11 or become the second North Central qualifier by rolling over when things got tough.

They fell behind the Lady Panthers 2-0, but tied it in the fifth when Shey Clements raced home on a bad throw off Sydney Clements’ grounder to short.

PCA broke it open with four in the bottom of the inning, but the Lady Indians weren’t going away. They scored twice in the sixth on Shey Clements’ bases-loaded single and Snow’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly.

Jordan Dunaway had three hits in her final high school game, while Clements and Maggie Phillips had two each. Clements, a junior, was 4-for-7 in the two games and Phillips, a freshman, went 3-for-5.

“I told this bunch time and time again, and I told them again in the huddle, they have more fight than any team in the state of Alabama and I think they showed it,” Poe said. “They fought back the first game, they fought back the second game, so I’m pleased with that. I think we’ll be back.”

Friday’s games

Dale County 7, Ohatchee 3

Ohatchee 000 100 2 – 3 7 0
Dale County 121 300 x – 7 9 3
WP: Hannah Rogers. LP: Taylor Hamm. HR: Regan Snow (O), Hannah Rogers 2 (DC).

Prattville Christian 7, Ohatchee 4

Ohatchee 001 012 0 – 4 10 1
Prattville Christian 200 041 x – 7 10 2
WP: Hayden Law. LP: Taylor Hamm. S: Paisley Wilson.

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