E.A. Sports Today

Four seeds advance

After some early upsets, all of the top four seeds remain alive in the winner’s bracket of the Calhoun County Tournament

First-round games
Wellborn 11, Weaver 4
Piedmont 13, JCA 6
Jacksonville 13, Ohatchee 4
Saks 5, Faith Christian 4
Winner’s bracket
Oxford 5, Wellborn 0
White Plains 11, Piedmont 2
Pleasant Valley 6, Saks 1
Alexandria 12, Jacksonville 0
Thursday’s games
Winner’s bracket
Oxford vs. White Plains, 6 p.m.
Pleasant Valley vs. Alexandria, 6 p.m.
x-First- and second-round losers begin play Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — There were upsets in the air Tuesday night at Choccolocco Park, but in the end the top four seeds advanced to the semifinals of the Calhoun County Girls softball tournament.

The four top seeds all drew first round byes and played first round winners in the 12-team double-elimination tournament.

Lower-seeded teams won two first-round games and led in the last inning of another. In the second round top-seeded Oxford and third-seeded Pleasant Valley were behind or tied going into the last inning of the 75-minute timed games before taking a win and advancing.

Oxford 5, Wellborn 0
The Lady Jackets (33-4) had their hands full with the ninth-seeded Panthers (7-11). The game was tied 0-0 in the bottom of the fifth and Wellborn pitcher Landon McDaniel was holding a powerful opponent at bay.

However, Shelby Hicks got things going with her second hit of the game. She would later come home on a sacrifice fly by Haley Lyner. Amber Dempsey followed one batter later with a grand slam over the right field fence to put the Jackets up 5-0.

“There was two strikes and I was just trying to battle,” said Dempsey. ”I got a high pitch and just tried to stay on top of it and it went out. It is my very first grand slam ever in any league. I really thought the right fielder was going to catch it.”

Rylee Waldrep struck out 12 in the circle for Jackets.

Alexandria 12, Jacksonville 0
Second-seeded Alexandria (21-7-1) scored six runs in the second inning and rode the two-hit pitching of Emmah Rolfe to blank the Golden Eagles (7-16).

Maggie Phillips, the recent transfer from Ohatchee, was 3-for-3, Timberlyn Shurbutt and Leighton Sparks were 2-for-4 and Madi Snow drove in two runs for the Lady Cubs. Allison Bonds drilled a two-run home run in that big second inning.

Kayley Sparks and Mallory Bell had the two Jacksonville hits.

White Plains 11 Piedmont 2
As usual the Lady Wildcats (21-5) brought their bats to the county tournament. Fourth-seeded White Plains scored four in the first and two runs in the second, slowing down a Piedmont express (18-8-1) that had won nine of its last 10 games.

“I think our kids like to play here. They know that there are some very good teams in the county,” Lady Wildcats coach Rachel Ford said. ”They know they have to show up and play hard. They are a very competitive group.

“I was very pleased with our at-bats tonight. They had great pitch selection at the plate. I was also very pleased at the defense and the way they played behind our pitcher Ashlyn Hinton.”

The top 3 hitters in the White Plains lineup — Isabella Pinto, Shelby Wood and Carley Wood — scored 8 runs. Shelby Wood was 3-for-3 at the plate and Presley Whitten had a two-run home run in the fifth inning.

Morgan Martin went 3-for-3 for Piedmont.

Pleasant Valley 6, Saks 1
The third-seeded Lady Raiders (17-11-1) were down 1-0 and time was running down. The sixth-seeded Lady Wildcats (9-13) had tace Lanie Dreyer on the mound and she had allowed only one Raider hit up to that point.

Things fell apart quickly for the Wildcats as seven straight Raiders reached base on a series of infield hits, bunts and blooping singles into the outfield. Kara Perry shot to left knocked home Savannah Williams with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning. Courtney Williams, Mikayla Kendrick, Alisa St. John and Lindsey Pritchett added run-scoring singles and Savannah Williams added a sacrifice fly in her second at-bat of the inning.

The Raiders were playing without starting senior second baseman Atleigh Brannon, who suffered a broken hand several weeks ago. Brannon hopes to be back within 7-10 days.

“You do what you have to do to win games,” said Lady Raider coach David Bryant.” It was a good win. Their pitcher did a good job of keeping us off balance and then we did a very good job of executing some bunts. We got a couple of breaks that helped us along.”

PV has seriously upgraded its schedule this year, playing some 6A and 7A powers and have lost four of their games to last year’s state runner-up Oxford. The Lady Raiders also have played Hewitt-Trussville and Spain Park.

Annabelle Shelly led Saks at the plate with an RBI single that drove home Amari Fleming, who had doubled.

Saks 5, Faith 4
Keira Burks drove home the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the fifth as the Lady Wildcats escaped with a narrow victory.

With time running down, 11th-seeded Faith (2-8) scored three runs in the top of the fifth to take a 4-2 lead. Paityn Boyd got the rally started with a one-out double and came home on Riley Boyd’s triple. Logan Boyd’s perfect squeeze bunt gave Faith the lead. Andrea Davis had a two-out single to put the Lions up 4-2.

Saks answered in the bottom of the fifth as Fleming led off with a walk and Shelly was hit with a pitch. Dreyer’s single scored Fleming and Burks followed with her hit as the Wildcats escaped with a narrow victory

Jacksonville 13, Ohatchee 4
Tenth-seeded Jacksonville (7-16) rattled seventh-seeded Ohatchee (12-15) early with 5 runs in the first and third innings.

Reagan Stallings scored three time and Ella Sanders and Caitlyn Ryan scored two runs apiece to lead the Golden Eagles. Sullie Mabry was the winning pitcher.

Shay Clements had a two-run home run in the second inning to lead Ohatchee.

Piedmont 13, Jacksonville Christian 6
Piedmont took advantage of 10 walks and a two-run home run by Hannah Hulsizer to defeat 12th-seeded JCA. The Lady Bulldogs scored five runs in each of the first two innings.

McKenzie Tolbert led Piedmont with three hits, Tylin Wilson had a double and Kayleigh Williams scored two runs to lead the Bulldogs.

Wellborn 11, Weaver 4
Ninth-seeded Wellborn had the best of it in an 8/9 game between area rivals.

Lincoln 3, Cleburne County 1:
Savannah Sands struck out seven in seven innings and Carlee Mullinax drove in a pair of runs with two hits as the Lady Bears improved to 4-0 in area play. Stay Curry was 3-for-4. Chelsea Parker drove home Cleburne County’s only run.

To see a gallery of B.J. Franklin photos from each of Tuesday night’s county tournament games, go to www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

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