E.A. Sports Today

Flippin’ fun

Wellborn wins coin toss to host Class 3A Area 9 softball tournament; race couldn’t be tighter with four extra-inning one-run games

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

The people in the room may have thought the events they were watching looked a bit strange, but to the participants in the activity it made perfect sense.

The Class 3A Area 9 softball race was among the tightest in the state. All three teams – Ohatchee, Weaver and Wellborn – finished with 2-2 area records with four of the six games going to extra innings decided by one run.

A coin toss was the only way to break the deadlock.

So, the three coaches gathered at Jack’s in Alexandria for the showdown and as the patrons munched on their lunchtime hamburgers, the coaches flipped their quarters. The odd man out was the odd man in.

Wellborn turned up the lone tails, earning it the right to host the tournament and a first-round bye when the tournament opens May 2. Through a subsequent toss, Ohatchee is the second seed.

“I’m usually a ‘tails’ person,” Lady Panthers coach Brenda Vinson said. “I talked to my team this morning and I told them what we were going to do and what’s your choice. They said ‘tails,’ so that’s what I went with. It’s a team victory.”

They were lucky it didn’t go to extra tosses. Wellborn beat Ohatchee in two extra-inning games, Weaver beat Wellborn twice with the first game going extra inning and Ohatchee swept Weaver with that first game going extra innings.

You could call the Lady Panthers (7-13), a team that starts five ninth-graders and three sophomores, survivors. They beat Ohatchee 6-5 in eight innings Tuesday to force the three-way tie and coin toss, and then won the toss.

They lost leads twice against the Tribe and fell behind 5-4 and had to tie it in the sixth on Jordan Campbell’s two-out RBI double. They won it in the eighth by forcing an error with some aggressive base running around Katie Henderson’s one-out double.

“We’ve got a process we want to follow every day, we’ve got a level of play we want to achieve,” Vinson said. “We’ve been challenging ourselves to make sure we’re doing our part, that we’re taking individual responsibility for what I need to do.

“We’ve just been preaching take responsibility and holding yourself accountable and yesterday they responded and did that and played well. The coin toss, I don’t know how you explain that. It is what it is. It’s a blessing for us and we’re going to take the opportunity.”

Class 3A Area 9
at Wellborn
May 2
Game 1: Weaver vs. Ohatchee
Game 2: Weaver-Ohatchee winner vs. Wellborn
Game 3: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser (loser eliminated)
May 4
Championship game
Championship game (if necessary)

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