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Spring roundup: Defending champs Oxford boys, Donoho girls lead County Tennis after doubles play; includes baseball, softball reports

Three-time Final Four MVP Diante Wood (far right) and his Sacred Heart teammates were celebrated by the student body Friday upon returning with their fourth straight state championship. In his address to the crowd, Cardinals coach Ralph Graves talked about this one being the toughest test and his pride in players stepping up to fill the void of the previous year’s graduation. (Photos by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD – The Calhoun County Tennis Tournament is a two-team show this year as Donoho and Oxford are 1 and 2 in both the boys and girls tournaments after Friday night’s doubles matches at the Oxford Lake tennis complex.

The Oxford boys, the defending county champions, advanced to the finals in all three levels and with two wins lead their standings with 21 points. Donoho is second with 12 points, followed by Jacksonville’s 9.

On the girls’ side, defending champion Donoho swept all three levels and ended up with 24 points. Oxford advanced to two finals and is second with 12. Faith Christian is third with 6.

Oxford’s Ethan Fuller and Simeon Shadrix defeated Jacksonville’s Jackson Cunningham and Braden Hodge to claim the boys No. 3 doubles with a 10-6 win. Seth Turner and Landon Macoy won No. 2 doubles with a 10-3 victory over Jacksonville’s Cole Gaddy and Brett Noah.

The No. 1 boys doubles title went to Donoho’s Cooper Montgomery and David Hudson, who outfought Oxford’s Ben Reimer and Chase White in a thrilling 11-9 final.

Going into Saturday with a big lead certainly favors Oxford’s chances of repeating as boys county champions.

”We need to have our 1 through 5s just do what they are capable of and we will be OK,” Yellow Jackets coach Jesse Martin said. “We will be giving Josh Whaley his first start in the 6 spot.

“We have been playing a lot of good teams out of Birmingham trying to get better and our girls played better than expected tonight also.”

But Donoho proved to be a tall challenge. The Lady Falcons swept all three doubles titles and went 7-0 in individual matches, outscoring their opponents 70-21 in games.

Emma Weidmer and Virginia Hutto won No. 1 doubles 10-7 over Faith Christian. Claire Hillman and Marella Hudson captured No. 2 doubles 10-4 and Claire Walker and Lily Grace Draper took No. 3 doubles 10-6, both over teams from Oxford.

“It was huge for us to win all three girls’ titles tonight,” Donoho coach Laurie Rigsby said. “We will have our hands full with the singles’ matches on Saturday, but we have put ourselves in a good position. I am just proud of all our people and the way they are playing.”

Oxford Lake Complex
Doubles Matches

Boys Team: Oxford 21, Donoho 12, Jacksonville 9, Pleasant Valley 0, Faith Christian 0.
Girls Team: Donoho 24, Oxford 12, Faith Christian 6, Jacksonville 0, Pleasant Valley 0.

Boys No. 1 Doubles: Cooper Montgomery/David Hudson (D) d. Jac Myrick/Evan Miller (F), 10-2; Montgomery/Hudson (D) d. Dakota Herron/Dawson Meadows (PV), 10-0; Ben Reimer/Chase White (O) d. Jesse Wilson/Ben Patterson (J), 11-10 (7-2); Finals – Montgomery/Hudson (D) d. Reimer/White (O), 11-9.

Boys No. 2 Doubles: Harrison Han/Jack Ballard (D) d. Trent Findley/Dakota Parr (PV), 10-6; Seth Turner/Landon Macoy (O) d. Han/Ballard (D), 10-3; Cole Gaddy/Brett Noah (J) d. Braden Stacks/Gavin Randall (F), 10-0; Finals – Turner/Macoy (O) d. Gaddy/Noah (J), 10-3.

Boys No. 3 Doubles: Jackson Cunningham/Braden Hodge (J) d. Dalton Miller/Jacob Teal (PV), 10-3; Ethan Fuller/Simeon Shadrix (O) d. Brodie Yarbrough/Josh Goode (F), 10-6; Finals – Fuller/Shadrix (O) d. Cunningham/Hodge (J), 10-6.

Girls No. 1 Doubles: Analeigh Adams/Abigail Pratt (O) d. Molly Wilson/Natalie Patterson (J), 10-8; Emma Weidmer/Virginia Hutto (D) d. Adams/Pratt (O), 10-4; Zana Christjohn/Sara Jessica Christjohn (F) d. Karina Jones/Kristen Peck (PV), 10-1; Finals – Weidmer/Hutton (D) d. Christjohn/Christjohn (F), 10-6.

Girls No. 2 Doubles: Marella Hudson/Claire Hillman (D) d. Destiny Conley/Haleigh Burrows (PV), 10-1; Hudson/Hillman (D) d. Alex Billups/Savannah Sawyer (J), 10-1; Abby Reimer/Caroline Rogers (O) d. Kristin Covington/Meagan Ford (F), 10-8; Finals – Hudson/Hillman (D) d. Reimer/Rogers (O), 10-4.

Girls No. 3 Doubles: Kaelyn Albright/Genesis Lange (O) d. Anslin Dryden/Tyler Reyes (J), 10-1; Claire Walker/ Lily Grace Draper (D) d. Dacey Dunaway/Cailee Waldrop (F), 10-1; Finals – Walker/Draper (D) d. Albright/Lange (O), 10-7.

BASEBALL: Oxford, Alexandria win

JACKSONVILLE – Jarin Turner scattered four hits and struck out 11 and delivered two hits at the plate to lead Oxford to a 6-1 victory over Jacksonville at Henry Farm Park.

Turner struck out multiple hitters in four innings, including the side in order in the fifth.

The Jackets scored twice in the first on Brennan McCullough’s sacrifice fly and Caden Higgins’ RBI single. Jacksonville got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back doubles.

Brody Syer extended the lead to 3-1 with a leadoff homer in the fifth, his second hit of the game, and the Jackets got three insurance runs in the sixth on Hayden Green’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly and Reese Howard’s two-run double.

Oxford returns to action Saturday at Choccolocco Park with a 9 a.m. game against Spain Park and a noon game with Arab.

Alexandria 2, Arab 1: Mitch Welch and Layton Ellison each drove in a run and four pitchers combined on a four-hitter for the Valley Cubs. Dylan Digangi started and was followed to the mound by Jalen Borders, Tanner Mize and Brennan Brown. The Cubs (2-3) scored single runs in the first and third to open a 2-0 lead.

Saturday’s Games
Spain Park at Oxford, 9 a.m.
Pleasant Valley at Jacksonville, 11 a.m.
Weaver at Saks, 11 a.m.
Anniston at Winterboro, noon
Arab at Oxford, 1:00
Westbrook Christian at Jacksonville, 1:00
White Plains at Ohatchee, 1:00
Weaver vs. Clay Central at Saks, 1:30
Cherokee County at Piedmont, 2:00
Pleasant Valley vs. Westbrook Christian at Jacksonville, 3:00
Wellborn vs. Geraldine at Ashville, 3:00
White Plains vs. Gaston, 3:00
Clay Central at Saks, 4:00
Cleburne County at Springville, 4:00
Gaston at Ohatchee, 5:00
Wellborn at Ashville, 5:00

Class 1A North-South Challenge
Brantley vs. Decatur Heritage at Ragland, 9 a.m.
Sweetwater vs. Athens Bible at Ashville, 9 a.m.
Brantley vs. Athens Bible at Ragland, 11:30 a.m.
Sweetwater vs. Hackleburg at Ashville, 11:30 a.m.
Decatur Heritage at Ragland, 1:30 p.m.

SOFTBALL: PV takes two

CULLMAN – The Pleasant Valley softball team had the bats going Friday night as it clubbed Fairview 18-1 and Good Hope 9-3 in its first games of the Wallace State Tournament.

The Lady Raiders pounded 17 hits in the Fairview game. Bailey Harris drove in five runs with a pair of singles and a bases-loaded HBP, while Savannah Williams, Mac Parris and Rylee Haynes had three hits apiece.

They ripped 15 hits in the Good Hope game, but actually had to come from behind to win. They trailed 3-1 after two innings and tied it on Ava Boozer’s two-run single in the third, then took control with a six-run fourth on a pair of three-run homers from cousins Savannah and Cortney Williams.

Parris had three more hits to complete a 6-for-6 day. Lindsey Pritchett, Julianna Ballew, Harris and Haynes each had two hits. Altogether, the Lady Raiders were 32-of-53 (.604) in the two games with 27 runs and 24 RBIs.

Leah Patterson gave up two hits and an unearned run in the Fairview game and Olivia Jones won the second game.

The Lady Raiders start their day Saturday against Cold Springs at 10:45 a.m.

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