E.A. Sports Today

Oxford advancing

Lady Jackets win area opener without McKibbin to secure a spot in softball regionals; White Plains also claims crown

Area 8 at Woodland Park
April 30
Game 1: Talladega Co. Central 15, Winterboro 5
Game 2: Faith Christian 17, Wadley 14
Game 3: Winterboro 14, Wadley 10
Game 4: Faith Christian 21, Talladega Co. Central 11
Game 5: Talladega Co. Central 12, Winterboro 10
May 1
Game 6: Faith Christian vs. Talladega Co. Central, 1 p.m.
Game 7: if necessary, 3 p.m.

Area 10 at Appalachian
April 29
Game 1: Appalachian vs. JCA, 2 p.m.
Game 2: Coosa Christian 10, Ragland 9
Game 3: Ragland 15, JCA 10
Game 4: Appalachian vs. Coosa Christian, 4 p.m.
April 30
Game 5: Coosa Christian 5, Ragland 4
Game 6: Appalachian 15, Coosa Christian 0
Area 9 at Ranburne
April 30
Game 1: Woodland 10, Ohatchee 5
Game 2: Ranburne 6, Woodland 5
Game 3: Ohatchee 10, Woodland 0
May 2
Game 4: Ranburne vs. Ohatchee, 4 p.m.
Game 5: if necessary, 6 p.m.

Area 11 at Pleasant Valley
April 29
Game 1: Weaver 9, Saks 8
Game 2: Piedmont 3, Wellborn 2
Game 3: Pleasant Valley 13, Weaver 3
April 30
Game 4: Wellborn 13, Saks 3
Game 5: Pleasant Valley 14, Piedmont 3
Game 6: Wellborn 13, Weaver 3
May 2
Game 7: Piedmont vs. Wellborn, 4 p.m.
Game 8: Pleasant Valley vs. Piedmont-Wellborn winner, 6 p.m.
Game 9: if necessary, 8 p.m.

Area 9 at Lincoln
April 30
Game 1: Lincoln 10, Talladega 0
Game 2: Cleburne County 1, Handley 0
Game 3: Handley 12, Talladega 0
May 2
Game 4: Lincoln vs. Cleburne County, 5 p.m.
Game 5: Lincoln-Cleburne County loser vs. Handley, 7 p.m.
May 3
Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 5 p.m.
Game 7: if necessary, 7 p.m.

Area 10 at White Plains
April 29
Game 1: White Plains 6, Jacksonville 0
Game 2: Cherokee County 4, Hokes Bluff 0
Game 3: Hokes Bluff 9, Jacksonville 5
April 30
Game 4: White Plains 3, Cherokee County 2
Game 5: Hokes Bluff 4, Cherokee County 2
Game 6: White Plains 6, Hokes Bluff 6
Area 7 at Sylacauga
April 30
Game 1: Clay Central 11, Munford 1
Game 2: Clay Central 5, Sylacauga 3
May 1
Game 3: Munford vs. Sylacauga, 5 p.m.
Game 4: Clay Central vs. Munford-Sylacauga winner, 7:30 p.m.
May 2
Game 5: if necessary, 5 p.m.
Area 12 at Alexandria
April 30
Game 1: Southside 4, Etowah 3
Game 2: Alexandria 10, Southside 0
May 2
Game 3: Etowah vs. Southside, 4 p.m.
Game 4: Alexandria vs. Etowah-Southside winner, 6 p.m.
Game 5: if necessary, 8 p.m.
Area 13 at Oxford
April 30
Game 1: Fort Payne 2, Albertville 1
Game 2: Oxford 7, Fort Payne 4
May 2
Game 3: Albertville vs. Fort Payne, 4:30 p.m.
Game 4: Oxford vs. Winner Game 3, 6 p.m. (7:30 p.m., if necessary)

 By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today
OXFORD – The Oxford softball team played without its coach the Class 6A Area 13 Tournament Tuesday night, but the Lady Jackets picked up a 7-4 win over Fort Payne to earn a spot in next week’s regionals.
Head coach Wendy McKibbin’s mother passed away this week and she is in Kansas. Assistant coach Wayne Yates is handling the team in her absence.
Fort Payne meets Albertville on Thursday in a win-or-go-home game to determine the other team advancing to the regionals. The winner of that game will have to beat Oxford twice to be the area champions.
It was a perfect exhibition of small ball as the Lady Jackets battled back after Fort Payne’s Hannah Buffington shocked them with a two-run homer in the top of the first inning.
The Jackets scored runs on ground outs in the first three innings as they got runners on base, moved them around, got them in scoring position with one out and got the runners home. T.K. Garrett, Dee Wilson and Bailey Clark did the job on ground outs and helped the Jackets get the 3-2 lead going into the fourth inning.
“Our kids just did a fantastic job playing small,” Yates said. “There was great execution and that is what helps you win ballgames, getting runners around the bases.”
Catcher Sara Howell played long ball, hitting two long home runs in the fifth and sixth inning. In both innings Emily Thrasher followed with doubles into the right-centerfield gap, was sacrificed to third and brought home by Clark.
Thrasher went 3-for-4 and scored three runs, as did Howell, recently named a state all-star to the North-South games.
“Sara is just a super athlete and a great hitter,” Yates said. “She always hits the ball hard and she was just awesome tonight.”
Thrasher, fighting through a bout of strep throat, also was the winning pitcher as she went the distance striking out four. She gave up two runs in the first inning and two in the seventh, but was magnificent in between as she baffled the Wildcats with a myriad of off-speed pitches.
“Emily did a super job for us,” Yates said. “She battled and battled and also had some big hits for us.”
Fort Payne 2, Albertville 1: The Wildcats got out of a bizarre fifth inning in which Albertville got four singles and one hit batsman and scored no runs. A single up the middle with the bases loaded that scored a run ended up being runner interference on a collision with the shortstop. The tying run was sent back to third, the next Aggie batter lined out and the inning was over.
“Sometimes you’ve just gotta win games like that,” Wildcats coach Nicholas Owens said. “Maybe that was a good omen for us.”
Fort Payne       200 000 2 – 4 6 2
Oxford            111 022 x – 7 12 1
WP: Thrasher. LP: Barksdale. 2B: Barksdale (FP), Thrasher 2 (O), Howell (O). HR: Buffington (FP), Howell 2 (O).
Fort Payne       001 010 0 – 2 7 0
Albertville       100 000 0 – 1 9 1
WP: Barksdale. LP: Dickerson. 2B: Wood (A).

CLASS 1A AREA 8: Faith Christian earned its first trip to the regionals in recent memory with a pair of high-scoring wins over Wadley (17-14) and Talladega County Central (21-11). The Lady Lions play TCC for the area championship Wednesday, 1 p.m., at Woodland Park.
Madi Snow went 4-for-4 with six RBIs in the TCC game and 6-for-7 with seven RBIs in the two games. Paityn Boyd also was 4-for-4 and Sarah Christjohn drove in three runs. Elizabeth Bedford, Anna Kerri and Riley Doyle all had three RBIs in the Wadley game.
CLASS 2A AREA 9: Ohatchee reached the championship series when it avenged a first-round loss with a 10-0 shutout of Woodland. Regan Snow hit three homers. The Lady Indians are locked into the regionals, but must beat Ranburne twice for the area championship.
CLASS 3A AREA 11: Pleasant Valley advanced to the championship game with a 14-3 victory over Piedmont. The Lady Raiders (27-9) have scored 27 runs in their two tournament games. They had 27 hits Tuesday, with every starter having at least two. The heart of their order was a combined 11-of-15 seven RBIs. Cortney Williams was 4-for-5 with three RBIs and Bailey Harris was 4-for-5 with two RBIs. 

CLASS 4A AREA 9: Kaylee Harris raced home on a passed ball in the bottom of the seventh to give Cleburne County a 1-0 win over Handley. Jacy Boozer pitched a two-hit shutout and struck out 12. The Lady Tigers play Lincoln next. All three winners on the first day won by shutout.
CLASS 5A AREA 12: Alexandria reached the championship series when it run-ruled Southside 10-0 in six innings. Lanie Dreyer pitched a five-hit shutout and Abby Bowers’ bases-loaded sacrifice fly brought in the game-ending run. Logan Irwin had three RBIs in the game.

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