E.A. Sports Today

Hitting her stride

Gattis throws another gem to lead Alexandria softball over Moody for No. 1 seed out of East Central Regional; JCA splits on 1A opening day

The Alexandria softball team show off the Wonder Woman rally capes they started wearing in the regionals after beating Moody for the East Central Regional title.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

ALBERTVILLE – Brian Hess says pitcher Rylee Gattis was as dialed in as she’s ever been the last two days and that bodes well for the Alexandria softball team as it heads into the state tournament next week.

Gattis, a senior right-hander headed to Carson-Newman College, pitched her third gem of the East Central Regional Wednesday, spinning a two-hit shutout with eight strikeouts as the Lady Cubs beat Moody 3-0 to earn the No. 1 seed out of the regional.

They will play West Point, the North runner-up, in their Class 5A state tournament opener Wednesday at 10:45 a.m. at Choccolocco Park.

In 21 innings in three regional games, Gattis has given up three hits, no runs, one walk and struck out 38.

“That’s just something special,” Hess said. “She’s hit her stride. This is exactly what we want her doing at this point in time. She’s thrown well all year as her stats show, but she seemed to be more dialed in the last two days than I’ve ever seen her, and that only bodes well for us next week.”

The secret is simple, really. It’s coming down to the end of the line. 

“I’ve had kind of an epiphany,” Gattis said while munching on a Superman ice cream, which seemed quite apropos given the Wonder Women rally capes the Lady Cubs brought out for the regionals and wear in the dugout. “This is it for me.

“This is my senior year. Three of the four seniors are going to play college ball, but most importantly I’m not getting to go play with my sister (catcher Chloe) any more. I think that’s going to hurt me the most. I love the team and I’m going to be hurt from not playing with them any more, but definitely not playing with my sister will hurt me most.”

The Lady Devils never threatened Gattis. The Lady Cubs (42-10), meanwhile, broke a scoreless tie when Ashley Phillips poked a ball off the end of the bat just inside the third-base line to score two runs. They extended the lead in the sixth when Moody dropped a pop fly with two outs.

CLASS 5A at Choccolocco Park

Wednesday’s games
Alexandria vs. West Point, 10:45 a.m.
Elmore County vs. Rehobeth, 10:45 a.m.
Satsuma vs. Brewbaker Tech, 10:45 a.m.
Hayden vs. Moody, 10:45 a.m.
Winners play at 2:15 p.m.
Losers play at 2:15 p.m.
Winners bracket final, 5:30 p.m.
Losers bracket semifinals, 5:30 p.m.

JCA 6, Wadley 1: Ella Kines got the offense started with an inside-the-park home run and Krymson Clay pitched a complete-game three-hitter as the Lady Thunder staved off elimination in the 1A East Central Regional.

Kines went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Hannah Clayton had two hits and two RBIs, Erin Prater went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Rebekah Carter drove in a run.

The Lady Thunder lost their tournament opener to Cedar Bluff, 15-0.

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