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Tharptown sweeps county tournament

BELGREEN — The spring athletic programs at Tharptown High School have pulled off one of the top possible feats as far as local baseball and softball seasons go.

The Wildcats varsity baseball team and Lady Wildcats varsity softball team swept the 2013 Franklin County Tournament hosted by Belgreen.

The Wildcats defeated Vina 6-5 in a wild and close finish, and the Lady Wildcats overcame a small deficit late to defeat the Phil Campbell Lady Bobcats 11-2.

“I think it’s awesome,” Lady Wildcats head coach Susie Sellers said.

“This is a big accomplishment for no longer than Tharptown has had a high school. To do it in this short a time makes me excited for both programs, because I know how hard the baseball team works also. It’s nice to see the teams get rewarded for their hard work and extra effort.”

One does not have to look very far back in time to find the last time a school swept the county tournaments in baseball and softball, as Phil Campbell accomplished the feat just last year.

In fact the sweep has been the norm over the past few tournaments in various sports, as the 2012 baseball and softball county tourneys, 2013 basketball tourney and now 2013 bseball and softball tourneys all resulted in sweeps.

Red Bay swept in the last county basketball tournament, winning the junior varsity boys, varsity girls and varsity boys divisions.

Both teams from Tharptown made the playoffs last season.

The Wildcats varsity baseball team was put out in a three-game series in the first round, but the Lady Wildcats softball team went on to place second at the regional tournament in Huntsville and  get the school’s first-ever state berth in softball or any sport.

The Lady Wildcats did not have as much success at state in Montgomery, but the team did win its first game at that level against the South Lamar Lady Stallions.

Playing at both levels of the state playoffs previously will help teams down the road, and getting experience playing in local and county tournaments may also help with the preparations for the postseason.

“I believe that it will help our confidence, getting those wins,” Sellers said.

“The county tournament gives us more practice for the tournaments [playoffs] at the end of the season.

“Those kinds of tournaments are difficult if you don’t play in a lot of them throughout the year because, when you get in tournament situations at the end of the year, the girls tire easily or don’t have the stamina to last through it.

“The Franklin County Tournament always helps.”

Baseball playoffs begin this Friday and softball playoffs start off next Friday.