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Tharptown wins county softball championship

The Tharptown Wildcats broke through a tie game in the fifth inning to run away with the Franklin County Championship 9-3.

The Thaptown girls had struggled coming into the tournament with a 10-9 record, but the Wildcats went through the tournament unbeaten, taking down Phil Campbell 6-2, Belgreen 3-2 and Red Bay twice, 5-0 and 9-3.

“I won’t lie; I was nervous,” said Tharptown coach Susie Tverberg. “We hadn’t been playing well, and I tried to use our earlier losses to encourage the girls to grow in the mindset that failure is not a permanent thing, and if they will keep trying we will be alright.

“Winning the county tournament means so much to me because my players got to experience this and reap the rewards from playing with true grit, perseverance and passion. That is an awesome feeling.”

Tharptown broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring three runs to take a 5-2 lead. The Wildcats added four more runs in the bottom of the sixth to extend their lead to 9-3 and put the game away.

Tharptown piled up 13 hits and took advantage of seven Red Bay fielding errors.

Olivia Ergle and Taylor Cameron combined for a solid outing in the circle. Ergle pitched four innings, giving up four hits and one earned run and striking out three. Cameron closed out the final three innings, allowing two hits and no earned runs, striking out five.

The duo also did it at the plate, too. Ergle had two hits and two RBIs and scored two runs. Cameron had a double and scored a run.

Shaylee Wieting had three hits, including a triple, an RBI and two runs. Brooke Daily had three hits, an RBI and a run. Leslie Staggs had a double and scored two runs.

Red Bay 3, Belgreen 2

With the game tied 2-2, Red Bay’s Chloe Knoblock scored on a sacrifice fly by Georgia Inman to put the Tigers on top for good and eliminate the Belgreen Bulldogs 3-2.

Red Bay’s Lila Blackburn and Belgreen’s Emma Dempsey were locked in a pitcher’s battle for much of the game. Blackburn got the win, giving up four hits and two earned runs, and she struck out six. Dempsey gave up five hits and two earned runs and struck out four.

Sarah Eaton and Knoblock both had doubles for the Tigers. Kaycee Wilson had a hit and two RBIs for Belgreen.

Tharptown 5, Red Bay 0

Catie Dawson had three hits and two RBIs and scored a run to lead Tharptown past Red Bay 5-0. The win kept the Wildcats in the winner’s bracket and sent the Tigers to the elimination bracket.

Olivia Ergle pitched a one-hit shutout and struck out five batters.

Belgreen 3, Phil Campbell 0

Emma Dempsey pitched a four-hit shutout to eliminate the Phil Campbell Bobcats from the Franklin County Tournament. Belgreen scored all three of runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Camie Terrell had two hits and an RBI and scored a run. Terrell, Katie Dempsey and Kaycee Wilson all scored runs; Wilson had a triple and Terrell a double.

Belgreen 15, Vina 0

Katie and Emma Dempsey scored three runs each to lead the Belgreen Bulldogs past the Vina Red Devils 15-0. The loss eliminated the Red Devils from tournament competition. Kaycee Wilson and Jaelyn Johnson had two RBIs each, while Sydney Borden pitched a one-hit shutout.

Tharptown 3, Belgreen 2

Tharptown broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the sixth inning, scoring two runs to send the Belgreen Bulldogs to the elimination bracket. Tharptown only managed to get three hits but took advantage of three errors by the Bulldogs.

Taylor Cameron had two of Tharptown’s three hits. Cathie Dawson and Shaylee Wieting scored the Wildcats’ two sixth-inning runs.

Tharptown 6, Phil Campbell 2

Olivia Darracott hit a two-run homerun to spark a five-run first inning for the Tharptown Wildcats and lead them past the Phil Campbell Bobcats 6-2. Wieting scored two runs for the Wildcats.

Red Bay 12, Vina 0

Chloe Knoblock pitched a no-hitter with eight strikeouts to lead Red Bay past Vina 12-0 in the opening game of the Franklin County Tournament. Annalise Rogers, Emmie Scott and Lila Blackburn all scored two runs each. Blackburn also had two RBIs.