Softball area tournament action begins
Class 1A, Area 11 (Belgreen, Vina, Hackleburg, Phillips)
The Belgreen Bulldogs showed they will be a team to be reckoned with on the road to Montgomery. Belgreen breezed through the area tournament like it was practice games, outscoring opponents 43-0. Pitcher Emma Dempsey gave up two hits in three games and struck out 31 batters.
Belgreen 13, Phillips 0
The Belgreen Bulldogs waxed the Phillips Bears 13-0 to win the Class 1A, Area 11 championship Tuesday night. Belgreen amassed 15 hits in the game.
Emma Dempsey was almost untouchable in the circle, striking out 11 batters and giving up two hits. Dempsey also did it at the plate, hitting a homerun and double.
Five other extra base hits in the game came from Camie Terrell, Gracie Dempsey, Katie Dempsey and Kaycee Wilson, who all doubled. Katie Dempsey also tripled.
Belgreen 15, Hackleburg 0
The Bulldogs bulldozed another area opponent on the way to the area title, blowing out the Hackleburg Panthers 15-0.
Emma Dempsey was sharp once again, as she pitched another no-hitter while mowing down 11 Panther batters. She issued one walk.
Terrell led Belgreen at the plate with three doubles, three RBIs and three runs. Sydney Borden had a three-run triple. Katie Dempsey went 4-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Kaycee Wilson had three hits, and an RBI and scored two runs.
Belgreen 15, Vina 0
No one could touch Emma Dempsey, as she threw a perfect game against the Vina Red Devils in the opening round of the area tournament. She allowed no hits, no walks and no runs, while striking out nine Red Devil batters, and also helped herself at the plate, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs.
Terrell went 3-for-3 with an RBI and scored three times. Borden had a hit and two RBIs and scored two runs.
Belgreen is the favorite to win this area.
Class 2A, Area 15 (Red Bay, Tharptown, Colbert County, Sheffield)
From the very beginning it was obvious the Class 2A, Area 15 title was going to go to either the Tharptown Wildcats or the Red Bay Tigers. Neither Sheffield nor Colbert County ever put up much of a fight.
Both the Wildcats and Tigers had played each other several times on the year – basically splitting the games.
Tharptown beat Red Bay in their first meetup in the area tournament, sending the Tigers to the elimination bracket, where they easily rose back up to face the Wildcats again.
This time the Lady Tigers would have to beat Tharptown two straight times to win the area championship – and that’s what they did. Red Bay beat Tharptown 7-4 in the first championship game, setting up a decisive third game for all the marbles. After several lead changes, Red Bay won the area championship on a walk-off sacrifice fly by Annaliese Rogers.
Red Bay 8, Tharptown 7
Rogers’ sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning scored M Wicker for a walk-off 8-7 win, giving the Red Bay Tigers the Class 2A, Area 15 title.
The area tournament was almost destined to be a three-game series between the Tigers and Wildcats, and it ended in dramatic fashion.
Trailing 7-6 going into their final at bat, Red Bay’s Wicker reached on an error and scored Emma McCollister to tie the game at 7-7.
Red Bay led Tharptown 4-0 through three innings, but the Wildcats tied the game with four runs in the top of the fourth inning. Red Bay reclaimed the lead in the bottom half of the inning, 5-4. Tharptown took the lead in the top of the sixth inning, scoring three runs to take a 7-5 lead. Red Bay scored one in the bottom half of the sixth to make it 7-6 before the seventh inning heroics.
Lila Blackburn and McCollister both homered in the game. Blackburn had three hits and three RBIs and scored twice.
Shaylee Weiting led the Wildcats at the plate with three hits, two of which were triples, four RBIs and a run.
Red Bay 7, Tharptown 4
Red Bay breezed through the elimination bracket to get to the championship game to face Tharptown again.
If the Tigers were to win the championship, they would have to beat the Wildcats twice. Red Bay bested Tharptown in the second meeting 7-4, forcing a decisive final game for the championship.
Tharptown led 2-0 after two and a half innings, but Red Bay scored four runs in the bottom of the third to take a 4-2 lead. Tharptown tied the game up with a run in the fourth and a run in the fifth, but the Tigers reclaimed the lead for good with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Blackburn led the Tigers at the plate with two hits, including a home run, four RBIs and two runs scored.
Blackburn also led on the rubber too, pitching a complete game and striking out seven batters.
Tharptown 5, Red Bay 2
The Tharptown Wildcats broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the fifth inning with three runs to edge out the Red Bay Tigers 5-2. The win sent the Wildcats to the championship game.
Tharptown was able to take advantage of five errors by the Tigers.
The lone senior for Tharptown, Catie Dawson, led the way at the plate with three hits, including two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Weiting had two hits and scored two runs. Brooke Daily had a double and scored a run.
Olivia Ergle pitched the complete game win for the Wildcats, striking out eight and allowing one earned run.
Red Bay 17, Sheffield 0
Red Bay’s Chloe Knoblock pitched a perfect game, allowing no hits, runs or walks as the Red Bay Tigers manhandled the Sheffield Bulldogs in the opening game of the area tournament 17-0.
Blackburn had a monster game at the plate with three hits, including a grand slam home run in the bottom of the first inning. Blackburn had six RBIs and scored three runs.
Annaliese Rogers scored three runs. Emmie Scott had two hits and two RBIs and scored three runs. Layla Bilstein had two hits and two RBIs and scored two runs. McCollister had two RBIs.
Tharptown 14, Colbert County 3
The Tharptown Wildcats were clicking on all cylinders at the plate Monday, winning big over the Colbert County Indians 14-3.
The game was tied 2-2 at the end of the first inning before the Wildcats exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 9-2 lead. Tharptown would add five more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Daily had three hits, including a triple and double, three RBIs and two runs to lead the way for Tharptown.
Dawson had three hits, including two doubles and two RBIs, and she scored two runs. Weiting had three hits and an RBI, and she scored three runs. Taylor Cameron knocked in three runners.
Olivia Ergle got the win, striking out five batters, allowing six hits and surrendering one run.
Class 3A, Area 14 (Phil Campbell, Colbert Heights, East Lawrence)
The Phil Campbell Bobcats were eliminated from post-season play Tuesday after back-to-back losses to the East Lawrence Eagles 12-3 and 7-5.
The Bobcats, however, didn’t go down without a fight. In game two, Phil Campbell led 4-3 after four innings, but East Lawrence responded with three runs in the top of the fifth inning that effectively put the game on ice.
Amber Ergle led the Bobcats from the bottom of the lineup, going 3-for-5 with a home run, a double and two RBIs.
Olivia Taylor, Cypress Quinn, Caymen Quinn and Kenner Scott all doubled.
The Phil Campbell girls lost their first game of the area tournament to the East Lawrence Eagles 12-3.