Red Bay wins third straight area title

The Red Bay Lady Tigers, 17-9, have won their third straight area title in dramatic fashion for the third straight time. Lana Bell doubled to lift the Tigers to a 7-5 win over the Colbert County Indians.

Red Bay will play Sulligent in the Class 3A North Regional Tournament in Florence May 12 at 10:45 a.m. The tournament is double elimination. The Tigers will play the winner/loser of the Mars Hill/Falkville game later in the day.

It’s the third straight year the Tigers have won the area tournament on a walkoff. The Tigers’ dramatic way of winning is entertaining to those watching – but not to their coach.

“I asked them why they can’t make it a little less stressful,” joked Red Bay Coach Shane Nichols. “We are very proud of the girls. They love to play the game, and I love watching them play and being their coach.”

Colbert County scored first in the final game with a two-RBI double in the top of the second inning, giving the Indians a 2-0 lead.

Red Bay responded in the bottom half of the inning to tie and take the lead.

A single off the bat of Hannah Butler scored Audrey Ehler. Ava Oswalt scored on a dropped third strike to tie the game 2-2.

Chloe Knobock broke the tie when she roped a double into the outfield, scoring Butler and Annaliese Rogers, giving the Tigers a 4-2 lead.

Colbert County reclaimed the lead on a two-run home run in the top of the fourth inning to take a 5-4 lead.

A solo homer by Sarah Eaton tied the game in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The dramatics occurred in extra innings in the bottom of the eighth. Emma McCollister reached base on a double and Eaton on an intentional walk. Then, with two on and no outs, Bell’s double won the game for the Tigers.

Britley Hardin started the game for Red Bay. She pitched two innings, allowing two hits and two runs. She walked two and struck out two.

Knoblock relieved Hardin and closed out the remaining six innings, allowing three hits, no earned runs and no walks, and she struck out three.

Red Bay reached the finals with a 4-2 win over the Tharptown Wildcats.

In the game, Rogers had two hits and scored two runs. Emma Blackburn had two hits. The Tigers got RBI-singles from McCollister, Eaton and Bell.

Knoblock pitched a complete game, allowing three hits, no earned runs and two walks and striking out 10.

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