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Red Bay falls in Class 2A regionals

The Red Bay Tigers’ softball season came to a close this past week in the Class 2A North Region softball tournament in Florence.

Red Bay opened the tournament with a come-from-behind win over Sulligent. Trailing 2-1, the Tigers rallied for five runs in the fifth inning to beat the Blue Devils 7-3.

Initially, Sulligent took a quick 2-0 lead over Red Bay in the first inning. The game was locked in a pitching duel through the fourth inning, with Chloe Knoblock setting down eight of the next 10 Blue Devils. Red Bay scored one in the bottom of the fourth when Emma McCollister crossed the plate, cutting Sulligent’s lead to 2-1.

The Tigers blew the game open in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring five runs and taking a 6-2 lead. Emma Blackburn got things started with a two-run homer to left field, scoring Julianna Eaton to give Red Bay the lead 3-2.

The Tigers added three more in the inning when Annaliese Rogers scored on an error and Sarah Eaton doubled in McCollister. Red Bay added an insurance run in the sixth inning when Blackburn singled in Ava Oswalt.

Knoblock pitched the complete game, allowing five hits, one earned run and a walk, and she struck out seven.

The Tigers fell behind quickly to Mars Hill 6-0 in the first inning and could never get anything going, losing in a rout 12-0 and falling to the elimination bracket. Red Bay managed one hit in the game, by Ava Oswalt.

Facing elimination, Red Bay met area rival Colbert County. The Tigers jumped on the Indians from the start, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning. An Eaton double scored Knoblock and McCollister to take a 2-0 lead. Lana Bell doubled in Kyla Blackburn for Red Bay’s final run of the game.

Knoblock pitched a great game, holding off the Indians for six innings, limiting them to two runs – one in the second and one in the fifth. Colbert County broke the game open in the final inning, scoring four runs to take the 6-3 lead.

Knoblock went the complete game, allowing nine hits, three earned runs and no walks and striking out nine.

Red Bay ended the season with an 18-11 record.

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