Area softball teams looking to advance to regionals
by LAVONTE YOUNG
Many area softball teams will take the field in area tournament play today with hopes of advancing to the Regional Tournament on the weekend of May 10-11.

The Childersburg Lady Tigers are the third seed in the Class 4A Area tournament at Holtville.

Hillary Downs and the Lady Tigers are looking past their first round opponent in Elmore County, but their goal coming into today’s tournament is to knock off Holtville. The Lady Tigers dropped a pair of games to Holtville, 10-0 and 12-2 on April 24.

“When we played Holtville at home I was really hoping for momentum or something, because we have been struggling the past couple of weeks,” Downs said. “We had a good week of practice and we have really worked them hard. So we will see tomorrow at 3 p.m. We needed up being the three seed instead of the two seed. It went down to all the other 4A teams that we have played on our schedule. We had played six and only loss one. Elmore County played one and won one. I hate that ended up that way, but that’s how we became the three seed instead of the two. We have beaten every team in our area except for Holtville. We are going in gunning for Holtville, but if we don’t and get the two (runners up) we will still move on.”

Downs said her team has had a good week of preparation and she believes that they are ready to play.

“Monday was definitely a different focus,” Downs said. “Tuesday was a hitting day, so it was more of a fun day. Today, you could tell the girls were anxious and that they are ready for tomorrow to be here. I think we are ready.”

Getting timely hits, fielding the ball cleanly and making plays on defense are going to vital if the Lady Tigers are going to win the area crown.

“We have to eliminate errors and we have to put the ball in play,” Downs said. “We have to hit the ball.

The Lincoln Lady Golden Bears went 1-1 to open up Class 4A Area 7 tournament play on Tuesday at Cleburne County.

The Lady Golden Bears defeated rival Munford 10-7,but they fell to Cleburne County, 4-0.

The Lady Golden Bears will take on the winner between Munford/Anniston at 3 p.m. With the win Lincoln will advance to the championship game against Cleburne County. With a loss, the Lady Golden Bears will be eliminated from the area tournament.

“The key to winning area is to get hits when people are on bases and to have a strong defense,” Lincoln head coach Jessica Dorough said. “I feel my girls fought hard during both ball games on Tuesday.”

Munford also went 1-1 on Tuesday in the Class 1A Area 7 tournament. Last season, they struggled during the regular season, but they were able to get a couple wins in the area tournament to advance to the regional tournament. Second year head coach Darrell Smith said the Lady Lions will have to make plays in the field and continue to get big hits from Blakely Harrell and Brittany Gaither.

“We are ready to try and have a big day tomorrow,” Smith said. “We’ve struggled here lately the last few weeks. We’ve just got to put it all together and play a complete game. I tell our girls over and over that if you make the simple plays they give you and then make one or two great plays a game it puts you in a good position to get a win. Brittany Gaither continues to lead us by batting around .400 and making plays in the field. Brittany has had her struggles at times but has came through big for us in several games this year at the plate. Blakely Harrell is also been one of our most consistent batters. She has a .385 batting average.”

In order for the Lady Lions to do that again, they will have to get past the Anniston Lady Bulldogs and defeat Munford.

“We have to fight our way through the losers bracket for a chance to make the regional,” Smith said. “Anniston is a team that has improved all year and we will have to play good ball to advance. They are very capable of beating us. Coach Meager has done a good job with them. If we can pull out a win against Anniston we would get a shot to play Lincoln again to determine who goes to Tuscaloosa. We’ve had a few good games against Lincoln this year, but we haven’t been able to put a full seven-inning game together against them. I think our girls are ready, and I feel they will do what it takes to go out and compete tomorrow. I told the girls not many times in life do you get a shot to redeem yourself but we are in a position where we control our own destiny to the playoffs. We just got to enjoy this opportunity that God has given us, and play the game and see what happens.”

The Pell City Lady Panthers take on Clay Chalkville in the Class 6A Area 13 tournament at Oxford High School.

The third seed Lady Panthers went 0-2 against second seed Clay Chalkville. Pell City lost the first contest by a run 4-3. The Lady Cougars had their way in the second game as they defeated the Lady Panthers 12-4.

If Pell City wins they will take on the winner of the Oxford-Gadsden City game on Friday at 3:30 p.m. If they lose against Clay Chalkville, they will play tonight at 6:30 against the loser between Gadsden City/Oxford.

B.B.Comer takes on either top seed Trinity Presbyterian or Throsby. The Lady Tigers were tied with Coosa Central, but a tiebreaker was not available to the Daily Home press time.

© 2013