CCHS softball team reclaims county championshipBy Staff Reports Published 10:13am Monday, March 24, 2014
By Brandon Sumrall | Special to the Advertiser
As “We Are The Champions” played over the loud speakers, hugs were exchanged and even a few tears shed as Chilton County High School brought home the 2014 Chilton County Softball Tournament championship on March 21 with a 7-1 win over Isabella.
Day 2 of the tournament saw both sets of the county’s Red Devils ousted with Maplesville falling to Jemison, 15-5, and Verbena falling to Thorsby, 12-1.
The third game was a preview of the night’s championship matchup with CCHS and Isabella facing off in a play-in game that Chilton won, 7-3.
Game 4 on the day was another elimination game. Jemison showed Thorsby its way out of competition via an 8-5 win for the Panthers.
With both teams having one loss each, Game 5 became not only a play in game for the right to take on the Tigers in the championship game, but also an elimination game as the loser would have to settle for third place.
An 8-2 Isabella victory over JHS set up a rematch in the championship game against the Tigers.
The Tigers struck first in the top of the first inning when Holly Watts drove in two runs with a stand-up double to right-center field, scoring Kelsey Headley and Gabriel Kelley.
A scoreless bottom half of the inning for Isabella gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead after one inning of play.
Two more runs for the Tigers in the top of the second inning came on a Headley single that scored Keona DeJarnett, and a Watts single to left-center that scored Headley.
A three-up and three-down inning by pitcher Kristen Binion and the Tigers defense ensured their four-run lead after two innings of play.
The Tigers added one more run in the top of the fourth inning when Headley scored her third run of the game on a passed ball at home plate to make the Tigers’ lead five runs.
The Mustangs got on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the sixth inning when a Sophia Underwood infield single scored Briana Tyler.
Kristina Caton scored on a Kayle Headley triple to right-center field, and Headley later scored on a Taylor Smitherman infield single to bring the Tigers’ tally to seven.
The Mustangs threatened in the bottom of the seventh with two on and one out, but a ground ball to Tigers shortstop Gabriel Kelley turned into a 6-4-3 double play to clinch the tournament championship for the Tigers.
“The seniors only had one thing on their mind coming into this tournament: that was to get back the title of county champions,” said Watts, a senior. “That was all that mattered to us.”
Headley led the Tigers at the plate by going a perfect 4-for-4 with four singles and an RBI.
Binion pitched a complete game for the Tigers, allowing one earned run on eight hits and two walks. She struck out four IHS batters.
Caley Booth pitched five innings for the Mustangs and allowed 11 hits, one walk and three earned runs.
Jayda Jones led the Mustangs at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance.
“Leaving the county tournament as county champs with the group of seniors that we have was amazing,” said Caton, a junior. “We have all grown up playing together, and it shows with our attitude and teamwork to win games like this.
The first day of the tournament, on March 20, started at 2 p.m. with Jemison taking on Verbena, with the Panthers picking up a 14-4 win that kept them on the winners’ side of the bracket, while the Red Devils dropped to the losers’ bracket.
The host Chilton County Tigers took the field for Game 2 of the day to take on the Maplesville Red Devils and cruised to a 19-1 win.