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JHS, CCHS unscathed after 1st day

The Jemison Panthers and the Chilton County High School Tigers are the teams to beat in the county softball tournament. Jemison defeated both Maplesville and Isabella on Friday night, 8-3 and 4-1, respectively, while the Tigers trampled Thorsby, 16-1.

Also, the Thorsby Rebels beat the Verbena Red Devils 3-1 prior to their match-up with CCHS.

Perhaps the real surprise was Jemison, who came into the tournament with a record of 1-12. Coach Leighsa Robinson pointed out that several of those losses were close, and a key point in tournament play was consistency.

“I think it’s taken every person in our lineup and our dugout to achieve this,” Robinson said. “Everyone’s got a role to play, and right now, they’re doing what’s asked of them. They are playing consistently, and they are playing as a team.”

In game one, Jemison seniors Codi Mims and Tabatha Cork hit home runs in the first and second innings versus Maplesville.

A Jemison double play in the fourth inning is an example of the kind of team play Robinson talked about.

“When our defense plays well, we play well,” she said.

In the sixth inning of game two, Verbena’s Ashlie Shiers knocked a homer to left-center, and Chanin Hancock struck out six Thorsby batters.

Ashlin Hilyer, Kelly Nord and Lindsay Pease each had RBI for Thorsby, and Pease struck out 10 batters.

In game three, Isabella’s pitching held the Jemison Panthers in check for most of the game. Kristen Adams knocked in Isabella’s Ann Murray for their only run.

The Panthers were quick around the bases from the first inning. Shelby Lopez and Tanya Liveoak both scored on stolen bases, and Dallis Vanderslice sent home two runs on a single.

Tiffany Guin, who pitched a combined 12 innings Friday night, threw eight strikeouts versus Isabella.

In the final game of the night, CCHS’s Mary Katherine Graham hit two home runs in the second inning, tying the state record for the number of homers by the same player in a single inning, according to CCHS coach Krisi Parrish.

Shortstop Rachel Johnston also went yard in the second inning. Johnston also tied the state record in a game last year.

CCHS pitcher Kadie Coker had a perfect game going until the third inning, but Thorsby’s Sharonda Cooper reached base on a hit and scored on an error.

Tournament play continues Saturday with Verbena versus Isabella at 9 a.m., Maplesville and Thorsby at 10:30, and Jemison and CCHS at noon. The remaining games will depend on the winners. The championship game will be played at 4:30 p.m., or 6 p.m., if necessary.

All games will be played in Jemison.