Rebels win county softball championship

Published 8:58 am Tuesday, March 19, 2013

All smiles: Thorsby won the Chilton County Softball Tournament, which was hosted by Verbena last week. The Rebels went 4-0 in tournament play.

Despite what seemed to be improbable odds the Thorsby Rebels captured the 2013 Chilton County Softball Tournament championship in dominating fashion.

A team made up of few seniors, with a first-year coach, and being one of the smaller programs in the county, Thorsby took down Maplesville, 4-0, in the final on Saturday, going undefeated through tournament play.

“We came out to win, and we did,” said coach Christie Eyer. “It proves they can go even further in our area.”

The Rebels defeated Isabella, 9-3, on March 14, and Chilton County, 6-2, on March 15; then on Saturday beat Chilton County in the semifinals, 4-1, never trailing in the game.

Maplesville, after beating host Verbena, 24-7, on March 14, needed a late scoring spurt to push their semifinal against Jemison into extra innings after trailing the entire game. Once in extras, the Red Devils used an Alexus Goggins RBI single to score the winning run to advance.

Jemison defeated Verbena, 10-3, on March 14, and Maplesville, 8-6, on March 15.

In the finals, Maplesville struggled to get any offense going, being no-hit through the first three innings.

Thorsby used small-ball strategy from the first pitch, as Lilly Barnett laid down a bunt single to open the game, and Taylor McManus followed suit. Both runners were moved along, but only Barnett made her way home to make the score 1-0 after one inning of play.

Runs were at a premium as both McManus and Maplesville’s Autumn Smith engaged in a pitcher’s duel, with neither giving an inch.

Maplesville looked to be in position to tie the game in the fourth, when Alexis Nix, pinch-running for Smith, was caught trying to take home on what appeared to be a throw down to second base from Thorsby’s Braiden Gottier.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Rebels then turned a Kaley Perdue double into a run, following a Kelly Nord double, making it 2-0.

Thorsby tacked on two more runs in the sixth, as Nord was knocked in by a Barnett triple.

THS rode the arm of McManus, who pitched all four games and recorded eight strikeouts in the championship game alone.

“I believed we could do it,” McManus said, but added that the Rebels won’t be satisfied with the county title. “I think we can always strive to do better.”

Thorsby’s McManus, Barnett and Gottier were named to the all-tournament team, as was Jemison’s Shelby Griffin.