Panthers pounce on Rebels in softball matchup
A battle of county rivals on Tuesday saw the Jemison Panthers and Thorsby Rebels softball squads battle frigid temperatures as well as each other, with the Panthers taking a 9-1 road win over neighboring Thorsby in both schools’ first contest in the 2015 season.
The Panthers opened up a 1-0 lead early in the contest, breaking the game wide open with a four-run top of the third.
Laura Vinzant crossed the plate to start the run, with Madison Moore coming across on a single by Sara Epperson to extend the lead to 3-0.
A fielder’s choice by Hannah Corbin brought in Jessica Paschal, and a single by Destiny Bailey knocked in Epperson to put the Panthers ahead, 5-0.
A bunt by Dara Harris brought in Bailey before a flyout and popout ended the half inning with Jemison ahead, 6-1.
Thorsby’s offense appeared to be poised for an answer, as Lydia Nunn worked a walk from Corbin to reach base.
A fielder’s choice by Ashlyn Chancellor saw Nunn put out at second, but a well-hit ball by Taylor McManus that dropped in toward the right field corner for a double moved Chancellor and McManus into scoring position.
Chancellor scored on a ball in the dirt, with McManus moving to third, but an ensuing strikeout and groundout ended the rally with Thorsby still trailing, 6-1.
Paschal led of the top of the fourth with a bunt before stealing second base, with Epperson reaching on a single.
An RBI double by Corbin brought in Paschal, giving the Panthers a 7-1 lead.
A single by Bailey scored Epperson, and Corbin later scored to give the Panthers a 9-1 advantage through three and a half frames.
From there, the two teams squared off in a bit of a pitcher’s duel for the next few frames.
Two strikeouts and a groundout saw the Rebels go three-up, three-down, with Thorsby pitcher McManus allowing just one Panther to reach base in the top of the fifth, while Corbin turned in another three-up, three-down showing in the bottom half of the inning.
McManus utilized a fielder’s choice and an impressive racing back catch by Lilly Barnett, as well as a pop out to stymie the Jemison offense.
McManus reached on a single to start the bottom of the sixth, but was forced out on a fielder’s choice by Barnett.
Neither team had a batter reach first again, and the Panthers took home a 9-1 win.
Bailey went 2-for-4 with three RBI, and Paschal, Epperson and Corbin all went 2-for-4 at the plate for Jemison.
For the Rebels, McManus went 2-for-3, while Chancellor and Barnett each went 1-for-3.