Jemison softball finishes runner-up, secures playoff spot
The Jemison High School softball team split a pair of games on the final day of the Class 5A Area 7 tournament on May 5, and guaranteed the Panthers a spot in the AHSAA Regional in Troy next week.
After losing to Calera 7-0 in the opening round on May 3, Jemison bounced back with a 15-0 drubbing of Central Tuscaloosa.
On May 5, Calera lost 2-1 to Helena, setting up a rematch between the Eagles and the Panthers, with the winner advancing to Troy and the loser going home.
Jemison jumped out to an early lead and never looked back to defeat Calera 7-0 and advance to the area title game.
Jessica Paschal led things off with a popup that fell safely behind second base while Jasmine Epperson followed with a bunt to third base that was mishandled.
Paschal scored after she advanced to third when an errant throw from first rolled all the way to the left field fence.
Three batters later, Emma Allred laced a single down the left field line to score Epperson, and the Panthers led 2-0 after one inning of play.
Paschal pushed the lead to 3-0 in the top of the second when she singled into right field and eventually crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
Starting pitcher Hannah Rose Corbin held the Calera bats at bay, and Jemison used some aggressive base running to tack on another run in the fourth.
Erica Street led things off by reaching on an infield error that sent her to second base.
Following a steal of third base by Street, Dara Harris got to first on an infield single, and the Panthers executed a double steal to get Street home.
Jemison added an insurance run in the seventh when Epperson doubled to right field, advanced to third on Corbin’s single to left, and scored on Destiny Bailey’s infield grounder.
While the offensive production of the Panthers was impressive, it was Corbin who stole the show on the mound.
The sophomore threw 72 strikes and only 19 balls and surrendered just five hits while striking out six.
In the championship game, Jemison mustered just three hits, with two coming from Bailey and one from Kelson Cole.
The Panthers lost 10-0 against host Helena, but their ticket to Troy had already been punched as area runner-up.
Jemison will open regional play at 9 a.m. on May 11 against an opponent to be determined.
Taylor McManus of Thorsby High School fires a pitch during Game 1 of the area championship series against Fayetteville on... read more