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Thorsby softball wins area title

A long day was worth it in the end for the Thorsby softball team, which won the Area 9-2A title with a pair of victories over Fayetteville on May 1.

The Rebels entered the area tournament as the No. 1 seed and host. In many ways they did not disappoint and lived up to that placement. Thorsby defeated Fayetteville 6-4 and then again 11-1 later in the day.

“They stayed pretty focused all day,” Thorsby head coach Leighsa Robinson said. “We played two complete games, and that’s the first time we’ve done that in a while.”

Addie Niamon pitched the distance in both games for the Rebels, including six strikeouts in the clinching game.

After giving up the first run of the game, Thorsby scored 11 straight and won by a run rule in six innings in the second contest.

Fayetteville threatened to cut into Thorsby’s 3-1 lead with the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the fourth inning.

However, Niamon mowed down three straight Fayetteville batters and erased any possibility of a comeback.

“That was sweet wasn’t it,” Robinson said. “She was in command pretty much all day. That’s something we like to see.”

Abby Cleckler went 3-for-4 at the plate from her leadoff spot, while Lindsey Burnette and Irelan Childress each finished with two hits in the game.

“I’ve been really pleased with our base running and how we’re executing at the plate,” Robinson said.

Childress has been a member of the varsity squad for the past couple of years, and has experienced close calls, but this is the first time that she and her fellow teammates have been on the winning end in the area tournament.

“I’ve been waiting for it, because we’ve always seemed to have gotten runner-up,” said Childress, as she held the first place trophy. “As you can tell, I am excited.”

With the win, Thorsby advances to play at the regional competition in Tuscaloosa against the runner-up from Area 10, which includes Ranburne, Vincent or Woodland.

The format is double-elimination and will include games at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Friday, with the winners playing on Saturday. The top two teams from the region will keep their state title hopes alive.