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Softball teams gear up for regionals

Six softball teams from the area will be playing when the 2018 AHSAA Regionals take place May 10-11.

Isabella and Billingsley each won their respective area tournament, while Thorsby, Jemison, Chilton County and Maplesville all secured a spot as area runners-up.

Five of the teams will be part of the South Central Regional and play their games at the Troy Sportsplex.

Thorsby is the only team making a trip elsewhere. The Rebels are in the North Central Regional and will play at Bowers Park in Tuscaloosa.

Thorsby lost 7-6 in the Area 9-2A championship and will open up the regional competition against Cleveland at noon.

Adi Niamon was a workhorse pitching for the Rebels throughout the county tournament. Thorsby will need her to continue that production, as pitching becomes even more valuable in the playoffs.

Of the teams making the trip to Troy, CCHS will play Brookwood in the first round at 10:30 a.m. after the Tigers lost 7-1 to host Stanhope Elmore in the area championship.

The Tigers have picked up the pace at the end of the season, which included winning the Panther Classic at Jemison High School prior to the area tournament.

CCHS beat West Blocton, Jemison and Maplesville twice during the postseason tune-up event.

Jemison faces Shelby County at 9 a.m. The county champions will look to rebound following a narrow defeat at the hands of Calera in their most recent game.

Isabella and Maplesville played each other three times in the Area 5-1A tournament, with the Mustangs eventually getting the best of the Red Devils.

Both teams could likely meet again during the regional bracket, but must first focus on first round opponents. Isabella will square off against Talladega County Central and Maplesville will battle Ragland beginning at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. respectively.

Ragland ended Maplesville baseball’s postseason run. The softball team will do its best to make sure that is not the case for a second time.

The Billingsley softball program has had its share of success in recent years and will look to add to that with another deep playoff run.

The first step for the Bears is a first round matchup with Ariton at noon.

The first two rounds of the regionals will be played May 10, while the second round of the loser’s bracket will be played along with the final round on May 11.

Each regional will have eight teams competing per class. The top two teams from each class will advance to play in the state tournament at Lagoon Park in Montgomery May 16-19.