CCHS softball to face Pelham for spot in Regional Playoffs
By ZACHARY SEIFTER/ Staff Writer
The Chilton County High School softball team began its area tournament on May 5. The tournament was held at Helena High School.
The Lady Tigers split the two games they played in on the first day of the tournament, beating Calera High School 13-8 before falling to Helena 3-1.
The split in games has set up the Lady Tigers with a win-or-go-home game against Pelham High School on May 6. The winner of the game will move on to the Regional Playoffs with Helena, while the loser will see their season come to an end.
CCHS kicked off the tournament in dominant fashion, scoring nine runs in the first three innings of its game against Calera. The offense was led by Ty’eisha Williams and Macey Pierce as both smacked home runs in the game and combined for seven RBIs.
“Our recipe for winning all year long has been to score five or six runs and make one or less errors,” CCHS assistant coach Johnny Giles said after the two games. “We feel like we can beat anybody if we do that.”
While the Lady Tigers were able to follow that recipe of success offensively, the defense was extremely shaky. CCHS had seven defensive errors in the game in giving up eight runs. Only two of the runs that Calera scored off CCHS pitcher Emma Deason were earned.
However, the offense did its job, scoring 13 runs and giving the Lady Tigers an opportunity to punch their ticket to the Regional Playoffs.
Following the first win, CCHS had a chance to take its spot in Regionals, as a win against Helena would have clinched the spot for the Lady Tigers. However, they fell just short, losing a tough game to the Huskies.
The loss to Helena was a back-and-forth slugfest between two excellent teams. Both pitchers, Deason for CCHS and Camryn Bailey for Helena, were superb. The two combined to give up just three earned runs off 11 combined hits. Mistakes and missed opportunities for CCHS were enough to do them in, however.
The CCHS defense committed two errors in the game, leading to one of Helena’s runs. There was also an offensive slip-up on the base path by Marlie Giles in the sixth inning where she slipped trying to get back to first base on a pick-off attempt by Helena’s catcher.
Despite the mishaps, the Lady Tigers put themselves in great position to tie the game or take the lead in the seventh inning.
Two walks by Williams and Maddie Giles, along with a single by Emma Locke loaded the bases for CCHS with no outs in the inning. However, two strikeouts by Deason and Jadyn Kurdziel, followed by a groundout by Maecie Driskell ended the game for the Lady Tigers.
“We had a great opportunity right there with the bases loaded and nobody out and didn’t manage a run off of that,” Giles said. “You can’t get them loaded like that and not score a run or two.”
Even though the loss to Helena was a tough one for CCHS, there was still optimism from the Lady Tigers. The team was one base hit away from possibly tying the game, a fact that is not lost on the CCHS coaching staff.
“We held a really good team down, and we did what we were supposed to do,” Giles said. “You just got to punch some runs across against them.”
The Lady Tigers will have to earn their chance for redemption. Should they beat Pelham, they will play Helena once more in the Area Tournament Championship Game. However, beating Pelham and clinching a spot in the Regional Playoffs is goal number one.