Area softball teams hitting stride after county tournament
Published 11:45 am Tuesday, March 21, 2023
By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer
At about the midway point of the 2023 season, some teams are establishing themselves as true postseason contenders. Maplesville and Thorsby high schools both had statement weeks picking up multiple wins between March 14-20.
Maplesville High School
The Red Devils kicked their week off with an 6-5 win over Holtville High School on March 14. Grace Williams’ go ahead RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning boosted Maplesville to the win. Mollie Kayte Smith was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs to lead the Red Devils at the plate. Lexi Smith threw a complete seven innings giving up six hits, five runs (two earned) and one strikeout.
Maplesville carried that momentum into its first AHSAA Class 1A Area 6 game of the season on March 16 against Autaugaville High School, winning 16-0. Laci Cook was 2-for-2 with a home run and four RBIs. Allie Hand contributed three RBIs that boosted Mollie Kayte Smith who started the game in the circle throwing three innings and giving up no hits and striking out six hitters.
The Red Devils had a busy March 18 playing four games and winning all of them. The first, and 8-5 win over Isabella, was spearheaded by Jaden McGee, who was 2-for-3 with two home runs and six RBIs. The next game, a 15-0 win over Talladega County Central High School, saw Mollie Kayte Smith have three RBIs and the Red Devils post all 15 runs in the first inning.
The third game was a 12-2 win over Central of Coosa County High School, and Mollie Kayte Smith and Laci Cook each had three hits. McGee launched her third home run of the day in the game as well. The last game was against Isabella again and the Red Devils prevailed 13-2 with McGee posting three RBIs and a triple.
Maplesville ended their week with a 6-4 win over Shelby County High School. Lexi Smith was stellar again in the circle giving up six hits, four runs (three earned) and striking out three hitters. Lexi Smith, Cook and McGee had two hits each with Cook and Mollie Kayte Smith recording two RBIs each. The win gave the Red Devils their eighth straight win since losing the Chilton County Softball Tournament final.
Thorsby High School
The Rebels had a stellar week picking up two AHSAA Class 2A Area 6 wins over Fayetteville and B.B. Comer high schools. On March 14, Thorsby took down Fayetteville 3-2 where Brooklyn Reeser and Makinley Turner each had two hits. Turner had a home run and two RBIs. Turner was also the starting pitcher for the Rebels. She threw seven innings and allowed four hits, two runs (no earned), one walk and struck out 12 hitters.
Turner was back in the circle on March 16 against B.B. Comer and got the 8-3 win for Thorsby. Turner threw another complete game of seven innings giving up two hits, three runs (no earned) and sat down 17 hitters. Braelyn Whitfield led the way at the plate going 2-for-3 with two doubles and three RBIs. Reeser and Turner joined Whitfield with two hits each, and Reeser had a home run.
“We wanted to take that momentum from the Comer and Fayetteville wins into (the Isabella game),” Thorsby coach Holly Matson said. “I think we are finally finding that synchronous as a team and working together as a team. I am excited, and we want to keep the momentum going forward.”
The Rebels did just that by winning 13-3 over Isabella on March 20.
Isabella High School
The Mustangs also picked up an Area 6 win during the week with a 6-4 triumph over Fayetteville on March 16. Isabella posted 10 hits as a team and was led by Kelsey Cox, Anna Johnson and Auburn Bassett all with two hits each. Both of Johnson’s hits were doubles and she had two RBIs, and Bassett had three RBIs.
Bassett was in the circle for the Mustangs and threw a complete game giving up five hits and four runs (no earned) and striking out two hitters.
Isabella lost its last game of the week on March 20, 13-3 to Thorsby.
Chilton County High School
The Tigers lone game of the week saw CCHS dismantle Chelsea High School 16-6 in six innings and post 15 hits as a team. Anna Cate Burnett led the way going 4-for-5 with six RBIs and two doubles. Brianna Goggins, Kelcie Goggins and Emma Penley all hit home runs to boost the Tigers, and Kelcie Goggins had four RBIs.
Verbena High School
The Red Devils started their week with a 5-0 win over Central of Coosa County on March 16. Meagan Shiver led the way at the plate going 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. Jaycee Quinn threw a complete game giving up no hits, two walks and striking out 17 hitters.
Verbena played four games on March 18 at Pelham High School and went .500 throughout the day. The first game, a 10-7 loss to Pelham, saw Shiver launch a two-run home run.
An incredible run output in the second game against Keith High School gave Verbena a 19-11 win. Quinn had three RBIs. Jasmin Moates, Abbegail Vazques, Jatahja White and Kiara Ray each had two hits. Ray shined in Verbena’s third game, a 17-0 win over Wenonah High School, going 3-for-3 with two RBIs.
The Red Devils ended March 18 falling to West Blocton High School 8-3, and Quinn had a home run and two RBIs.
Verbena’s final game of the week on March 20 was a 4-3 loss to Vincent High School on the road. Ray, Quinn and Shiver had two hits each, and Quinn struck out nine Vincent hitters in the circle.
Jemison High School
The Panthers week of action was dampened by rain, but they did get their March 16 game against Sylacauga High School in. In an AHSAA Class 5A Area 7 matchup, the Panthers led 10-7 going into the seventh inning. However, Sylacauga put up six runs in the top half of the inning to take a 13-10 lead and the win.
Trinity Bean was 3-for-5 with a triple and an RBI to lead the way for Jemison. Makayla Long, Kinsley Martin and Caley Branch all had two hits, and one of Martin’s went for a double.