Smith, Maplesville win pitcher’s matinee over Thorsby
Published 10:40 am Friday, March 24, 2023
By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer
Maplesville and Thorsby high schools went toe-to-toe on the softball field with their best pitchers in the circle on March 23. In the end, it was Lexi Smith and the Red Devils prevailing 4-2 behind a three-run fourth inning that boosted them to the win.
Lexi Smith went the complete seven innings surrendering seven hits, two runs, no walks and struck out seven Rebels hitters.
“She pitched a good ball game,” Maplesville assistant coach Aaron Ratliff said. “We have a good pitching staff as far as the three that we pitch often.”
The win evened the season series between the in-county rivals after Thorsby took game one 7-2 on Feb. 23 in both team’s season opener.
Thorsby’s Makinley Turner pitched opposite of Smith and started the game off with a bang in the first inning sending a ball into the tree over the center field fence. Brinley Giambrone had a single before the home run to put two runs on the board for the Rebels. Turner was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Turner was respectable in the circle, throwing six innings of four-hit softball giving up four runs, two of which were earned, and striking out nine batters with no walks. The first unearned run came in the second inning as Maplesville’s Jaden McGee reached on a miscue and subsequently scored to cut the lead to 2-1.
The fourth inning is where the Red Devils found their offense. Lexi Cook started the inning with a double to left field, and that was followed by an error that put runners on second and third base.
Mollie Kayte Smith stepped to the plate and singled to right field to plate both runners and give Maplesville the 3-2 lead. Karlee Cummings followed with a double to push the lead to 4-2.
“They are finding ways to win,” Ratliff said. “We have got some good seniors, some young girls that are really stepping up, and this team is coming together. We are really proud of them. We have been telling them since last year that spots will be open, and they have stepped into that role, and they are producing.”
Lexi Smith locked in the next three innings giving up just two hits and icing the game away for Maplesville.
The win extended the Red Devils winning streak to 10 games, and they have not lost a game since falling in the 2023 Chilton County Softball Tournament final. A loss Ratliff said they did not dwell on.
“Every practice and every game we have talked to them as a coaching staff to make steps forward, and that is what we have seen,” Ratliff said. “We do not think about the past, and as long as we are taking steps forward, we are happy.”
Maplesville and Thorsby both will enjoy an extended break until April 3 for their next game. When they return, Thorsby will travel to Holtville High School at 5 p.m., and Maplesville hosts Verbena High School at 4:30 p.m.