Chilton County well represented at Class 1A state softball tournament

Published 11:15 am Friday, May 19, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Chilton County took up one-fourth of the 2023 AHSAA Class 1A State Softball Tournament with Maplesville and Verbena high schools both with a chance to bring home a state title. Both of the Red Devil schools played on May 16-17 at Choccolocco Park in Oxford.

Maplesville began its tournament with a 3-2 win over Athens Bible School. Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Allie Hand led off the half-inning with a double. Karlee Cummings followed with a double of her own to make it 2-1. Kamylia Talley walked later to put two on with two outs for Mollie Kayte Smith. She hit a fly ball to center field which forced an error and both runners scored to put Maplesville into the semifinals.

Eight of the nine Maplesville hitters reached base in the game, and seven did via a base hit. Lexi Smith pitched all seven innings and gave up no earned runs and struck out six hitters.

Maplesville fell to Brantley High School 8-2 in the semifinals. Jaden McGee was 2-for-3, and Talley and Hand each had an RBI.

The Red Devils bounced back in their first game in the loser’s bracket with a 5-2 win over Spring Garden High School. McGee was a perfect 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs. Mollie Kayte Smith was 2-for-3 with a double, triple and three RBIs. She also handled the pitching duties, throwing seven innings and striking out two Spring Garden hitters.

Maplesville’s tournament came to an end in the next game against Skyline High School, 10-2. McGee led the way again going 2-for-4 with a solo home run, and Laci Cook had an RBI.

Maplesville finishes the 2023 season with a 32-13-1 record, an AHSAA Class 1A Area 6 title and an AHSAA Class 1A Central Regional title.

Verbena’s journey at the state tournament was a rockier one losing its first-round matchup with Waterloo High School 3-0. Kiara Ray’s single was the only hit of the game for Verbena. Jaycee Quinn struck out five Waterloo hitters in the circle.

Verbena fell just short in its second game of the tournament against Spring Garden 3-2. Trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Maya Schuffert knocked an RBI single and Quinn followed with an RBI double to cut the lead to 3-2, but no closer. Both Quinn and Ray went 2-for-3.

“We had a great season, and one of our goals was to make the state tournament and we did that,” Verbena coach Geoffery Lockhart said. “The girls really worked hard this season and I am super proud of them. We started getting more of a team culture together in regionals, and they did great. I will never forget that game when we qualified for states.”

Verbena ends its season with a 21-18 record.