Four Chilton teams advance to softball central regionals

Published 2:40 pm Thursday, May 2, 2024

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Four perennial softball programs in Chilton County will make their return to the central regionals after winning or finishing runners-up in their respective area tournaments. Maplesville and Verbena high schools will both play in Montgomery in the Class 1A Central Regional Tournament, and Isabella and Thorsby high schools will be in Montgomery for the Class 2A Central Regional Tournament. Maplesville and Thorsby both defended home field to take their area tournaments in the friendly confines of their home fields.


Thorsby and Isabella High Schools

Both the Rebels and the Mustangs are headed to the regional tournament following their showings at the Class 2A Area 6 Tournament hosted by Thorsby. The Rebels dominated their first-round matchup against B.B. Comer High School 15-0 on April 26 behind a nine-run first inning, and a perfect three innings from Makinley Turner in the circle.

Turner struck out all nine B.B. Comer batters she faced, and the offense ended the game in three innings outhitting Comer 11-0. Brooklyn Reeser was 3-for-4, followed by Brinley Giambrone and Turner both going 2-for-2. Brooklyn Reeser, Giambrone, Turner and Allie Reeser combined for eight RBIs in the top four spots in the Rebels’ lineup.

Isabella also dominated its first-round matchup, taking down Fayetteville High School 14-4 in five innings. The Mustangs outhit Fayetteville 12-4, and eight of the nine starters earned a base hit. Amelia Fjeldstad, Blair Underwood and Eliza Lovett all had two hits each, and they combined for six RBIs. Rylee Hathcox had three RBIs.

The wins by the two schools set up a game on April 29 that opened the day, and decided the first spot in the championship game. An RBI double from Turner, and a pair of RBI groundouts by Braelyn Whitfield and Summer Powell put Thorsby up 4-0 after the first inning. Turner was 2-for-3 with three RBIs, and she ended the game in the fifth inning with an RBI single to clinch the 10-0 win. She struck out 12 in the circle. Lovett knocked a double, and Aliyah Patterson and Underwood had singles for the Mustangs’ only hits of the game.

Isabella moved to the loser’s bracket to face B.B. Comer with a spot in the regional tournament on the line. Their bats came alive scoring in four of the six innings with three of those being for multiple runs. Lovett led the way going 3-for-4 with a double and RBI, and Fjeldstad, Underwood and Anna Johnson combined for seven RBIs to lead Isabella to a 9-5 win, the regional tournament, and a rematch with Thorsby in the championship game.

In the title game, Isabella went up 1-0 in the first inning as Johnson ripped an RBI single. The score stood at 1-0 until the top of the fourth inning when Thorsby erupted for seven runs, and five runs in the seventh inning put the game away as Turner worked her way through a rocky outing.

Eight of the nine Thorsby hitters recorded a hit, and Allie Reeser, Brooklyn Reeser, Giambrone, Turner and Powell all had two hits each, and Addison Wood, Emry Davis, Powell and Turner had two RBIs each. Patterson led the way for Isabella going 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

Both Isabella and Thorsby will get their Class 2A Central Regional Tournament started on May 8 at 9 a.m. at Lagoon Park in Montgomery. The Rebels face Vincent High School in the first round, and the Mustangs take on Southeastern High School.


Billingsley, Maplesville and Verbena High Schools

Three Chilton County area teams took the field at Maplesville High School for the Class 1A Area 6 Tournament on April 26, starting with the host school taking down Autaugaville High School 16-0 in round one. Kennedy Reed tossed a perfect three innings striking out six of the nine batters she saw, and was aided by two home runs by Jaden McGee at the plate. McGeehad four RBIs, and was joined by Reed with a team-high four runs batted in. Hannah Crowe and Mollie Kayte Smith knocked triples, and Makenzie Williams had two RBIs.

Verbena and Billingsley faced off in the second first-round game as the Red Devils put up three runs in the first inning, but the Bears responded with two runs in the second inning to cut it to 3-2. Verbena would score the next nine runs in the game including seven in the bottom of the sixth inning to end the game in six innings, winning 12-2. Adie Tubbs was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, joining Maya Schuffert and Lakeyn Mims with two runs driven in. Jaycee Quinn threw six innings of five-hit softball with two unearned runs and nine strikeouts. Shelby Boice had two RBIs to lead Billingsley.

In the winner’s bracket, Maplesville and Verbena played for a spot in the championship game as Smith and Crowe led the way with three RBIs each, and Smith hit a home run to lead Maplesville to a 14-2 win in five innings. Reed added two RBIs and a double, and Kamylia Talley posted a 3-for-4 effort with a double and RBI.

Billingsley kept its tournament alive in the last game of April 26 defeating Autagaville 15-0 in three innings. Sadie Primm was 2-for-2 with a home run and two RBIs, joined by Mckenna Manning, Brylin Tomlin and Claire Seamon with two runs driven in. Kaliyah McCary and Alana Jones combined for three innings with one hit and five strikeouts.

Verbena and Billingsley had a rematch to open day two on April 27, and Verbena put away the Bears 12-2 to clinch a spot in the final, and the regional tournament. Quinn threw six innings with five hits, 2 unearned runs and nine strikeouts, while Schuffert, Mims and Tubbs all accounted for two RBIs each at the plate.

In the tournament final, Maplesville captured the title with a 18-2 win in four innings after 12 runs in the bottom of the fourth. Allie Hand was 2-for-3 with a double, home run and four RBIs, followed by Crowe with four RBIs and Talley with three. Reed stuffed the Verbena offense, throwing four innings with six hits, two runs and four strikeouts. Tubbs was 2-for-2 to lead Verbena at the plate, and Mims and Jasmin Moates each had an RBI.

Maplesville and Verbena will both get their Class 1A Central Regional Tournament runs started on May 7 taking on Berry and South Lamar High Schools, respectively. Both games are scheduled for 9 a.m. at Lagoon Park in Montgomery.


Chilton County High School

The Tigers traveled just north to Calera High School for the Class 6A Area 5 tournament on April 26 that saw the host school dispatch Carver High School 16-0 in the first round. CCHS matched up with Stanhope Elmore High School in the first round, and a Mallie Harrison two-RBI double followed by two more runs in the inning put the Tigers up 4-0 after one. Tyeshia Williams’ RBI double in the third inning, and a three-run fifth inning behind RBI singles from Emma Penley and Anna Cate Burnett gave CCHS the 8-0 win. Burnett, Harrison and Penley all had two RBIs each, and Harrison controlled the game in the circle throwing seven innings of three-hit softball with seven strikeouts.

Later in the day, Calera and CCHS matched up in the winner’s bracket with a spot in the championship game on the line. Macey Pierce launched a two-run home run followed by a solo shot from Williams to go back-to-back in the first inning to go up 3-0. However, Calera tied the game in the bottom half, and outscored the Tigers 8-1 the rest of the game to win 11-4. Pierce was 3-for-4 and Williams was 2-for-4, both with a home run and a double. Burnett added an RBI.

The Tigers came back on April 28 looking for a spot in the championship game and regional tournament facing Stanhope Elmore for a second time. The Tigers’ bats had trouble throughout the game as Brianna Goggins and Williams’ doubles were the only hits of the game, dropping the Tigers 8-0 to end their season.


Jemison High School

The Panthers opened the one-day Class 5A Area 7 Tournament at Sylacauga High School on April 29 with a first-round matchup against Shelby County High School. Shelby County jumped ahead 5-0 after the three innings, but an RBI double from Arabella Lack and an error plated two runs for Jemison in the fourth inning. Hannah Popwell’s RBI single in the sixth inning cut the lead again to 5-3, but Shelby County answered with five runs in the bottom half to win 10-3. Trinity Bean was 2-for-4 to lead the Panthers.

Sylacauga narrowly beat Shelby County to set up a rematch with Jemison later in the day to see who advances to the regional tournament. Shelby County jumped ahead early again, this time 3-0, before Braelyn Bradford powered a two-run home run to cut the lead in the third inning to 3-2. Those were the only runs for Jemison as Shelby County scored 10 runs in their next three innings to end the game in five innings 12-2. Bean was 2-for-3, and Alyssa Hayes and Olivia Gilliland each had a single in the Panthers’ finals game of the season.