Parrish and Sumiton Christian open play at State Softball Tournament
by Johnathan Bentley
May 17, 2013 | 860 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Entering the season, Parrish softball coach Chris Harris kept the goals simple for his team — win the state tournament.

The Tornadoes have that same goal in mind going into today’s opening day of the Class 1A State Softball Tournament in Montgomery.

“At our very first meeting at the beginning of the year, we said that we wanted to win state,” Parrish softball coach Chris Harris said. “That was the goal. We knew we were in the toughest area in the state and we knew that the regional would be tough, but it was still our goal from the outset. It’s all the girls talked about.”

Parrish is one of the teams to beat this weekend.

The Tornadoes are a perfect 6-0 in the playoffs. Parrish swept through the area tournament — beating Sumiton Christian in the championship game — and also swept the North-Central Regional Tournament — beating Sumiton Christian in the winner’s bracket final.

“The only thing that worries me is the week off. You hope you don’t lose your peak. We’ve had a great week of practice,” Harris said. “Our girls are ready. Going into the state tournament, you should be ready. Now we will just see if the breaks go our way.”

Parrish (36-9) takes on Fayetteville (18-20) at 9 a.m. today.

Parrish is in the state tournament for the first time since the 2008 season when the Tornadoes went 0-2 and were gone before supper time on the opening day.

“We were just happy to be there. We didn’t know what we were doing. We played two games and thought it was a thrill,” Harris said. “This year, anything less than winning a title would be a disappointment.”

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Sumiton Christian

Sumiton Christian lost its leadoff hitter, starting pitcher, catcher and the Class 2A Hitter of the Year from last year’s lineup.

No chance at getting back to the state tournament, right?

Not exactly.

Sumiton Christian is back at the State Softball Tournament in Montgomery for the fifth straight season.

Sumiton Christian (30-26) opens the double-elimination event against three-time defending state champion Ragland at 9 a.m. today.

“I knew that we could do it,” Sumiton Christian coach Jessica Aderholt said. “We just had to improve and get better every game. We’ve gotten better by leaps and bounds since the beginning of the season. We won a lot of games and got beat a lot, but at the same time, we were getting better every game.”

A pair of eighth graders, Kendall Beth Sides and Jenna Ergle have carried the pitching load for the Eagles though neither player pitched last season.

“I think they are going to be OK. They are both really competitive and know how to win. They pitched really well at the regional last weekend,” Aderholt added.

Kendell Hamm, Katlyn Sides and Kirsten Click — along with Kendall Beth Sides and Ergle — have picked up the slack offensively.

Sumiton Christian placed second behind Parrish in both the area and regional tournaments. In five meetings this season, the Eagles are 2-3 against the Tornadoes.

Aderholt commended the way her team battled back from a pair of one-run deficits before falling to Parrish 3-2 at the regional.

“My team doesn’t really get stressed, even when they are down. They are just very laid back,” she added.

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Corner ousted at state

Corner's run at the State Softball Tournament didn't make it to Day 2.

The Yellow Jackets knocked off No. 4 Sardis 10-1 in the Class 4A opener, but fell to Central-Florence and Oak Grove in consecutive games to bow out of the double-elimination tournament.

In their final game of the day, Corner was eliminated in a 14-4 loss to area foe Oak Grove.

The Tigers closed out the game in the fifth inning when Erin Benson hit a three-run homer for the 10-run win. Courtney Hood was 2 for 4 with four runs and two RBIs and Jaina Walden was 2 for 3 with four RBIs.

For Corner, Jordan Entrekin was 2 for 3 with a pair of runs and three RBIs, Madison McCormack was 2 for 2 with a run, Morgan Daniel was 1 for 3 with an RBI and Taylor Sloan was 1 for 3 with a run.

The game was tied 4-4 after the third inning, but Oak Grove scored seven runs in the fourth and three in the fifth.

In a 14-0 loss to Central-Florence, Corner was held to just two hits by pitcher Ashley Irons. She also walked two and struck out six.

Andi Kimbrough was 4 for 5 with six RBIs for Central-Florence.

Both Entrekin and Madison Purvis had hits for Corner, which closes the season 32-13.

In the opener, Madison McCormack set the tone for the Yellow Jackets. She smacked a lead off home run in the bottom of the first inning and dominated Sardis on the mound in Corner's 10-1 victory over Sardis.

Her long ball kicked off a five-run first inning for the Yellow Jackets, who finished the game with 16 hits.

Eight of nine Corner starters had at least one hit and both Morgan Daniel and Entrekin had three hits apiece.

Sardis had just one hit over the last five innings. McCormack gave up five hits and one walk while striking out nine Sardis batters.

Entrekin and Daniel each finished the game 3 for 4 with two runs, Deason was 2 for 3 with two RBIs, Hammock was 2 for 3 with a run and an RBI, Baylee McCormack was 2 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs, Purvis was 2 for 4 with two runs, Madison McCormack was 1 for 3 with a solo home run and Taylor Sloan was 1 for 3.