Parrish girls notch third straight area tournament title
by Johnathan Bentley
May 03, 2013 | 1470 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Parrish coach Chris Harris talks to players, including Savannah Jones (12) and Ciara Ramsey (01), during their championship game against Sumiton Christian in the Class 1A, Area 10 Tournament championship on Thursday. The Tornadoes beat Sumiton Christian 9-5. Both teams play in the regional tournament in Tuscaloosa on May 10. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
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SUMITON — Parrish’s postseason run is off to a good start.

The second-ranked Tornadoes finished off the Class 1A, Area 10 Tournament with a 9-5 victory over third-ranked Sumiton Christian in Thursday’s championship game.

Both teams play in the North Central Regional Tournament at Tuscaloosa’s Sokol Park on Friday, May 10.

The win gave Parrish its third straight area tournament title.

“Three years in a row — you’ve got to be proud of our girls for that,” Parrish coach Chris Harris said. “When you do something like that, it establishes your program.”

Sumiton Christian advanced to the regional by knocking off Lynn 2-0 in an elimination game. Lynn ousted Marion County 6-0 in Thursday’s opening game.

The top two teams from each area advance to the regional tournament.

Parrish, which went 3-0 in the tournament, took control of the championship game in the first inning, scoring a pair of runs.

The Tornadoes (33-9) added four runs in the third inning and never looked back.

Grayson Culverson got the win. She allowed five runs on 12 hits, one walk and one hit batsman while striking out six. She also led Parrish at the plate, going 4 for 4 with a run and three RBIs.

“If there was a tournament MVP, it would be Grayson. She went 9 for 12 for the tournament with five RBIs. She pitched 21 innings and got three wins,” Harris said.

Parrish has been eliminated at the regional tournament each of the last four years — finishing in third place each time. The top two regional finishers head to Montgomery for the State Softball Tournament. The Tornadoes last trip to the state tournament was in 2008.

Harris said Parrish still hasn’t played its best softball this season.

“I wouldn’t say we are peaking just yet. We are really grinding out every pitch. We’ve got about three girls who are hot right now. I hope when we get to the regional we are hitting on all cylinders,” Harris said.

Parrish’s Maleah Smith also had a big day against Sumiton Christian, going 1 for 2 with two stolen bases, three runs and two RBIs. Savannah Jones was 1 for 4 with a stolen base and an RBI, Ciara Ramsey was 2 for 4, Nina Tucker was 1 for 4 with an RBI and Makenzie Morgan was 1 for 5 with three runs and a stolen base.

In the first inning, Morgan reached on a fielder’s choice with one out and scored on Smith’s RBI single. Smith scored the second run on a wild pitch.

In the third inning, Tayler Winchester got on base with an infield single and later scored on a wild pitch. Morgan reached on an error and Smith walked followed by a two-run double by Culverson. Culverson scored on Tucker’s two-out single for a 6-0 lead.

Sumiton Christian got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third. Kendall Beth Sides singled with one out and Jenna Ergle was hit by a pitch with two outs. Katlyn Sides and Kirsten Click each drove in runs with singles to cut the Parrish lead to 6-2.

Parrish scored single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

Culverson registered her third RBI in the fourth, driving in Morgan with a single. Mary Jo Sanford was hit by a pitch and came around to score on Jones’ single in the fifth and Smith was hit by a pitch and scored on a wild pitch in the sixth.

Sumiton Christian closed out the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Ergle doubled home Kendall Beth Sides and later scored on an error.

The Eagles (27-25) were led at the plate by Kendall Beth Sides, who was 4 for 5 with a stolen base and two runs. Click finished 3 for 4 with two RBIs, Ergle was 2 for 3 with two runs and two RBIs, Katlyn Sides was 1 for 3 with an RBI, Haley Weigant was 1 for 4 with a run and Kendall Hamm was 1 for 2.

In its first game of the day, Sumiton Christian ousted No. 8 Lynn with a 2-0 victory.

Ergle tossed a no-hitter for the Eagles, allowing one walk and hitting one batter while striking out three in seven innings. Kendall Beth Sides had all three hits for the Eagles, going 3 for 4 with a run.

Sumiton Christian broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the fifth inning.

Kendall Beth Sides and Weigant scored the runs and Hamm had an RBI.