Both Sumiton Christian and Parrish won their first two games at Liberty Park in Vestavia Hills, moving a step closer to a spot in the state tournament.The top two teams in each classification advance to next week’s state tournament in Montgomery.
A win in today’s opener — the winner’s bracket final — would secure a state tournament-berth for both the Lady Eagles and Lady Tornadoes.
Sumiton Christian continued to dominate play in the regional tournament. After outscoring the competition 51-3 last season, the Lady Eagles, ranked No. 2 in Class 2A, beat Woodland 10-0 and Sulligent 14-0 to earn a spot opposite American Christian in today’s winner’s bracket final set for 8:30 a.m.
“We started slow, but we got things together. We started hitting well,” Sumiton Christian coach Jessica Aderholt said.
Sumiton Christian pitchers Katie Justice and Cadi Oliver allowed a total of three hits on the day. Justice pitched a two-hitter against Woodland, striking out eight while Oliver tossed a one-hitter vs. Sulligent, striking out seven.
Sumiton Christian’s Kathryn Warren added a grand slam in the win over Sulligent.
Parrish, ranked No. 2 in Class 1A, opened the day with a 10-0 rout of Coosa Christian before knocking off Meek 10-2 in their second game.
“Coming over here we wanted to win those first two games,” Parrish coach Heath Burns said. “We came out and played well. We played fundamental softball for 12 innings. We didn’t have any mental lapses.”
Parrish matches up with third-ranked South Lamar in today’s opener set for 8:30 a.m.
No. 3 South Lamar beat No. 1 Ragland and No. 5 Lynn on Friday.
The winner of the Parrish-South Lamar game heads to the championship game.
“This is going to be a big game,” Burns said. “This is the 8th time we’ve played team. There are no secrets between us. It will come down to who executes. It’s going to be a fun game to coach and watch.”
Parrish got stellar pitching in both of its games Friday.
Jamie Beth Hocutt picked up the win for the Tornadoes, giving up two walks, three hits and striking out seven batters in five innings.
At the plate, Nina Tucker went 2 for 2 with a run scored and a three-RBI home run while Makenze Morgan was 2 for 3 including a double and a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored. Grayson Culverson also went 2 for 3, with a run scored and an RBI. Hocutt and Paige Dill were both 1 for 3 with an RBI. Savannah Jones scored three runs and stole three bases.
In the nightcap, Grayson Culverson went four innings and gave up one hit, striking out eight against Meek. Camry Lay went the final three innings, allowing two hits.
Jones was 3 for 3 with three stolen bases, Morgan was 3 for 4 with three RBIs, Dill was 3 for 4 with four RBIs, Hocutt was 2 for 4 and Grayson Culverson, Lay and Tucker added hits.
The two-day tournament is set to end today, but many games were pushed back to Friday night due to the threat of rain today.
Lynn, Meek and Carbon Hill each played late-night games on Friday due to losses earlier in the day. Lynn won its opener against Jacksonville Christian 10-0 before falling to South Lamar 9-3. The Lady Bears stayed alive with a 10-0 win over Coosa Christian.
Lynn takes on No. 1 Ragland in an elimination game at 10 a.m. today.
Meek defeated Faith Christian 15-0 in its opener, but was eliminated after losing to Parrish and falling 14-0 to Ragland.
Carbon Hill opened with a 12-4 loss to No. 1 White Plains before eliminating Vinemont with an 11-0 victory. The Lady Bulldogs kept their season alive with a 7-1 victory over Glencoe.
Carbon Hill faces Saks at 10 a.m. today in an elimination game.