It’s only fitting that the two teams meet for the regional title as well.
No. 2 Parrish and No. 3 Sumiton Christian play for a fifth time this season at 8 a.m. today at Sokol Park in Tuscaloosa with the North Central Regional Tournament championship up for grabs.
Today’s winner earns a spot in next week’s State Softball Tournament in Montgomery, while the loser is forced to battle through the loser’s bracket.
The top two teams from each regional advance to state.
Both teams went a perfect 2-0 on Friday.
Parrish wins pair
The second-ranked Parrish Tornadoes (35-9) turned in an impressive first-day performance on Friday, routing the Berry Wildcats, 14-3 and shutting out the No. 10 Tharptown Wildcats, 5-0.
Grayson Culverson picked up the win against Berry, giving up five hits, three runs, a walk and striking out four Wildcat batters in five innings.
Jamie Beth Hocutt pitched one inning in relief, giving up no hits and no runs.
At the plate, Meleah Smith went 2 for 2 with a walk, two runs scored and four RBIs to lead the Tornadoes.
Culverson was 2 for 2 with two runs scored and three RBIs, while Hocutt went 2 for 2 with two walks and three runs scored. Nina Tucker was 2 for 3 with two runs scored and a stolen base, Makenze Morgan went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, three RBIs and a stolen base and Savannah Jones was 2 for 4 with three stolen bases.
Culverson clinched her second win of the day against Tharptown, giving up four hits, a walk and striking out 12 batters in seven scoreless innings.
Offensively, Tucker went 2 for 2 with a walk, a run scored, two RBIs and three stolen bases, while Baleigh Robertson was 2 for 3.
Jones went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and a stolen base and Morgan was 1 for 2 with a run scored, a walk, an RBI and two stolen bases.
“We had two great wins today — our victory against Tharptown was especially rewarding as they are a team similar to us in the way they play. We just made fewer mistakes than they did and were able to capitalize on the opportunities that were given to us,” Parrish coach Chris Harris said.
“Grayson’s performance today was sensational. Against Tharptown, she only gave up four hits and she was great against Berry as well. Her pitching was a big key for us today.”
The Tornadoes now turn their attention to today’s championship matchup against area rival and third-ranked Sumiton Christian (29-25). The teams have split their four meetings this season 2-2 — with the Eagles winning both regular season games before Parrish went a perfect 2-0 against Sumiton Christian en route to their third-consecutive Area 10 championship.
First pitch will be at 8 a.m. The winner gains an automatic qualifying berth in the ASHAA State Tournament.
Sumiton Christian off to fast start
New classification, same result.
Sumiton Christian breezed through its first two games at the North Central Regional Tournament on Friday, taking down South Lamar (3-1) and Hackleburg (7-0) to earn a spot opposite Parrish in today’s Class 1A winner’s bracket final.
The winner earns a berth at next week’s State Softball Tournament as the North Central Regional champion while the loser has to play a game later in the day for the No. 2 spot in the tournament.
There is no tournament championship game this season.
“I think we are evenly matched,” Sumiton Christian coach Jessica Aderholt said of Parrish. “It’s tough when you know so much about each player.”
Sumiton Christian, last year's Class 2A state runner up, is going after its fifth straight regional title.
On Friday, Sumiton Christian pitchers Jenna Ergle and Kendall Beth Sides combined to allow just seven hits while striking out 20 batters in 14 innings.
Sumiton Christian got off to a good start against South Lamar, scoring a pair of first-inning runs.
That was more than enough offense for Ergle, who allowed two hits and two walks while striking out eight in seven innings in the 3-1 victory.
Kendall Beth Sides singled and scored on an Ergle double in the first inning. Ergle came around later in the inning for a 2-0 lead. Savanah Langston walked and scored on a Kendall Beth Sides single in the second inning for a 3-0 lead.
Ergle went 2 for 4 with a double, a run and an RBI, Kendall Beth Sides was 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI, Katlyn Sides was 1 for 3 with a double and both Langston and Kendell Hamm added hits.
Against Hackleburg, Sumiton Christian pushed across a run in the first inning and never looked back, winning 7-0.
Kendall Beth Sides led the Eagles in the game.
She earned the win, allowing five hits and one walk while striking out 12 Hackleburg batters. She recorded the first 10 outs via strikeout.
At the plate, she was 3 for 4 with three runs and five stolen bases.
Sumiton Christian had 12 hits in the game.
Hamm was 2 for 2 with an inside-the-park home run in the fifth inning. Two runs scored on the home run.
Ergle was 2 for 3 with two runs, three stolen bases and an RBI, Katlyn Sides was 2 for 4 with a run, Savannah DeLuca was 2 for 4 with an RBI and Langston was 1 for 4 with an RBI.
“I think we got out to fast starts today and played good defense. We also got some great pitching,” Aderholt said.