By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
When Southside’s Claire Graves and Etowah’s Madison Grant oppose each other on the mound, hits usually are few and far between.
Such was the case on Friday (May 2) in the Class 5, Area 13 softball tournament championship game, which Graves and her Lady Panthers teammates won by a score of 8-2.
Both teams will compete in the North Regional Tournament this weekend in Huntsville.
In six innings, Graves gave up four hits and one earned run. She hit three batters, walked one and struck out six.
Grant threw six innings and gave up eight runs, only four of which were earned. She walked one and struck out nine.
Southside was clinging to a 3-2 lead after three innings, with the game’s only hit belonging to Etowah’s Emma Jones.
The Lady Panthers (38-6) took control of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. After Savannah Elkins reached on an error, Paden Kircus singled to rightfield to send Elkins to third. Savanna Yancey then singled in Elkins for a 4-2 lead.
After Kircus and Yancey advanced on a passed ball, Mallary Smith’s bunt single loaded the bases. Southside went ahead 5-2 when Molly Free reached on an error, allowing Kircus to score.
Graves then singled to center to drive home Yancey and make it 6-2. Smith and Free scored on two passed balls to make the final margin of victory 8-2.
Brittany Williams pitched the top of the seventh inning and struck out one.
Graves had two hits and an RBI, while Elkins, Kircus, Yancey, Smith and Free each had a hit.
Jones led the Lady Blue Devils at the plate with two hits.