Etowah’s Simpson stellar in area softball tournament semifinals

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Photo: Ashville High’s Carley Thomason (11) steals second base as Etowah’s Abbi Martin leaps out of the way during the Lady Blue Devils’ 1-0 victory in the semifinals of the Class 4A, Area 10 softball tournament on May 5 in Attalla.

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

With Sydney Simpson making short work of the Ashville lineup, Abbi Martin’s RBI triple in the bottom of the first inning was all the offense Etowah required in a 1-0 victory in the semifinals of the Class 4A, Area 10 softball tournament on Wednesday (May 5) in Attalla.
Combined with a first-round bye, the win gave the Lady Blue Devils a berth in the East Central Regional Tournament beginning this Wednesday (May 12) in Montgomery.
Ashville defeated Oneonta, 12-2, in the tournament’s first semifinal. Ashville and Oneonta faced off again on Thursday, with the winner playing Etowah in the championship game. The results were not available at press time.
The Lady Bulldogs had no answer for Simpson’s heat. Hannah England’s single in the top of the fourth was the extent of Ashville’s offense. In seven innings, Simpson faced just two batters over the minimum. She issued only one walk while striking out 13. She fanned the side in the first and fifth innings, and none of the Lady Bulldogs’ three baserunners advanced past second.
“Sydney threw like she’s been throwing for us all year,” said Etowah head coach Kim Jones. “When we did hit the ball, we hit it right at them, and we didn’t make the adjustments at the plate like we should have. That’s something we’ll have to work on.”
Ashville starter Lexi St. John kept the Lady Bulldogs within striking distance. After Martin plated Hally Bennett early on, St. John scattered seven hits and two walks over the final six innings. Etowah stranded 11 runners, including four on third base.

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