Lady Panthers top Etowah, advance to area title game

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By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent

Southside got a strong pitching performance from Claire Graves in the Lady Panthers’ 4-2 win over Etowah last Tuesday (Apr. 30) in the semifinals of the Class 5A, Area 13 softball tournament at SHS.

Southside (33-12-1) plays the winner of the Etowah/Fort Payne semifinal in Thursday’s championship game. The Lady Panthers defeated Boaz, 4-0, earlier in the tournament, while the Lady Blue Devils beat Fort Payne by a score of 5-2.

“We play together as a team,” said Southside head coach Angie Sanders. “If a player is not in the game, she is cheering from the dugout or helping to move players around on the field.”

The hosts wasted little time in taking control of the game, scoring a run in the bottom of the first inning off of Etowah starter Madison Grant. Savannah Thomas led off the inning with a double, one of her three hits for the game. She scored on a sacrifice fly by Claire Graves, who had three RBI on the evening.

The Lady Blue Devils answered in the top of the third inning.

Grant walked and Brooke Perry doubled to tie the score at 1-1. Cailee Chaffin then singled to plate the inning’s second run and give Etowah a 2-1 lead.

Thomas led off the bottom of the inning with a single and scored on Claire Grave’s RBI double.

Thomas led off the bottom of the fifth with her second double of the game, and Graves followed one out later with an RBI double and a 3-2 Southside lead. 

Southside added an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth. 

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