By Joshua Price/Sports Editor
Class 5A Southside High School quickly learned why Class 3A Glencoe High School is ranked fourth in the most current varsity girls softball polls.
The Lady Yellow Jackets stung the Lady Panthers in the championship game of the Etowah County tournament on April 21 in five innings, 10-0, avenging two previous losses at the hands of Southside earlier in the season.
“This is an amazing feeling, I couldn’t ask much more for my girls,” an ecstatic Glencoe head coach Amy Travis said. “We have been seeing the ball better, reacting better and hitting the ball. Defensively, our girls are reacting great and knowing what to do with the ball when its hit to them. They are making less mistakes out there and they are coming together when they need to. Its just a great feeling.”
Jamie McGuire definitely saw the ball better. The junior catcher paced the Lady Jackets’ offensive attack with three hits and four RBIs, including a home run in the first inning.
“The pitch was a drop-ball,” McGuire said of the left-centerfield home run after the game. “I just reacted to it and drove it.”
McGuire’s homerun scored Sarah Wallace and gave Glencoe a 2-0 lead.
Wallace singled to leadoff the third inning. McGuire doubled two batters later to score Wallace and extend the Yellow Jacket lead to 3-0.
Glencoe bombarded Southside in the fifth inning.
Morgan Lyles led the inning with a double. Jordan Sims and McGuire each walked to load the bases with no outs.
Sally Tinker, Alaina Hampton and Danielle Wilson each singled in the fifth to extend the Yellow Jacket lead to 8-0 with no outs.
Chandler Herman singled and Wallace walked. Sims slapped a single for an RBI to extend the Glencoe lead to 9-0.
McGuire stepped to the plate with one out and runners on second and third, and singled to drive in the final run of the game and forcing the mercy rule.
“In the fifth inning, we were just ready,” Travis added. “When we come in focused we can move mountains. Our whole lineup was focused today, both on the field and in the dugout. I can’t ask for a better group.”
Sims earned the win for Glencoe (29-8). The junior hurler allowed Southside two hits and struck out five batters.
In earlier playoff action, Glencoe earned a first round bye and defeated Sardis, 5-0, in semifinal action. Southside defeated West End, 1-0 in the first game of the day. West End defeated Gaston, 10-0, while Sardis beat Hokes Bluff, 3-0.
McGuire praised the efforts of her teammates for the win.
“I’m very relieved and excited. I just came out ready to play like everybody else on the team did. We didn’t want to give them anything like we have in previous games. It is very sweet [to win the county championship], it’s been way too long.”
McGuire is confident in the Yellow Jackets’ chances of making a successful playoff run.
“We know now that we can beat anybody if we play right. If we come ready to play, nobody can beat us.”