Photo: Southside High’s Ava Ramsey (wearing white helmet) is congratulated by teammates after hitting a home run during the Lady Panthers’ 16-6 victory over Sardis in the Etowah County Schools softball tournament championship game on Saturday, March 25 at Glencoe. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
The long ball was on full display in the Etowah County Schools softball tournament championship game last Saturday (Mar. 25) at Glencoe.
Southside and Sardis combined for eight home runs, including two each from Southside’s Ava Ramsey and Sardis’ Jayda Lacks, in what eventually became a 16-6 victory for the Lady Panthers. It was Southside’s third straight county championship.
As the visiting team on the scoreboard, Southside (13-10) led wire to wire, scoring three runs in five of the game’s six innings. The Lady Panthers finished with 18 hits, including 11 for extra bases.
After putting across a pair of runs in the first and another in the fourth, the Lady Lions scored three times in the bottom of the fifth. It was too little, too late, however, as the Lady Panthers put the game out of reach with three more runs in the top of the six. Southside relief pitcher Lexi Darnell took care of business in the bottom of the inning, allowing a two-out base hit before notching a strikeout the next batter to secure the first-place trophy.
“We’ve hitting the ball well lately, and we were really hot tonight,” said Southside head coach Angie Reavis. “We had not done enough of that until this tournament, and it caused us some trouble early [in the season]. So I was glad to see that today. Our two pitchers (Darnell and Jalyn Allen) also did well and got the outs when they needed to. It was nice to have both of them ready to go at any time.”
The Lady Panthers committed only two errors combined against Sardis and against Glencoe in a 14-2 semifinal win.
“Our defense was solid,” said Reavis. “Rylann Shaw made a great play early in the game (in rightfield) with the bases loaded that saved a couple of runs. If she doesn’t make that catch, it could have changed the outcome of the game. That was a big deal.”
Sardis, on the other hand, did not help its cause on defense with five fielding errors leading to six unearned runs.
In addition to hitting two dingers, Ramsey went 3-for-4 with a triple, two RBI and three runs scored. Shaw also came up big at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles, two RBI and four runs scored. She was named Tournament MVP following the game.
Peyton Burrell went 2-for-3 with a home run, four RBI and three runs scored; Allen went 3-for-5 with two doubles and four RBI; Jovi Marble went 3-for-5 with a double, two RBI and a run scored and Darnell had a hit, an RBI and a run scored.
Allen earned the win with four and one-third innings of work, scattering five hits and two earned runs while striking out six. Darnell issued two hits, one earned run while fanning two.
For Sardis, Lacks went 2-for-3 with four RBI and two runs scored; Jalyn Hannah went 2-for-3 with a home run, an RBI and a run scored; and Kayden Tarvin had a home run, an RBI and a run scored. Madison Harris too the loss, scattering eight hits, four earned runs and two walks with two strikeouts in three innings.
“Sardis is a very good team that has some really good hitters who did a good job of putting the ball in play,” said Reavis. “They gave us some tough outs and kept us working hard in calling pitches.”
The Lady Panthers took the lead for good in the top of the first when Allen doubled home Burrell and Lauren McKee and Marble’s single plated Shaw.
Sardis responded in the bottom of the inning via a two-run home run by Lacks, but that was a close as the Lady Lions would get.
Sardis did not score again until the fourth inning, by which time Southside had built a 10-2 advantage. While Allen was retiring eight out of nine Sardis batters, Ramsey went yard on the first at-bat of the second inning, Burrell tripled in three runs in the third and Allen and Marble each had RBI singles in the fourth.
Ramsey belted another leadoff homer in the fifth, followed later in the inning by a two-RBI double by Shaw and an RBI double by Allen to extend the lead to 13-3.
The Lady Lions finally responded in the bottom of the fifth on a solo home run by Tarvin and a two-run dinger by Lacks.
But Southside answered right back in top of the sixth when Ramsey tripled and scored on an inside-the-park home run by Burrell. Shaw’s homer later in the inning provided the Lady Panthers with added insurance.
Joining Ramsey on the all-tournament team were Allen, Shaw and Marble from Southside; Lacks, Hannah and Tarvin from Sardis; Emma Croy and Jordyn Morris from Glencoe; Kayla Traylor and MaKenna Bennich from Hokes Bluff; Liddy Faulkner from West End and Emma Samples from Sardis.
Southside 14, Glencoe 2
A nine-run second paced the way to Southside’s 14-2 win over Glencoe in the tournament semifinals. Eight of the runs came with two outs in the inning, during which Peyton Burrell had a two-RBI base hit, Lauren McKee a three-RBI triple, Rylann Shae and RBI single, Jalyn Allen and RBI double and Jasie Brooks stole home.
Shae’s three-RBI doubles in the third made it 11-0, while Ava Ramsey’s two-run home run in the fourth pushed the lead to 14-0.
The Lady Yellow Jackets got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth when Jordyn Morris came home on a bases-loaded walk and Hailey Hanners singled in McKenzi Landers.
For Southside, Shaw went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored; Allen went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored; Burrell went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored; McKee had a triple, three RBI and two runs scored; Ramsay had a hit, two RBI and two runs scored; and Jovi Marble went 2-for-2 with two runs scored.
Lexi Darnell earned the win on the mound, allowing four hits, two runs and two walks with two strikeouts in four innings. Allen pitched one inning in relief.
For Glencoe, Hanners and Cayse Willett each had a hit and an RBI.
Sardis 5, Hokes Bluff 2
Kayden Tarvin’s nine-strikeout performance sparked Sardis to a 5-2 semifinal victory over Hokes Bluff. In four innings on the mound, Tarvin allowed four hits, two runs and one walk. Baylor Gilmer pitched an inning in relief with two strikeouts.
At the plate for the Lady Lions, Vada Wilmore went 2-for-2, Jalyn Hannah had a hit, two RBI and a run scored and Kytha Edwards had a hit and two runs scored.
MaKenna Bennich had a hit, two RBI and a run scored for the Lady Eagles, while Savannah Garrett had a hit and a run scored.
Glencoe 12, Gaston 0
Jordan Morris limited the Gaston lineup to three hits and two walks in Glencoe’s 12-0 win in the Etowah County Schools softball tournament quarterfinals last Saturday (Mar. 25) at Glencoe.
Morris finished with six strikeouts in five innings.
At the plate for Glencoe, Emma Croy went 2-for-3 with a home run, four RBI and two runs scored; Aubrey Maxwell went 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored; Casey Willett went 2-for-3 with a triple, a double, two RBI and two runs scored and Summer Crump had a double and two run scored.
Sidney Fitts, Brooke Whitten and Emma Samples each had a hit for the Lady Bulldogs.
Hokes Bluff 2, West End 1
Macie Robertson’s two-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning propelled Hokes Bluff to a 2-1 victory over West End in the Etowah County Schools softball tournament quarterfinals last Saturday (Mar. 25) at Glencoe.
The Lady Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when MaKenna Bennich’s two out single played Kayla Traylor. The Lady Patriots tied the game in the top of the fifth on Breyanna Johnson’s score off Brayley King’s triple.
Robertson and Ava Dodd both had two hits for Hokes Bluff.
In seven innings, winning pitcher Peyton Ward allowed one hit, one run and one walk.