Southside finishes third at softball regional

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Photo: Southside High’s Bailey Houston (left) scores a run as the St. Clair County catcher searches for the ball during the Class 5A East Regional softball tournament on Wednesday, May 8 in Albertville. (Courtesy of Average Joe’s Sports Talk)

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

Southside came up a game short of the AHSAA state softball tournament on Wednesday, May 8 at the Albertville Sports Park.
The Lady Panthers fell to Alexandria, 8-4, in the elimination game of the Class 5A East Regional that determined the tournament’s runner-up spot along with a berth in the state finals next week in Oxford.
The Lady Panthers (29-11-1) won two straight games at regionals before a 12-1 loss to eventually region championship Moody dropped them to the playback bracket, where they faced the Lady Valley Cubs in the elimination game. Southside fell behind 5-1 before drawing within 5-4 in the bottom of the fourth by way of Jovi Marble’s steal of home and an RBI triple by Ava Ramsey.
The Valley Cubs put across a pair of runs in the top of the fifth and another in the sixth for a four-run cushion. The Lady Panthers loaded the bases in the sixth when Rosie Garrett tripled, Jovi Marble singled and Ava Ramsey walked with two outs, but a tag out ended the inning.
A one-out base hit by Jalen Allen was all the offense the Lady Panthers could muster in the seventh.
Marble went 3-for-3 with a double and two runs scored, while Ramsey, Rylann Shaw and Bailey Houston each had a hit, an RBI and a run scored.
“We had our opportunities [against Alexandria], but we couldn’t take advantage of them,” said Southside head coach Angie Reavis. “I hate it, especially for our seniors, that we came so close but we’re not going to state. Our girls played hard the whole tournament, and I’m proud of their effort.”
Southside opened the tournament with a 3-1 win over St. Clair County. Allen allowed 11 hits but only one earned run and one walk in seven innings. She struck out eight.
Southside took the lead for good in the bottom of the first inning by way of Ramsey’s RBI bunt single and Marble’s run-scoring base hit.
The Lady Saints cut it to 2-1 in the top of the fourth before Garrett doubled in Marble in the bottom of the inning for some insurance.
Ramsey went 2-for-2 with an RBI, Marble went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored and Peyton Burrell had a triple and a run scored.
The Lady Panthers followed up with a 9-6 victory over Scottsboro. After the Lady Wildcats rallied from three runs down to tie the score 6-6 in the top of the sixth, Southside plated three runs in the bottom of the inning to regain the advantage. Scottsboro had runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the inning, but Allen induced a flyout and then notched a strikeout to secure the win.
In six innings, Allen scattered six hits, five runs and four walks while fanning one. She helped her cause with an RBI triple in the first inning.
Marble went 3-for-4 with three doubles, three RBI and two runs scored; Shaw went 2-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored; Burrell went 3-for-4 with three runs scored; and Jacie Brooks went 2-for-3.
Southside then suffered a 12-1 setback to Moody in five innings.
The Lady Panthers’ lone run came in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI groundout by Ramsey. Burrell went 2-for-3 with a run scored.

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