PREPZONE SOFTBALL

State Softball Tournament: Eagles eliminated after back-to-back losses

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OXFORD — The Sumiton Christian Eagles began Wednesday with jubilation after opening the AHSAA Class 2A State Tournament with a comeback victory over top-ranked Pisgah.

By the end of the day, Sumiton Christian saw its title hopes dashed after consecutive losses to Orange Beach and Mars Hill Bible, ending the 2021 season.

In what was billed as one of the most highly anticipated match-ups of the tournament, Sumiton Christian rallied from an 8-4 deficit with five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat No. 1 Pisgah, 9-8.

With only a 30-minute break between games, the Eagles went into the winner’s bracket second contest and fell to Orange Beach, 6-4, forcing Sumiton Christian to battle through the loser’s bracket.

The battle proved to be short-lived. Facing-off against Mars Hill, the Eagles gave-up one hit and run in the contest, which proved to be enough, with Sumiton Christian eliminated in the 1-0 loss.

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Sumiton Christian 9, Pisgah 8

Gracie Ashley drove-in Izzy Ingle on a double in the bottom of the seventh inning to complete a five-run rally and beat top-ranked Pisgah in the state tournament opener.

Bailie Hall pitched seven innings for the win, giving up seven hits with five strikeouts.

At the plate, Ashley went 3 for 5 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs, Hall was 2 for 3 with a run scored and two RBIs, Emma Potts hit a triple with a run scored and two RBIs, BG Braswell and Kalista Cornelison both had a hit with a run scored, Maddie McCrary recorded a hit with an RBI, Jessie Baughan hit a triple, and Alex Erwin, Ingle and Allie Kelly scored a run each.

With Pisgah scoring a run to open the game, Sumiton Christian responded with a run scored on an error by Ashley and a sacrifice RBI by Hall to take a 2-1 lead.

 Pisgah tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the second inning, but Sumiton Christian took command in the bottom of the fourth when Ashley drove-in Kelly, followed by Hall driving-in Ashley to go up 4-2.

Pisgah struck back in the top of the fifth with five runs and added another score in the top of the sixth for an 8-4 edge.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Sumiton Christian rally began with a sacrifice RBI by McCrary, a two-run triple followed by a score on a error by Rylie Irwin, setting up the game-winner by Ashley.

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Orange Beach 6, Sumiton Christian 4
The Eagles fell after a six-run comeback by Orange Beach in a 6-4 loss.

Hall pitched six innings, with five strikeouts.

Offensively, Baughan went 2 for 4, with a double and a triple, a run scored and an RBI, Hall was 2 for 4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI, Alex Erwin went 2 for 4 with a run scored, Braswell hit a triple with a run scored, Ashley recorded a hit and Cornelison scored a run.

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Mars Hill 1, Sumiton Christian 0

Despite an excellent outing in the circle for Cornileson, giving up one hit and one run with a strikeout, Sumiton Christian fell and was eliminated from the tournament by Mars Hill.

The winning run was scored in the bottom of the second inning.

At the plate for the Eagles, Alex Erwin, McCrary and Cornelison each had a hit.