News Sports Opinion Photos Social Classified Obits Contact
Alli Smith stands on deck as Coach Pat Love gives instructions
Photo by Kyle Thornton

Softball close but no state tourney trip

By Michael Butler

The Tallassee Tigers were on the cusp of returning to Oxford for the state softball finals for the second time in three years. Instead, a 10-inning marathon went to rival Elmore County in the Class 5A/Central Regional championship game and a rematch against Marbury in the consolation final also went against the purple and gold.

Tallassee's tournament started with two wins on day one at Lagoon Park in Montgomery, but it ended with two losses closing out the Tigers season with a 28-19 record.

"It didn’t end up the way wanted, " head coach Pat Love said, "but overall we had a great season."

On Friday morning, Elmore County proved to be the Tigers' nemesis again at Lagoon. The Panthers beat Tallassee last year in the same regional. This season, the Tigers had won two of three vs. their cross-county foes including the area championship, but Elmore County took this one 7-6 punching its ticket for Oxford next week.

The thriller went Tallassee's way early. The Tigers led 4-2 after two innings. Elmore County grabbed a first-inning 2-0 edge, but THS put up a three spot in the bottom of the frame. The Tigers got a solo homerun from Kam Tate in the second.

Elmore County knotted things at 4-4 in the top of the fifth. It remained that way until the tenth.

Starting pitchers Hailey O'Brien of Elmore County and Brooke Royster of Tallassee showed their grit. Royster went the distance throwing 150 pitches. O'Brien threw 168 pitches before being pulled after 9 2/3 for Lalah Culpepper.

The Panthers took a 7-4 lead in the tenth. Culpepper came in with the bases loaded after Tallassee had cut the score to 7-6 and loaded the bases with two outs. She got a groundout from Royster to finish it.

Marlee Osborne and Marlee Stewart had two hits each for Tallassee.

Fans show their support for the Tigers
Photo by Catherine Davis

Tallassee still had one more shot against Marbury on Friday afternoon. The Tigers had beaten the Bulldogs 5-1 a day before, but this time Marbury came out on top 6-3 becoming the second qualifier.

Madeline Weldon allowed just one run through the first four innings, but Marbury broke through with two in the fifth and three more in the sixth.

Down 6-1 in the top of the seventh, Jenna Manning hit a two-run homerun. The ball ended up out of play after bouncing off the glove of centerfielder Sara Roeton, who knocked down the temporary fence. Umpires, after a 10-minute delay, overruled the initial decision of groud-rule double.

That's as close as Tallassee would get though coming up one win short of the state finals tourney.

In the two victories on Thursday, Weldon got the win in the five-inning 15-5 run-rule victory over Ramsay. Regan Easterwood walked it off with an RBI-single. She and Royster had two hits each. Stewart led the Tigers with three hits.

Regan Easterwood
Photo by Graham Dunn

Royster got the complete-game win vs. Marbury in the first matchup between the two allowing just one earned run. Manning was tops at the plate with three hits.

Love talked about this group that will graduate five seniors.

"The seniors did a great job leading this team and I am proud of them for everything they accomplished," he said. "The team got better and grew as a team as the season went on. Overall I am pleased with what this team accomplished."

Season Results