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Avary Lumpkin had eight hits and six RBIs in last week's Central Regional. Photos by Kyle Thornton

Softball falls short at regional

By Michael Butler

Things started well for the Tallassee softball team in the Class 5A Central Regional at Lagoon Park in Montgomery, but the Tigers came up one win short of a return to the state championship tournament.

Tallassee opened Wednesday's tournament with wins over Demopolis (3-0) and Holtville (14-7). That set up the regional championship vs. Elmore County for Thursday. A 10-4 defeat at the hands of the rival Panthers dropped the Tigers into the consolation final vs. Brewbaker Tech. A 5-4 loss ended Tallassee's season.

THS reached the state tourney last year in Oxford, like Elmore County. The Panthers are back with Brew Tech as the Central Regional qualifiers in 2022.

Alexis Walls threw a one-hit shutout in the win over Demopolis striking out 10. Avary Lumpkin had two hits driving in a run.

Against Holtville, Walls picked up the win again going all seven innings. The two Chloes (Baynes and Davidson) led the charge at the plate with three hits each.

Walls took the loss with just a third of an inning of work against Elmore County giving up five runs in a six-run first. Davidson saw her first action in the circle since April in relief work. Tallassee outhit the Panthers 10-7 in the defeat. Baynes had three hits. Lumpkin had two, as did Brooke Royster including a solo homerun.

In the finale against Brew Tech, the Tigers once again outhit the opponent (8-4) in a loss. Lumpkin and Belle Haynes had two hits each.

Love with seniors and their families on Senior Day (left to right): Haynes, Baynes, Davidson, Lumpkin, Walls

The Tigers finished the year with a 29-15 record. Four of Tallassee's five seniors will play college ball; Baynes (AUM), Davidson (Faulkner), Walls (CACC) and Lumpkin (Marion). Haynes has an academic scholarship to Alabama.

The cast of seniors have played pivotal parts in Pat Love compiling a 179-70-4 (71 %) in his six seasons.

"These seniors are great," Love said. "They have helped take this program to the next level. They have been great leaders, great players and have always played the game the right way. They have put their stamp on THS softball and will be missed. They'll be hard to replace. This senior class will always hold a special place in my heart."

2023 might be a rebuilding year with just four returning seniors, but Love has built the foundation as the head coach.

"Next year's team will have a lot of new faces," he said. "It will be exciting to see who will step up and fill these roles the seniors have left."

THS Pat Love Era (2017-22)

2022: 29-15
2021: 34-13-4
2020: 15-1
2019: 44-9
2018: 32-15
2017: 25-17