With the end of school getting closer and closer every day and the homework winding down, what better way to spend a Friday afternoon than the annual end-of-the-year Elementary Softball Tournament between county schools?
In the past, the Lady Wildcats from Dibrell have shown dominance with several girls who know how to play softball. The Morrison Eagles have soared to great heights in the past and earned the reputation as the team to beat.
However this year had some shakeups in the girls and boys games and both winners from last year had to settle for third place.
Last year’s winner for the girls was the Dibrell Lady Wildcats and they had early setbacks and would have to settle for a third-place finish. For the girls, it was the Lady Warriors from Centertown who showed up to play and took it one game at a time and eventually matched-up to face the Lady Eagles from Morrison in the championship game. It came right down to the wire but somehow after holding the early advantage the Lady Warriors escaped with a victory by a final score of 7-6 over the Lady Eagles.
On the boys field, some early shakeups had some unexpected teams dropping to the loser’s bracket and last year’s champs, the Morrison Eagles, were held to the ground and would have to settle for third. In the boys championship game, time was not a factor and the Centertown Warriors defeated the Dibrell Wildcats by a final score of 15-6 and had time to spare.
In the championship for Centertown, Abby Bain had already pitched some great softball and the final game was no different, although the Lady Warrior defense started off hot, as the game lingered on they started to show signs of fatigue. The Lady Eagles were just the opposite. The longer the game went, the stronger they got.
The Lady Eagle offense started very sluggish and in the top of the first and second innings the team went 2-for-8 from the plate and only managed two singles and in the second inning the runner was stranded at second base after the third out was recorded.
The opposite could be said for the Lady Warriors. They were quick out of the gate and posted four runs in the first by Gracie Self, Macie Walker, Abbey Bain, and Page Duke for a 4-0 lead. In the bottom of the first, the top of lineup got it done for the Lady Warriors and in the bottom of the second inning the bottom half of the lineup came through. Jaylan Smith, Drew Davis, and Self led the way in the bottom of the second inning and at the end of two Centertown held the lead at 7-0. This is when the huge shift in momentum started.
The top of the third, Morrison started to find its rhythm. Allie Childers, Jasmine Cantrell, and Lakelyn Simpson all put runs on the board for the Lady Eagles and Morrison started to chip away at the Centertown lead, 7-3.
In the bottom of the second, Centertown came out flat and picked up two quick outs, then a single by Davis put a runner on but it was short lived and the third out came on a pop-fly.
In the bottom of the fourth, Morrison started with Arden Cummings, Chelsea Martin, and Mya Hodges all reaching base but were then base hit around to score. The Lady Eagles were challenging for the lead but fell just one run short on their final at bat. The Lady Warriors defense responded just in time and defeated the Lady Eagle by a final score of 7-6 to claim first place.
The Lady Warriors made their way to the championship game by defeating the Eastside Lady bulldogs by a final score of 27-14. Then a win over last year’s winner, the Dibrell Lady Wildcats by the narrowest of margins, 5-4.
Morrison Lady Eagles made their way to the championship round by defeating Irving College Lady Tiger by a final score of 18-3.
In the boys championship game it was the Centertown Warriors matched-up against the Dibrell Wildcats in a game that went the entire six innings to decide. It was the Warriors that pulled on the convincing win by a final score of 15-6.
Harley Alexander had the Warrior defense behind him and the Warriors jumped off to an early lead just as the Lady Warriors had done in the girls game, but the Warriors did not wear down and held on through the six-inning game.
The top of the first, the Warriors posted five runs with lead-off batter Riley Cope followed by David Nicholas, Kailin McGill, Damien Thomas, and Alexander who all made their way around the bases and after the third out Centertown led 5-0.
Dibrell got off to a less-than-stellar start and not the type of start you hope for in a championship softball game. Austin Martin was the sole source of a base hit in the Wildcats first at-bat.
In the top of the second, Dibrell slowed the Warrior offense down but did not stop it. Centertown continued to add runs to its total and in the second inning it was back to the top of the lineup as Cope, Nicolas, and Alexander accounted for the three Warrior runs and Centertown led 8-0.
In the bottom of the second, Dibrell once again came up short as the offense struggled to find the gaps in the Warrior defense. Logan Holman was the lone Wildcat with a base hit and he was left stranded as the third out brought an end to the Dibrell at-bat and after two complete the score was 8-0.
The top of the third is the least amount of offense for the Warriors and they went down in order for the first time and Dibrell quickly went back to the plate.
Dibrell got the bats hot in the bottom of the third led by Alden Lawrence, Adrik Balderas, Austin Martin, Jacob Wrisner, and Ryan Salaman. They all found their way around the bases and Dibrell put together an amazing scoring run. By the time the dust settled the lead had been cut down, 8-5.
The top of the fourth inning Centertown had posted one more run and the score went up by only one and Centertown led 9-5.
The Wildcats offense had faded away as quickly as it had shown up and they appeared to be losing steam at a critical time in the game. After four complete innings it was Centertown out front by a score of 9-5.
Centertown added four runs in the fifth and two more runs for a little insurance in the top of the sixth and that put them way out front 15-5 and Dibrell made a small run in the bottom of the fifth inning left the bases full was only able to add one more run before their final three outs, and Dibrell trailed 15-6 with three outs to play. A lone single in the bottom of the sixth inning would not be enough and the Centertown Warriors defeated the Dibrell Wildcats by a final score of 15-6.
Centertown got to the championship round by defeating the Morrison Eagles 10-5 and that win automatically shot them to the top. Dibrell made its way through the bracket by blanking Irving College 18-0 and eventually putting the county’s top two teams together for an exciting finish to the day.