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Centreville Academy softball advances to Class 2A State Championship game

MAGEE — The Centreville Academy Lady Tigers advanced to the MAIS Class 2A State Championship game with a 12-7 victory over the Marvell Academy Lady Eagles in the semifinal game on Monday.

The big inning for the Lady Tigers came in the bottom of the fifth when Marvell Academy led 7-2. Centreville Academy scored seven runs in the inning on two doubles, two singles, an error and a ground out. Lana Dalton stepped up to the plate with two runners on base and hit a two-run single to left field. Emilea Roberts scored an RBI off of a single to left field after Rylee Shell flied out to left. Amanda Newman followed up Roberts with an RBI double to center field, scoring Roberts from second base.

The Lady Tigers followed their big fifth inning with three runs scored in the bottom of the sixth. Roberts and Baylie Ford each had an RBI double in the inning.

Darden and Roberts led the Lady Tigers with three RBIs while Roberts went 3-for-4 at the plate. Ford and Newman each had two RBIs in the game as well for the Lady Tigers.

Dalton earned the victory on the mound for the Lady Tigers. She had three strikeouts, gave up nine hits and three earned runs. Roberts led the Lady Tigers with three RBIs and going 3-for-4 at the plate.

Billy Jones, Centreville Academy’s softball head coach, said he was proud of the Lady Tigers.

“They showed they could handle the big-game pressure with adversity and they still performed well,” Jones said.

The Lady Tigers (24-10-1) will face the Glenbrook School Lady Apaches, the No. 3 seed from the South region, in a best 2-out-of-3 series for the MAIS Class 2A championship beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Glenbrook School. Game 2 will happen at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Centreville Academy and Game 3 (if necessary) will happen at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Earlier rounds

Centreville Academy advanced to the third round of the winners’ bracket with a pair of victories last Saturday at the 2020 MAIS Class 2A State Tournament at the Magee Sports Complex.

In the first round last Saturday morning, South No. 1 seed Centreville Academy cruised to a 13-3 win over the North No. 4 seed Lee (Ark.) Academy Lady Cougars in just five innings.

Lee Academy took a 1-0 in the top of the first inning before the Centreville took control with three runs in the bottom of the first innings. The Lady Tigers added two runs in the bottom of the second inning to go ahead 5-1 before putting the game away with seven runs in the bottom of the third inning.

Winning pitcher Dalton, Darden, Ford, Newman and Lexlea Sterling each drove in runs for the Lady Tigers in the bottom of the third.

The Lady Cougars scored two runs off Dalton in the top of the fourth inning to make it a 12-3 game. Ford came on in relief and pitched two-thirds of an inning and gave up no runs and no hits.

The Lady Tigers would run-rule the Lady Cougars with one run in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Dalton gave up three runs, two of them earned, on two hits and an uncharacteristic eight walks but she also struck out six batters.

Savannah Hailey had a triple and went 2-for-4 with two runs scored while Darden went 3-for-4 with one RBI and three runs scored, and Ford was 2-for-3 with one RBI and two runs scored to lead Centreville at the plate. Dalton and Newman each had a base hit and two RBIs.

Centreville had a tougher opponent as the Lady Tigers took on the North No. 2 seed Newton County Academy Lady Generals Saturday afternoon. Behind a four-hit performance from Lacy Darden, Centreville held on for a 10-6 victory to advance in the winners’ bracket.

Both teams scored three runs in the first inning, but it appeared that the Lady Tigers had taken control of the game after Darden doubled to bring in three runs off Lady Generals pitcher Lilly Hollingsworth for a 6-3 lead.

After a rough first inning, Lana Dalton held Newton County Academy scoreless over the next four innings, but Hollingsworth kept Centreville off the scoreboard for three straight innings to keep the score at 6-3 until the sixth inning.

That’s when the Lady Generals struck for three runs off Dalton to tie the game at 6-6. However, the Lady Tigers (23-10-1) responded with a four-run rally in the bottom of the sixth, starting with a two-run double by Darden, to take a four-run lead. Dalton shut out the Lady Generals in the top of the seventh to preserve the win.

Dalton allowed six runs, three of them earned, on eight hits with three strikeouts and three walks in a complete-game performance. Darden ended up going 4-for-4 with two doubles and six RBIs. Hailey went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and Roberts was 2-for-3 with 1 RBI and 1 run scored. Shell was 1-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored while Newman was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.

Hollingworth gave up 10 runs, nine of them earned, on 14 hits with one walk and one hit batsman. She also went 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored.

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