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Calhoun County Softball Tournament: Another Round

Alexandria’s Pressley Slaton follows through on the way to pitching a three-hitter in a 7-0 victory over Piedmont in Thursday’s Calhoun County tournament winners’ bracket final at Choccolocco Park. (Photo by Joe Medley)
Alexandria’s Pressley Slaton follows through on the way to pitching a three-hitter in a 7-0 victory over Piedmont in Thursday’s Calhoun County tournament winners’ bracket final at Choccolocco Park. (Photo by Joe Medley)

Calhoun County, AL – Alexandria takes Calhoun County tournament winners’ bracket final against Piedmont,will face Bulldogs again in finals.

2024 Calhoun County softball tournament

At Choccolocco Park
MONDAY, April 1

No. 7 Jacksonville 15, No. 10 Anniston 2
No. 6 Pleasant Valley 7, No. 11 Saks 0
No. 4 Ohatchee 17, No. 13 Faith Christian 0
No. 5 Oxford 7, No. 12 Jacksonville Christian 0
No. 8 Weaver 9, No. 9 Wellborn 0
No. 2 White Plains 6, Jacksonville 0
No. 3 Piedmont 3, Pleasant Valley 2
Oxford 9, Ohatchee 1
No. 1 Alexandria 7, Weaver 0
Elimination bracket
JCA 2, Faith 2
TUESDAY, APRIl 2
Winners’ bracket

Piedmont 2, White Plains 1
Alexandria 4, Oxford 1
Elimination bracket
Jacksonville 15, JCA 0
Pleasant Valley 11. Wellborn 1
Ohatchee 7, Anniston 1
Weaver 11, Saks 2
PV 11, Jacksonville 4
Ohatchee 6, Weaver 3
THURSDAY, April 4
Winners’ bracket final
Alexandria 7, Piedmont 0
Elimination bracket
Oxford 5, Pleasant Valley 2
White Plains 7, Ohatchee 0
White Plains 15, Oxford 6
Elimination-bracket final
Piedmont 5, White Plains 2
FRIDAY, April 5
Championship

Alexandria vs. Piedmont, 6 p.m.
If necessary, 8 p.m.

By Joe Medley

Alexandria’s Pressley Slaton follows through on the way to pitching a three-hitter in a 7-0 victory over Piedmont in Thursday’s Calhoun County tournament winners’ bracket final at Choccolocco Park. (Photo by Joe Medley)
Alexandria’s Pressley Slaton follows through on the way to pitching a three-hitter in a 7-0 victory over Piedmont in Thursday’s Calhoun County tournament winners’ bracket final at Choccolocco Park. (Photo by Joe Medley)

Sun and a stiff wind greeted top seed Alexandria for Thursday’s Calhoun County winners’ bracket final against Piedmont. The Valley Cubs brought the power.

Pressley Slaton pitched a three-hit shutout and homered, and Christian Hess’ two-run, inside-the-park home run highlighted a 7-0 victory over defending champion and No. 3 seed Piedmont.

Alexandria (19-7-1) advanced to Friday’s championship round and will get a rematch with Piedmont, which beat White Plains 5-2 in the elimination-bracket final Thursday night.

In the double-elimination format, Piedmont must beat Alexandria twice to repeat as county champion. The Bulldogs beat White Plains twice in last year’s final round.

“First, I’m just really proud of our team and how they battled today to get to the finals of this tournament,” Piedmont coach Rachel Smith said. “The Calhoun County tournament is so competitive, and there’s so many talented players in this area.

“Alexandria is a tough team. They hit well top to bottom. We will have to hit well and capitalize on opportunities when we have runners on base. We did not a good job of that today against them.”

White Plains eliminated Ohatchee 7-0 earlier Thursday, and Oxford eliminated Pleasant Valley 5-2. White Plains beat Oxford 15-6 to reach the elimination-bracket final.

For Alexandria, which lost to Piedmont in the 2023 elimination-bracket final, Thursday’s game brought the opportunity to make a statement.

“They were talking about it when they were hitting earlier in the day,” Alexandria coach Brian Hess said. “They wanted to come out and make a statement, and I think they did.

“Our biggest thing was staying focused every inning and not looking at the scoreboard. Early in the year, we had a tendency to look at that scoreboard and relax.”

Slaton gave Alexandria every reason to relax, striking out six batters.

“Pitching today was more mental than it was physical,” she said. “I really had to focus in. I had to come out with a lot more confidence than I did on other games this week.”

Slaton helped her cause with a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning. That followed Hess’ two-run, inside-the-park the home run that got just under diving left-fielder Amiyah Thomas’ glove and rolled to the fence and put the Valley Cubs up 3-0.

Slaton called her home run a “much-needed hit.”

“I’ve been working hard to fix my swing, and it was all about about pitch selection today,” she said.

Alexandria added three runs in the fourth. Cali Hess’ grounder behind Charlee Parris’ triple got the first run across, and Christian Hess doubles behind Jill Cockrell’s triple made it 5-0.

Slaton singled Christian Hess home.

Parris delivered again in the fifth inning, tripling to right field behind Brenlee Sparks’ single.

Christian Hess finished 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.

“I was just really trying to zone in,” she said. “I’ve been struggling with the inside pitch, and I knew she was going to throw a lot inside, so I just got really focused before the game on staying through that inside pitch.”

Slaton had two hits and two RBIs, and Parris’ two triples netted one RBI.

Elimination bracket final

PIEDMONT 5, WHITE PLAINS 2: Savannah Smith bounced back from taking the loss against Alexandria to allow five hits and one earned run with five strikeouts. She also went 2-for-2 and scored two runs.

Cayla Brothers tripled and had an RBI, and Piedmont got a single and RBI apiece from Carson Young, Amaree Champion and Cadence Buttram.

White Plains’ Callie Richardson hit a solo home run and a double and scored a run, and Carli Fritts went 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI.

Elimination bracket

WHITE PLAINS WINS TWO: The Wildcats beat Ohatchee 7-0 and Oxford 15-6 to reach the elimination-bracket final.

Fritts and Leighton Arnold pitched a combined no-hitter against Ohatchee, with Arnold striking out five batters in three innings of work. Fritts pitched one inning with one strikeout.

Sara Kate Adams homered and had two RBIs. Fritts went 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI, and Richardson had a double and an RBI. Braeton Moran singled and drove in a run.

White Plains had 13 hits against Oxford, including seven extra-base hits. Richardson and Cooper Martin each had a triple, and the Wildcats got a double each from Adams, Moran, Arnold, Cassidy Arnold and Haylie Smith.

Martin, Moran, Adams, Leighton Arnold and Cassidy Arnold each had two RBIs. Richardson went 3-for-3 with three runs and an RBI, and Smith went 2-for-2 with two runs and an RBI.

OXFORD SPLITS: Before falling to White Plains, Oxford eliminated Pleasant Valley 5-2.

Berkley Mooney got the win, allowing six hits with two earned runs and four strikeouts in five innings. She also had a double and an RBI.

Kaelyn Crossley went 2-for-2 with a run and two RBIs, Adajiah Wilson went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs, and Reagan Sanders had a double and an RBI.

Pleasant Valley’s Lily Henry hit two doubles and scored two runs, and Gracee Ward went 2-for-3 with to RBIs.

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