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Up For a Repeat?

UP for a Repeat

Oxford, AL – Alexandria reaches winners’ bracket final, but nemesis Moody breaks free with a five-run sixth inning to advance to state 5A finals. Valley Cubs must win three games in a day for the second week in a row to take state.

By Joe Medley

Alexandria’s softball team won three games in a day to advance to the state tournament. The Valley Cubs must do it again to win it.

They opened play in the Class 5A bracket by beating Beauregard 5-1 then beat Gulf Shores 11-3 on Wednesday, but Moody mounted a five-run sixth inning to pull away, 10-4, in the winners’ bracket final.

Moody advanced to the finals and await the elimination-bracket survivor. Alexandria (35-14-1) plays the Jasper-Rehobeth winner at 10:45 a.m. and would have to beat Moody twice in the finals to bring home a state title.

A loss to Moody sent Alexandria to the East Regional elimination bracket last week, and the Valley Cubs won three games the next day to advance to state.

“We put ourselves in a bad situation,” Alexandria coach Brian Hess said. “We had our opportunities. … They were the better team today.”

Alexandria rallied from a 4-1 hole to tie Moody 4-4 on Charlee Parris’ sacrifice grounder in the top of the fifth inning, but Moody’s L Nichols answered with a sacrifice grounder to make it 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth.

A walk and error got Moody started in the bottom of the sixth, and the Blue Devils did the rest on four singles and a sacrifice fly.

After the first two runs scored, Hess chose to rest pitcher Pressley Slaton for Thursday, and Khloe England finished the game. Slaton was six innings into her third game of the day.

“We put pressure on them early and got back in the game, and I think Pressley got tired,” Hess said. “I was like, you know what? We’ve got a long day tomorrow. If we can just get out of this and keep it to within three, we’ve got a shot. When we kept leaving it fat across the plate, it put us in a bind.

“I’m proud of the kids and what they’ve done today. They’re going to get ice baths, go home, sleep, and we’re going to come back and get after it tomorrow.”

ALEXANDRIA 5, BEAUREGARD 1: Slaton pitched a two-hitter, and Alexandria downed Beauregard. Slaton struck out six batters. Both of Beauregard’s hits came in the first inning.

Alexandria’s Clancy Bright had a single and two RBIs. Parris went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, and Jill Cockrell went 2-for-4 with a triple and a run.

Kaden Pritchett and Cali Hess each had two hits and an RBI.

ALEXANDRIA 11, GULF SHORES 3: Bright and Brenlee Sparks drove in three runs apiece, and Alexandria advanced to the winners’ bracket final. Sparks was 2-for-4 with a triple and three runs, and Bright was 2-for-3.

Allyssa Hunt was 2-for-4 with at triple, a double, two runs and two RBIs, and Cockrell added an inside-the-park home run.

Slaton pitched a complete game, spreading out nine hits with six strikeouts.

Photo gallery by Joe Medley

Alexandria fans fill the third-base side against Moody during Wednesday’s state Class 5A winners’ bracket final at Choccolocco Park.
Alexandria coach Brain Hess talks to the Valley Cubs before Wednesday’s state Class 5A winners’ bracket final at Choccolocco Park.
Alexandria’s Charlee Parris connects against Moody during Wednesday’s state Class 5A winners’ bracket final at Choccolocco Park.
Alexandria’s Pressley Slaton deals against Moody during Wednesday’s state Class 5A winners’ bracket final at Choccolocco Park.
Alexandria’s Kaden Pritchett beats a throw to third base against Moody during Wednesday’s state Class 5A winners’ bracket final at Choccolocco Park.
Alexandria has a conference in the circle during Wednesday’s state Class 5A winners’ bracket final at Choccolocco Park.
Alexandria’s Allyssa Hunt connects against Moody during Wednesday’s state Class 5A winners’ bracket final at Choccolocco Park.

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