Sand Rock outlasts Fyffe in 9 innings to win Class 2A, Area 11 softball tournament championship

the Sand Rock Lady Wildcats outlasted Fyffe 7-6 in nine innings to win the Class 2A, Area 11 softball championship on Tuesday. Photo Special To WEIS.

Staff Reports

FYFFE – Sand Rock softball coach Josh Bates knew this year’s Lady Wildcats would go through some growing pains this season, but those growing pains appear to be a thing of the past now.

Just a day after they defeated Fyffe 8-6 to force the if-necessary game in the Class 2A, Area 11 tournament, Sand Rock proved resilient once again by taking a 7-6 decision in nine innings on Tuesday.

The Lady Wildcats (17-23) will now play Area 10 runner-up Cleveland at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 8 in the East Regional at Sand Mountain Park in Albertville.

Not bad for a team that graduated five starters from last season.

“A lot of people counted us out, but I told them to just keep working,” Bates said. “Everything up to this point has been practice, trying to get ready for postseason.

“To see where we started and see the growth of this team, I’m extremely proud of how hard they’ve worked and what they’ve been able to accomplish. Hopefully we can keep this thing rolling.”

Trailing 6-3 in the top of the fourth inning on Tuesday, Sand Rock managed to tie the game at 6 with a pair of runs in the fourth and another in the fifth. It remained tied at 6 until the top of the ninth when the Lady Wildcats pushed a run across to take a 7-6 lead.

But Fyffe didn’t go quietly. The Lady Red Devils loaded the bases with two outs, but eighth grade pitcher Macy Martin finished the game off with a strikeout.

Martin earned the win after working five innings. She scattered six hits, a walk and three strikeouts but didn’t allow a run.

“She was tough as nails,” Bates said. “I’m proud of her and proud of our whole team for their resilience and perseverance through everything to have the opportunity to win in the end.”

Emma Sipsy led the Lady Wildcats at the plate by going 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, a run and three RBIs. Aubie Camp contributed a double, a walk and a run. Peyton Johnson was 1-for-3 with a walk, a run and two RBIs. Molly Lay went 1-for-4 with a run.

Aliyah King walked four times and scored a run. Bailey Kilgore walked and drove in a run. Katelyn St.Clair had a RBI. Paitlyn Hughes and Alyvia McMichen both scored a run.

“We could’ve easily folded, but we just kept fighting and fighting and we fought our way back,” Bates said.

And now the Lady Wildcats are taking that fight with them to Albertville.

“Our region is going to be tough with teams like Pleasant Valley, Pisgah, North Sand Mountain, Fyffe, Woodland,” Bates said. “I expect it to be a war.”

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