The New Brockton Gamecocks (12-12-1) closed out the Class 2A, Area 2 Tournament with a pair of victories over Geneva County to earn the area championship on May 2.
After New Brockton defeated Daleville in the second round, the Lady Gamecocks fell to Geneva County 15-5 in the second round, which meant that New Brockton faced elimination in any game for the rest of the tournament.
In the next round New Brockton faced Samson – who defeated Daleville in the second round after falling to Geneva County in the opening round – in an elimination game.
The Lady Gamecocks meant business against Samson and took a 4-0 lead into the fifth inning before exploding to score six runs and end the game early with a 10-0 shutout victory.
New Brockton was led at the plate by Shelby Hobbs and Kinsley Owens who both went 2-for-3 with Hobbs also earning two RBIs. Owens also stole three bases and earned one run.
Lizzy Everts and Paula McKenna each had one hit. Madison Meeks scored two runs for the Lady Gamecocks, while Everts, Anna Jones, McKenna, Kierstin Sunday, Kennedy Hussey, Andrya Chism and Undreya Chism scored one run each.
Bailey Blackmon pitched all five innings and struck out six batters while giving up just one hit and no runs with 50 of her 78 pitches being strikes.
Next up, New Brockton battled Geneva County – who was unbeaten in tournament play up to that point – needing to win back-to-back games to earn the area title.
New Brockton took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Everts scored off a Jones single.
Geneva County answered with two runs in the bottom of the first inning to take the lead 2-1 but New Brockton tied the score 2-2 in the top of the third inning when Hobbs drove in Meeks on a ground ball to center field.
The Lady Gamecocks retook the lead 3-2 off an Everts line drive that drove Sunday home in the top of the fourth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth inning Geneva County was finally able to tie the score up 3-3 but that didn’t last for long as New Brockton retook the lead when McKenna drove home Jones on a bunt to take a 4-3 lead.
Sunday extended the lead to 6-3 when she drove in both Owens and McKenna on a fly ball into left field. Sunday then scored on a catcher error to extend the lead to 7-3.
New Brockton was able to hold Geneva County scoreless in the seventh inning and hold on to the 7-3 win.
Everts, Meeks, Hobbs and Sunday each had two hits in the win while McKenna, Blackmon and Jones had one hit each. Sunday also had two RBIs and scored two runs.
Blackmon pitched all seven innings once again and struck out five batters while giving up eight hits and three runs.
The win pushed New Brockton and Geneva County into a third and deciding matchup against each other with the area title on the line, and the Lady Gamecocks were all business.
New Brockton jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the top of the first inning but Geneva County managed to cut the lead to 9-4 in the bottom of the first.
The Lady Gamecocks added to their lead with three more runs in the second inning and three in the top of the third inning to make the score 15-4. Geneva County scored a run in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to 15-5.
New Brockton scored three more runs in the fourth inning and took a 18-5 lead but Geneva County rallied to score four runs in the bottom of the fifth and cut the lead to 18-9.
The Lady Gamecocks sealed the deal with five more runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 23-9 lead. Geneva County scored three more runs in the bottom of the seventh but it wasn’t enough as New Brockton held on for the 23-12 win.
The Lady Gamecocks combined for an eye-popping 24 hits in the championship game.
Hussey had the best day of all going 4-for-5 at the plate with four RBIs and one run. Everts, Meeks, Hobbs and Owens each had three hits, as well with Hobbs earning five RBIs.
Blackmon, Jones, McKenna and Sunday each had two hits with Blackmon and Sunday also earning four RBIs.
Everts and Andrya Chism scored four runs each, while Meeks and Owens scored three runs. Undraya Chism, McKenna and Jones scored two runs each. Megan Eldridge, Hussey and Sunday scored one run each.
Blackmon pitched all seven innings once again and struck out four batters, while giving up 10 hits and 12 runs in earning the win.
The win means the Lady Gamecocks will travel to Gulf Shores for the Class 2A Softball South Regional Tournament against Cottonwood on May 10 in the opening round. That tournament will also be double elimination with all games played May 10-11.