Tigers' softball team earns trip to Tuscaloosa
by Rip Donovan
Sports Correspondent
May 06, 2013 | 766 views |  0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Wins over Anniston and Lincoln Tuesday in Heflin earned the Cleburne County Tigers a trip to Tuscaloosa on May 10th and 11th. As the only undefeated team in the Class 4A, Area 10 softball tournament, the Tigers can finish no worse than tournament runner-up and that guarantees them a place in the North Central Regional tournament bracket.

The Area 12 tournament resumes today at 3 p.m. with Munford meeting Anniston in an elimination bracket game.

The winner of that game plays Lincoln at 4:30 p.m. The survivor meets Cleburne County for the Area 10 tournament championship and must defeat the Tigers twice in the double-elimination format.

In Tuesday’s early game, No. 1 seed Cleburne County downed No. 4 Anniston 12-2.

“Everybody pretty much got a hit. Everybody hit,” said Cleburne County coach Ron Ervin. ”We played some young ones. … Most of the lineup got multiple hits.”

Taylor Estes was the winning pitcher. Ervin said she helped her own cause with a couple of hits that went for extra bases.

In the nightcap, Kiara Akles shut down Lincoln and Cleburne County won 4-0. Ervin recalled Alisa Norton had two hits and Toni Epps scored two runs. Bailey Beam and Madison Jones also scored. Akles recorded five strikeouts.

Once again, the Tigers benefited from the support of a large home crowd. Most notable were the ‘Angels in the Outfield’, a group of students enjoying the game from behind the outfield fence.

“We had even more ‘Angels’ Tuesday night. There was a ton of Angels. … It was pretty cool. Whenever there was a big play, they’d flap their arms like they were angel wings. They were in rare form Tuesday,” Ervin said.

To gain the host role for the area tournament, Cleburne County completed a perfect softball regular season against Class 4A, Area 10 opponents by defeating Anniston 17-1 and Lincoln 5-2 in Heflin Friday.

Against Anniston, Norton stroked three hits, including a double. Kristen Leggett had a double and a single and Jones recorded two singles. Bailey Beam and Chelsey Zeiders had a triple apiece. Angel Norton walked three times. Estes was the winning pitcher and allowed three hits.

After walloping Anniston, only Lincoln stood between the Tigers and their first opportunity to host an area tournament. Haley Andrews had a double and a single against the Golden Bears. Estes singled twice. Epps and Akles each had a double. Akles allowed two hits, walked two and struck out 10 in earning the win.
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Tigers' softball team earns trip to Tuscaloosa by Rip Donovan
Sports Correspondent

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