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Clarke capitalizes on Macon miscues to win first AISA Bash

Story by: Griffin Pritchard | Publisher
Photos by: Lori Mercer | CAScoreboard Photographer

MONTGOMERY — The AISA Bash – held over the weekend – was the first of its kind for the state’s independent schools, bringing together 12 of the best to battle it out for bragging rights on the fields where they will ultimately battle for a state championship. 

“The idea was to get teams from the West and teams that we play every weekend; give everybody the opportunity to play teams from different sides,” said Glynn Lott, coach of the Macon East Lady Knights and one of the event’s organizers. “The way we set it up, nobody would see somebody familiar until the final. I don’t think there was any crossover.”

Edgewood joined teams from all over the AISA: Macon-East (host), Patrician, Hooper, Abbeville, Glenwood, Southern, Lakeside, Evangel, Clarke Prep, Chambers and Pike Liberal. 

The field was broken into three four-team pools and played two games the first day. 

“This is a good preview into the upcoming state tournament,” said Kim Brown, coach of the Edgewood Lady Wildcats. “This is our fourth tournament in a row and several of these teams have been in the same tournament we’ve been in also. I put our girls in the t tournament with the strongest teams to push them to get better. Playing tough competition just makes you work hard to get better. Winning against weaker teams is all good and fun, but you know you’ve worked hard to win against any of the teams in this tournament.”

The idea – according to Lott – is to grow the tournament to greater proportions in the years to come. 

Lott: “I think the Coaches’ Association is going to take it over next year. It’s a chance to give people a chance to play at Lagoon, where we have the state tournament. We are hoping next year to have 16-20 teams. We had 16 this year, but teams dropped out leading up; some had prom, some had injuries – different things. But, if we can get the Coaches’s Association involved, that will give us more coaches involved and will bring more teams.”

Edgewood Academy — Brown: “I thought the girls played great defensively only giving up eight runs in five games. We had two shutouts and were shut out twice. Overall I was proud of how we competed all weekend.”

The Lady Wildcats split the first day, losing to Clarke Prep 2-0 and then beating Chambers 7-0. 

Harleigh Anderson – essentially – picked up the split decision, taking the loss in the first game and then picking up the win in the second with four strikeouts nad four hits. 

Lexie Smith, Avery White (both doubled) and Lindsey Brown (a triple) legged out extra-base hits and – along with Haylee Brown – accounted for the team’s six RBIs. 

Edgewood on Saturday dropped a 5-3 decision to Pike Liberal and then rebounded to shutout Southern. 

Anderson picked up the win, striking out six while holding Southern to three hits. Faith Wheat tripled and scored a run. Haylee Brown also pushed home a run in teh win. 

In what turned out to be the last game of the day for the Lady Wildcats – makes sense it should be a pitcher’s duel. Wheat and White accounted for the two Edgewood hits.

Hooper Academy — The Lady Colts, who have been on a tear lately, posted a 2-3 mark over the weekend. Hooper knocked off Abbeville 11-6 and then lost back to back games to Macon East (7-5) and Patrician (4-3), but finished second in their pool. 

“This tournament is great,” said Lady Colts Coach Elyse McIntyre. “There is competition everywhere.”

In bracket play, the Lady Colts ended Edgewood’s day, with a 1-0 victory. Braylee Bates singled to push home Asia Brown for the walkoff win. 

Their day ended with a shutout loss to eventual tournament champion Clarke Prep, 6-0.

Macon East — After knocking off Chambers on Thursday, the Lady Knights rode into the inaugural AISA Bash sitting high on their horses. They played with confidence too, knocking Patrician (7-1), Hooper (7-5) on Friday and then eliminating Abbeville Christian (3-1). 

Devan Debardelaben and Taylor McKinney homered to plate three against Patrician as Kylee Smith picked up the win, fanning four. Kadence Ward picked up the win against Hooper, working five complete. McKinney, who made a relief appearance against Hooper, picked up the win against Abbeville, working five innings with four strikeouts. 

She also hit another homer, so did Kylee Smith as the two combined to plate three Lady Knights’ runs. 

Lott: “We didn’t play as well on Friday as we should have. I thought we played really well on Saturday and in the championship game, we just had that one inning where we made three errors and that’s what cost us.”

Macon East, on Saturday, eliminated Pike Liberal (7-4) and Glenwood (6-2) to advance to the championship. 

In the finale, the Lady Knights jumped ahead early 2-0 with McKinney and Debardelaben (RBI) scoring runs. The two also had two of the four hits. Breann Morrison finished the finale 2-2. 

Clarke Prep capitalized on three Macon East errors to pick up the 3-2 win. 

Founder/Publisher of Central Alabama Scoreboard. Former sportsguy, managing editor, currently working for the City of Tallassee as a Public Information Specialist and grant writer.

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