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Plainview sweeps Prattville Christian to win 3A championship


Story by Griffin Pritchard | Publisher
Photos by Brian Tannehill | Director of Photography

CHOCCOLOCCO PARK — Plainview high made the 3A State Championship Game outright un-BEAR-able for the Prattville Christian Panthers Saturday night defeating the 3A’s top-ranked team 13-4 in the first game of the AHSAA Championship tournament and then 13-0 to claim their first state championship. 

The combined 26-4 battering by the Bears is far and away a more one-sided affair than the two team’s earlier meeting which PCA won 3-2 in the seventh to advance to the championship game. 

“Give then credit, they have a good ball team and swing the bat well…We just could not find the hits to stay in the ballgame” said Randy Stough, PCA head coach. 

After playing the waiting game well past the scheduled 5 p.m. start time (the 6A Championship played beforehand went to the IF game wreaking havoc on the schedule for the rest of the night) the Panthers and Bears stepped onto the Signature Stadium turf.

The first game was competitive as the Bears and Panthers traded runs throughout the first six innings. Plainview High led 4-3 going into the seventh. And then they just blew the game wide-open, scoring nine runs. 

Riley Sweeney – in the first inning – drove a pitch over the outfield fence to cut Plainview’s lead to 2-1. The Bears answered with a run in the third to push back ahead 3-1. 

Prattville Christian, in the bottom of the third, tied the game on a Sarah Williams double that scored Jersee Carter and Sweeney. 

The Bears responded with a run in the fourth, scoring on a PCA error. 

Plainview blew the game open in the seventh with a Katie Puckett grand slam, pushing the mark to 7-3. The Bears added another six runs before PCA was finally able to get out of the inning. 

In the bottom of the seventh Sweeney, who finished the first game with two hits and RBIs, singled to score Payson Hanson. 

The fourth run was the last of night for the Panthers as they were defeated 13-4 forcing an IF game.  

Sweeney and Williams combined to drive home the four PCA runs. Carter and Sweeney (two each), Williams and Saniyah Weaver collectively accounted for the Panthers’ six hits. 

Landyn McAnnally took the loss, working six and a third and throwing 142 pitches scattering seven strikeouts and allowing seven earned runs (on eight hits). Sweeney and Lara Beth NesSmith came on in relief working – essentially – an out a piece to finish out the game. 

McAnally – who – threw five pitches in the 13-0 IF game loss to Plainview, has been the Panthers workhorse all season and especially in the state tournament. 

Over the course of three games she threw 51 pitches and worked three innings in the PCA win over Fyffe (fanning four), worked a complete game 11-K outing (90 pitches) against Beulah and then threw 120 against Plainview in their semifinal meeting where she fanned 11 Bears. 

But, the Bears seemingly had her number as they rattled off eight hits in that game and then (in the first game of the state championship series) continued their attack with eight more hits. 

Stough on getting to the Championship game: “We have high standards every year and our goal is to get here and win the blue map. I cant argue with this group fighting and clawing to get here. We just didnt finish like we wanted to. We’ve had a great run the last 3 or 4 years and we have some good young kids coming back.”

The second game of the series – the Panthers never got out of the gate as Plainview went to work in the first and plated three runs in the first, three more in the third and then seven in the fourth. 

Alivia Messick got the start and worked three innings, fanning four. Bears batters rattled off eight hits and scored nine runs (eight earned). NesSmith stepped in and worked two-thirds of the fourth but she got touched up for four hits and four runs before McAnnally stepped inside the circle and managed to get her team out of the inning. 

Offensively, PCA had four hits coming from the usual suspects: Sweeney, Weaver, Chloe Hollon and Sally Swindall, and left five runner’s stranded.

Tessa Word picked up the win for the Bears. 

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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