HomeNewsSouth Side softball wins District 12-AAA championship

South Side softball wins District 12-AAA championship

South Side softball pitcher Alissa Clifft has worked with her catcher, Caitlin Cox, since they were in sixth grade.

So they know each other well.

That came in handy during the seventh inning of their District 12-AAA championship game at South Gibson Monday night.

The Lady Hawks won 1-0, but the win came with a bit of drama toward the end.

After Elizabeth Vales recorded the RBI in the bottom of the fourth inning to give the Lady Hawks the lead when Kimora Currie reached home running for Cox, it was up to the defense to preserve the shutout and claim the program’s second straight district title.

South Gibson hit a double to the left-field fence and moved the tying run to third with one out on a pass ball.

First baseman Callie Ramsey quickly picked up a bunt down the first-base line and collided with the runner for the second out and held the runner on third.

But Clifft appeared to have trouble keeping her pitches down on the next batter, as the umpire called balls on the first three pitches – all high.

At that point, the infield started to walk toward Clifft when Cox came out from behind home plate for a discussion. But Cox waved the rest of the infield off for a one-on-one discussion with her pitcher.

“She didn’t really say anything serious or anything like this,” Clifft said. “She just told me that we’ve done this before, we’re working together, our defense has been working well all game … so I just needed to relax and pitch.”

Clifft admitted with the district championship on the line, that was difficult for a few minutes.

But she recorded a strike on the next pitch, which caused a conversation between South Gibson’s head coach and the home plate umpire that resulted in the Hornets’ coach being ejected.

Then after a couple of fouls, the potential game-tying hit flew down the right-field line. Right-fielder Aubree Dorris ran over to the line and tracked the ball into her glove for the out to end the game and win the championship.

The team celebrated in the infield for a few minutes before discussing what was next: The Region 7-AAA tournament.

South Side will host the 11-AAA runner-up in the region semifinal on Monday. The loser of that game is eliminated. The region championship is on Wednesday with both teams automatically advancing to the sectional on Friday, May 19. The Region 6-AAA champion will host the runner-up from Region 5 with the winner going to the state tournament in Murfreesboro the next week.

“We’re not done yet, but this is an important step to get where we want to go,” Clifft said after the win. “We wanted to host the next game, and we get to.

“So now we’ve got to win that to take the next step.”

Lady Hawks coach Mason Taylor said he presses that point to the team throughout the last few weeks.

“I tell them that we need to just go 1-0 that day, and then we’ll worry about the next game on that day,” Taylor said. “And that’s what we were focused on today is just winning this game.

“We’ve won it. We’re proud of it. But we’ve got a big one next week we’ve got to prepare for.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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