Area champions

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 8, 2006

When Thomasville and Demopolis high schools meet on an athletic field, it’s guaranteed to be a grudge match.

Whether its baseball, football, or – in Thursday’s case – softball, the two rival squads of Tigers consistently put their best on display. As Demopolis hosted the Area 5 Tournament Thursday, Thomasville and Demopolis’ softball teams put that rivalry to the ultimate test, playing three games in less than seven hours.

DHS’s Lady Tigers defended their territory, winning two games, including a 2-0 shutout that clinched the Area 5 Title. The win clears an easier path through the playoffs for Demopolis.

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They’ll likely host Jemison in the Sub-State Round 1Tuesday.

The Lady Tigers’ beat Thomasville 2-1 in game one and lost a heartbreaker 4-2 Thursday afternoon, before shutting down Thomasville for the championship.

“The second game we played well, but we had a lot of critical errors,” DHS head softball coach Joey Browder said after clinching the title. “This time we came out, took care of business and did what we needed to do to win.”

In the Lady Tigers’ first game, DHS came out ahead, 2-1, in a pitchers’ duel between Brandi McGee and Thomasville hurler Dominique Watters. McGee allowed just four hits, and the only run she gave up was a fourth-inning homer to her opponent on the mound.

Seniors Dorothy Knapp, India Chancellor and Hunter Lewis provided the offense. As if it was a set play, in the first and third innings,

Knapp hit a single, Chancellor moved her into scoring position and Lewis drove her in. The three seniors each went 2-3 for the ballgame.

Chancellor and Knapp were the offensive catalysts in game two, as well. Chancellor got things started with a first-inning double. Jazmine Simmons, who went 1-3 from the plate, drove her in.

In the fifth, Knapp’s bat came alive and crushed a ball over the fence. But errors let the game slip away, forcing a tiebreaker. It was Thomasville’s fourth ballgame of the day (they started the action by dispatching Choctaw County in the day’s first game).

Sara Davis gave up just five hits and no runs, striking out 11 in game three.

Jazmine Simmons was one for three, Hunter Lewis was 1-4, Stewart Gross 2-3. Hunter Lewis scored one run and Raven Simmons scored as a pinch runner Davis.

“We will practice as usually. We have plenty to work on. We’re just taking it one game at a time,” Browder said.

Andriena Baldwin contributed to this report.