Patrician standout Sturdivant signs with Judson College

(Photo courtesy Choctaw Sun)

Patrician Academy senior Charlie Sturdivant will continue her softball career at the collegiate level next season after signing with Judson College. Sturdivant is a former West Alabama Watchman All-County volleyball and softball player from her time at Sweet Water High School. Since transferring to Patrician, she has been an All-County and All-Region selection in volleyball and was the Choctaw Sun Player of the Year as a junior.

Maverick takes third place in Southern Nationals

The Maverick 12U travel softball team based out of Demopolis competed in the NSA Southern Nationals in Foley July 25-29. Maverick brought home third place after a 3-1 loss to the Lady Bombers of North Alabama punctuated the tournament.

Maverick competed for some 14 hours on the final elimination day of the draw, playing three games consecutively to close the proceedings. Maverick wraps its spring/summer season with five championship round appearances in 10 tournaments totaling 47 games to their record.

Maverick is set to resume fall playing September as it looks to best its marks from the previous season. More information on the squad is available on Facebook at Marengo Maverick.

The team is coached by Cobey Rowley, Bill March, Jake Rich, Randall Smith and Brian Brown.

The team consists of:

Haylee Rowley – P

Ashton Moorer – P

Cloie Henry – C

Kyla Brown – 1B

Tsianina Autery – 2B

Emily Schroeder – SS

Audrey Marsh – 3B

Lauren Smith – LF

Stevani Foster – CF

Weezie Hughes – SS

Mallory Sluder – RF

All in the Family: Petrey siblings earn Hitter of the Year honors

Davis Petrey hit .508 as a sophomore and earned AISA Hitter of the Year from the ASWA.

They apparently grow hitters in the Petrey household, at least, that’s the takeaway from the Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State baseball and softball teams released over the weekend.

When the softball squad released Saturday morning, Marengo Academy shortstop Macey Petrey found her name listed right behind the words Hitter of the Year in the AISA classification. When the state’s scribes released their baseball team 24 hours later, it was Marengo Academy shortstop Davis Petrey who found his name emblazoned to the right of the same title.

“It surprised me at first. Usually, it seems like it’s a senior or junior or somebody that gets something like that. I just wasn’t expecting it really,” Davis said of his initial reaction to the honor.

The award was less than surprising for Macey, a Mississippi State signee who was also the MVP of the AISA Class A state tournament in May. Petrey, who also earned Super 10 from the ASWA Sunday evening, hit .543 with 10 home runs, 73 RBI, 61 runs scored, 29 doubles and 36 stolen bases as a senior.

“Definitely, having to step up and lead the team. In the past, we’ve had some really good seniors that just have always been our leaders. We were lucky enough to have those players,” Macey said of the most challenging part of her senior season. “I’ve never really had to be in that leadership role. That was definitely something different. And, my dad coaching, obviously he pushes me to be better every day.”

Macey Petrey hit .536 with 10 homers and 73 RBI during a senior campaign that saw her win AISA Hitter of the Year from the ASWA.

Celebrated as it was, Macey’s honor came as little surprise to the Petrey household or the Longhorn faithful. Davis, however, was less expecting when he saw his name attached to the award. By his own admission, the sophomore shortstop did not start the 2017 season the way he would have liked.

“At the beginning of the year, I just was trying to hit the ball too hard,” Davis recalled before explaining the process that settled him in for the stellar campaign he pieced together. “Just going in and hitting off the tee for a long time, every day before games. Then it was just trying to get on base. All I was trying to do was not strike out. Don’t be an easy out.”

“His mental game is really strong. You don’t see a lot of sophomores that can just out there and hit senior pitching or really good teams and always get on base,” Macey said of her younger brother’s poise and performance. “Every time I watched, I swear he always got on base. I’m so jealous. He’s just an athlete.”

Davis finished his season with a .508 batting average to highlight a resume that also included 34 RBI, 30 runs scored and 14 stolen bases.

As honored as they were to receive their respective awards, the middle two Petrey children are the latest products of a household culture that is clearly passionate about baseball and softball. That household culture, they pointed out, is largely predicated upon the work of their patriarch, Chris.

“Probably my dad,” Macey said of the love that she and Davis have had for their respective sports. “He played until he couldn’t play anymore. It’s probably not more the love of the sport, but the work that’s put into the sport. From there, you learn to love and grow in the sport. It’s just really fun.”

“He just never really made it one of those things that wasn’t fun. You got to go out to the baseball field after school. You didn’t have to go home right after school. You get to have fun,” Davis explained.

As they reflected upon the individual numbers, personal accolades and team state championships that comprised the 2017 season for both the Longhorn baseball and softball teams, the duo acknowledged the important role their father has played in the process.

“A lot kids, to me, their parents push them so hard to the point that it’s not fun. Our dad has always tried to make us the best we can be, but he has never pushed us to a point where we don’t have fun and we don’t want to play. It has always been just fun,” she said.

Macey and Davis are the children of Chris and Ashley Petrey of Demopolis.

ASWA names Mr. Baseball/Mrs. Softball; Latham, Smith make Super 10

HOOVER – Decatur’s Tanner Burns and Westminster Christian’s Annie Willis were named Mr. Baseball and Miss Softball, respectively, by the Alabama Sports Writers Association on Sunday night at the group’s 46th annual convention at the Hyatt-Wynfrey in Hoover.

In addition, Mobile Christian’s Ethan Hearn was named the recipient of the ASWA’s Jimmy Smothers Courage Award. Named after the long-time sports editor of the Gadsden Times and guiding force in the ASWA, it recognizes his commitment to local and high school sports coverage, and honors a high school athlete who has overcome adversity and shown immense courage.

Burns, expected to be a high choice in the Major League Baseball player draft this week, was selected the ASWA’s Class 6A first-team shortstop and the 6A Player of the Year when the group’s prep committee met last week to select its all-state team. Burns was also the 6A hitter of the year in 2016 as a utility player, a first-team pitcher in 2015 and first-team designated hitter as a freshman.

In 37 games for the 32-5 Red Raiders, the senior hit .467 with 18 homers, 46 RBI, 49 hits and 56 runs. He walked 29 times and struck out just six times. As a right-handed pitcher, Burns went 10-1 with a 0.88 ERA and 116 strikeouts against 22 walks, while allowing eight earned runs in 64 innings. The Auburn signee helped Decatur to the quarterfinals – where the team was ranked 32nd in the nation before its loss to Cullman.

Willis was the Pitcher and Player of the Year in Class 4A in helping her team to a runner-up finish and a 51-4-1 record. With 543 strikeouts this year, she finished her pitching career with 1,975. This year, she went 43-3-1 and had an ERA of 0.40. She pitched five no-hitters, three perfect games and 21 shutouts. Willis allowed 44 walks, 90 hits and 15 earned runs in 259 2/3 innings.

The senior hit .464 this year with 12 homers, 64 RBI, 70 hits, scored 40 runs, walked 23 times and struck out just nine times. She was a first-team all-state pitcher as a junior and sophomore and was honorable mention as a freshman. The Troy signee helped the Wildcats to a high-water mark of 14th in the country.

Hearn was honored for his courage in the face of tremendous adversity. The sophomore returned from football practice on a Thursday night last November to find his mother dead of an apparent suicide. Though his teammates and coaches rushed to his house to comfort him that night, few expected him to make the trip to Oakman early the next morning for the team’s Class 3A quarterfinal playoff game. Not only did Hearn make the trip, he made 8.5 tackles in a Mobile Christian victory and eventually helped power the Leopards to the title game.

(First place votes in parentheses)

Tanner Burns, Decatur                                 (9) 117
Bubba Thompson, McGill-Toolen              (2)   87
Jacob Heatherly, Cullman                                    80
Cody Greenhill, Russellville                                 66
Sam Praytor, Helena                                             57
Connor Jednat, UMS-Wright                               39
Taylor Hayes, Piedmont                                      37
Jonah Smith, Sweet Water                                  17
Brock Guffey, Hoover                                           13
Drew Williamson, T.R. Miller                              11

    2017: Tanner Burns, Decatur
    2016: Owen Lovell, Cullman
    2015: Brax Garrett, Florence
    2014: Cody Reed, Ardmore
    2013: Keegan Thompson, Cullman
    2012: Mikey White, Spain Park
    2011: Daniel Koger, Huntsville
    2010: Daryl Norris, Fairhope
    2009: Luke Bole, Hartselle
    2008: Tyler Stovall, Hokes Bluff
    2007: John David Smelser, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa
    2006: Del Howell, American Chr.
    2005: Colby Rasmus, Russell Co.
    2004: Patrick White, Daphne
    2003: Joey Doan, Baker
    2002: Allen Ponder, Lee-Scott Acad.
    2001: Eric West, Southside-Gadsden
    2000: Wade Miller, G.W. Long
    1999: Matthew Maniscalco, Oxford

Annie Willis, Westminster Chr.                  (8) 115
Jenna Ergle, Sumiton Chr.                           (3) 105
Kendall Beth Sides, Sumiton Chr.                      73
Mary Katherine Tedder, Spain Park                  70
Abbey Latham, Demopolis                                  56
Josie Page, Washington Co.                                49
Lacey Fincher, Faith Acad.                                   39
Zoie Emrick, Buckhorn                                         24
Alex Wilcox, Brantley                                            23
Amy Woodham, Slocomb                                    17

2017: Annie Willis, Westminster Chr.
2016: Ashlee Swindle, Curry
2015: Lacey Sumerlin, Baker
2014: Madi Moore, Winfield
2013: Kasey Cooper, Dothan
2012: Haylie McCleney, Mortimer Jordan
2011: Shelby Holley, Pisgah
2010: Leigh Streetman, Hueytown
2009: Hilary Phillips, Ider
2008: Lindsey Dunlap, Hueytown
2007: Whitney Larsen, Vestavia Hills
2006: Anna Thompson, Grissom
2005: Tara Donaldson, Baker
2004: Anna Thompson, Grissom
2003: Holly Currie, Pisgah

2017: Ethan Hearn, Mobile Chr.
2016: Alex Wilcox, Brantley


Petrey, Latham take ASWA All-State superlatives

Abbey Latham was the Class 5A Player of the Year.

Macey Petrey earned AISA Hitter of the Year honors.











Marengo County’s top two softball performers earned high honors this season as the Alabama Sports Writers Association released its 2017 All-State Softball Teams. Demopolis catcher Abbey Latham and Marengo Academy shortstop Macey Petrey each snagged superlatives in addition to garnering First Team spots in their respective classes.


Latham, an Ole Miss signee, earned Class 5A Hitter of the Year recognition after a season that saw her hit .605 with 19 homeruns, 74 RBIs, 61 runs scored, 15 doubles and five triples. Latham also swiped 16 bases in a campaign that saw her propel her team to within a win of the Class 5A state tournament. She wrapped the year with a .639 on-base percentage after having finished as the 5A Hitter of the Year in 2016.


Petrey, who drove the Longhorns to an AISA Class A state championship, took Hitter of the Year honors for the AISA. The Mississippi State signee hit .543 to go along with 10 homers, 73 RBIs, 61 runs scored, 29 doubles, three triples and 36 stolen bases. She is the first Longhorn to earn such an honor since Katie Tucker took the award in 2010.

Sweet Water pitcher Thea Luker, a Coastal Alabama signee, is the other First Team honoree from the county. She pitched the Bulldogs to a stellar season with a 14-13 record that also saw her record three saves. She finished with a 3.59 ERA, striking out 185 batters over 136 innings.

(photo by Johnny Autery)
Thea Luker earned Class 1A First Team All-State honors.

Demopolis saw a trio of players receive Honorable Mention nods amid a strong Class 5A group. Natalie Tatum was Honorable Mention at pitcher. She had a 1.90 ERA with 180 strikeouts over 147 innings of work. Elly Brown was Honorable Mention at second base after a season that saw her hit .407 with five homers and 46 RBIs. Brown also scored 51 runs and had 11 doubles.

Kendall Hannah took Honorable Mention at designated hitter with a sterling season that saw her hit .452 to go along with seven homers, 34 RBIs, 19 doubles and two triples.

Sweet Water placed two players on Second Team in Class 1A. Lara Little was Second Team at second base after hitting .461 with seven homers, 42 RBIs and 38 runs scored. Sara Irvin was Second Team at the utility spot after hitting .477 with four homers, 18 doubles, 30 RBIs and 43 runs scored.

Marengo Academy had a young trio also make the team. Seventh grader Trinity Wilkinson was Second Team at utility after hitting .424 with five homers and 57 RBIs. She also scored 41 runs and stole 28 bases. Mary Grace Sheffield, a ninth grader, was Honorable Mention at second base after a season that included a .392 average with 12 doubles, 37 stolen bases and 59 runs scored. Riley Newton, an eighth grader, received an Honorable Mention nod at designated hitter. She hit .451 with 15 doubles, 25 stolen bases, 28 RBIs, and 59 runs scored.

The ASWA teams for all classes appear in their entirety below.

2017 ASWA All-State Softball Team


First Team 

P – Zoie Emrick, Buckhorn, Sr.

P – Lauren Hayden, Buckhorn, Sr.

P – Kailey Stoker, Sparkman, Sr.

P – Annabelle Widra, Spain Park, 8th

C – Abby Tissier, Hoover, Sr.

1B – Victoria Ortiz, Baker, Jr.

2B – Delaney Thomas, Baker, Sr.

3B – Shelby Booker, James Clemens, Sr.

SS – Mary Katherine Tedder, Spain Park, Sr.

OF – Jaden Morace, Fairhope, Jr.

OF – Jenna Olszewski, Spain Park, Sr.

OF – Taylor Davis, Sparkman, Jr.

DH – Lauren Haskins, Thompson, So.

DH – Keaton Barnes, Huntsville, Jr.

UTL – Samantha Yarbrough, Fairhope, Jr.

UTL – Maddie Parks, Tuscaloosa County, So.


Pitcher of the Year: Zoie Emrick, Burkhorn

Hitter of the Year: Victoria Ortiz, Baker

Player of the Year: Mary Katherine Tedder, Spain Park

Coach of the Year: Alvin Rauls, Buckhorn


Second Team

P – Lily Calvert, Sparkman, So.

P – Abby Jones, Oak Mountain, Sr.

P – Emma Kropp, Fairhope, So.

P – Caitlin McRee, Baker, So.

C – Kaylee Combs, Buckhorn, Sr.

1B – Briana Chappell, Tuscaloosa County, Sr.

2B – Mackenzie Nutt, Sparkman, Sr.

3B – Lane Neumann, Huntsville, Sr.

SS – Merritt Cahoon, Vestavia Hills, Jr.

OF – Nicole Buccieri, Bob Jones, Sr.

OF – Sara Castillo, Central-Phenix City, Sr.

OF – Ellie Largen, Huntsville, Fr.

DH – Sidney Edwards, Buckhorn, Sr.

DH – O’Neil Roberson, Oak Mountain, Sr.

UTL – Gracie Deaton, Central-Phenix City, Jr.

UTL – Emma Hindi, Prattville, Jr.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Bailey Whitfield, Thompson, Jr.; Hannah Pitts, Auburn, 8th

Catcher: Hope Mynard, Enterprise, Jr.; Cassady Greenwood, Oak Mountain, Jr.

First base: Sarah Cain, Vestavia Hills, Jr.; Olivia Sinquefield, Smiths Station, Jr.

Second base: Shelby Kyser, Enterprise, Jr.; Kendall Johnson, Tuscaloosa County, Sr.

Third base: Quantorriya Jackson, Lee-Montgomery, Sr.; Shelby Newsome, Central-Phenix City, Fr.

Shortstop: Sara Chappell, Tuscaloosa County, Sr.; TJ Webster, Sparkman, So.

Outfield: Kindall Deramus, Thompson, So.; Kaitlynn Diaz, Baker, Jr.

Designated hitter: Caroline Parker, Spain Park, Sr.; Jessica Simmons, Huntsville, So.

Utility: Kennedy Foote, Thompson, Fr.



First Team

P – McKenzie Newcomb, Hazel Green, 8th

P – Makenna Pierce, Daphne, Jr.

P – Jaala Torrence, Northview, Fr.

P – JoJo Skinner, Oxford, Sr.

C – Sarah Howell, Oxford, Fr.

1B – Skylar Birdyshaw, Walker, Jr.

2B – Emilee Coker, Southside-Gadsden, Jr.

3B – Karsen Mosley, Saraland, Jr.

SS – Kennedy Cronan, Daphne, Jr.

OF – Katie Lively, Helena, Jr.

OF – Mia Griffin, Walker, So.

OF – Haley Lyner, Oxford, Sr.

DH – Aspyn Godwin, Daphne, Jr.

DH – Hannah Morton, Cullman, Sr.

UTL – Allie Miller, Chelsea, Jr.

UTL – Hannah Hayes, Hazel Green, Jr.


Pitcher of the Year: Makenna Pierce, Daphne

Hitter of the Year: Karsen Mosley, Saraland

Player of the Year: McKenzie Newcomb, Hazel Green

Coach of the Year: Mike Benson, Hazel Green


Second Team

P – Avery Barnett, Helena, So.

P – Sarah Cespedes, Chelsea, Jr.

P – Daizee Finley, Robertsdale, Jr.

P – Rylee Waldrep, Oxford, Sr.

C – Kelsie Cornelius, Wetumpka, Sr.

1B – Sherrell Matthews, Stanhope Elmore, Fr.

2B – Olivia Wilborn, Decatur, Fr.

3B – Olivia Coaker, Gulf Shores, So.

SS – Kaylynn Garrett, Oxford, Sr.

OF – Amber Dempsey, Oxford, Sr.

OF – Mary Greg Anderson, Athens, So.

OF – Sarah Wallace, Muscle Shoals, Sr.

DH – Brooke Lyles, Gardendale, Sr.

DH – Taylor McKinney, Park Crossing, 8th

UTL – Chaney Phillips, Gardendale, Jr.

UTL – Madisen Adams, Brewer, So.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Erin Claborn, Austin, Sr.; Olivia Schwaiger, Cullman, Sr.

Catcher: Ashton Hill, Austin, Sr.; Bailey Swann, Cullman, So.; Brooke Lyles, Gardendale, Sr.

First base: Camryn Smith, Chelsea, So.; Lauren Terrell, Robertsdale, Jr.

Second base: Tori Baker, Opelika, Jr.; Bree Gree, Saraland, Fr.; Carlee McCondichie, Gardendale, So.

Third base: Gracie Green, Athens, So.; Karsen Pierce, Daphne, Fr.

Shortstop: Bria Smiley, Austin, Sr.; Kahalley Brooks, Baldwin County, So.

Outfield: Caroline Pope, Southside-Gadsden, Sr.; Kylie Winton, Hartselle, So.

Designated hitter: Lauren Hunt, Southside-Gadsden, So.; Haven Hester, Hazel Green, Jr.

Utility: Jessie Lee, Fort Payne, Sr.; Katie Young, Opelika, Sr.; Brooke Burback, Chelsea, Fr.



First Team

P – Layton Murphy, Marbury, Sr.

P – Emmah Rolfe, Alexandria, 7th

P – Stephanie Schoonover, Rehobeth, Fr.

P – Abby Swaney, Springville, So.

C – Abbey Latham, Demopolis, Sr.

1B – Lindsey Richardson, Moody, Fr.

2B – Sidney Wagnon, Moody, Jr.

3B – Lauren Hopper, Lawrence County, Jr.

SS – Lacey Fincher, Faith Academy, Jr.

OF – Macy Kate Petriske, Scottsboro, Sr.

OF – Jessica Shaw, Alexandria, Sr.

OF – Talia Truitt, Rehobeth, Sr.

DH – Karla Hice, Ardmore, So.

DH – Morgan Maze, Mortimer Jordan, Jr.

UTL – Kiara Akles, Cleburne County, Sr.

UTL – Megan Hill, Lawrence County, Sr.


Pitcher of the Year: Abby Swaney, Springville

Hitter of the Year: Lacey Fincher, Faith Academy

Player of the Year: Abbey Latham, Demopolis

Coach of the Year: Robyn Johnson, Scottsboro


Second Team

P – Lauren Rase, Rehobeth, Jr.

P – Shelby Waldrop, Scottsboro, Fr.

P – Meagan Schwieterman, Guntersville, Sr.

P – Katie Parrish, Etowah, Sr.

C – Chelsea Parker, Cleburne County, Jr.

1B – Gracie Benton, Hayden, Fr.

2B – Chloe Kirkland, Hayden, Sr.

3B – Tiffany York, Faith Academy, Sr.

SS – Savannah Woodard, Hayden, So.

OF – Cristavia Curry, Lincoln, So.

OF – Heaven Jackson, Moody, Jr.

OF – Piper Long, Springville, Jr.

DH – Blake Gibson, Rehobeth, So.

DH – Timberlyn Shurbutt, Alexandria, Sr.

UTL – Amber Parker, Cleburne County, Sr.

UTL – Kyndra Richard, Curry, Jr.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Maggie Caldwell, Eufaula, Jr.; Natalie Tatum, Demopolis, Jr.

Catcher: Brett Parker, Beauregard, Jr.; Loren Grider, Scottsboro, Jr.

First base: L.B. Smith, Ardmore, Fr.; Taylor Robinson, Faith Academy, Jr.

Second base: Lydia Coleman, Briarwood Christian, 8th; Elly Brown, Demopolis, So.

Third base: Brantly Bonds, Corner, So.; Carlee Mullinax, Lincoln, Sr.

Shortstop: Hannah Popwell, Headland, Jr.; Kaylee Chapman, Springville, Jr.

Outfield: Tatiana Ervin, Cleburne County, Jr.; Kylie Thackerson, Scottsboro, Sr.

Designated hitter: Sydnee Reaves, Central-Clay County, 7th; Kendall Hannah, Demopolis, Jr. 

Utility: Riley Coyne, Briarwood Christian, Jr.; Kaylyn Dunn, Guntersville, So.



First Team

P – Haley Pittman, Alabama Christian, Fr.

P – Lacy Spear, Alabama Christian, Jr.

P – Savannah Stamps, Northside, Jr.

P – Annie Willis, Westminster Christian, Sr.

C – Anna Blake Lowe, Haleyville, Jr.

1B – Allie Newberry, Thomasville, So.

2B – Brianna Crim, Thomasville, Fr.

3B – Breanna Tarpley, West Limestone, Sr.

SS – Riley Grace Honeycutt, Northside, Jr.

OF – Claire West, Madison Academy, So.

OF – Hannah Ingram, Cordova, Sr.

OF – Lauren McCoy, Westminster Christian, So.

DH – Harley Stokes, Hale County, Sr.

DH – Carley Wood, White Plains, Sr.

UTL – Kaylyn Dismukes, Holtville, So.

UTL – Chloe Deerman, West Blocton, Fr.


Pitcher of the Year: Annie Willis, Westminster Christian

Hitter of the Year: Carley Wood, White Plains

Player of the Year: Annie Willis, Westminster Christian

Coach of the Year: Tommy Honeycutt, Northside


Second Team

P – Michaelyn Foster, Montgomery Catholic, Sr.

P – Laken DiStefano, Central-Florence, Sr.

P – Savanna Holmes, Hale County, Jr.

P – Maria Mask, Wilson, Sr.

C – Destiny Noble, Northside, Jr.

1B – Hannah Rogers, Dale County, Sr.

2B – Kelsie Gilliam, Hale County, Jr.

3B – Brianna Posey, Central-Florence, So.

SS – Olivia Aycock, Westminster Christian, Jr.

OF – Mattie Kerr, Hamilton, Jr.

OF – Schylur Edwards, Alabama Christian, Sr.

OF – Carson Beatty, Northside, Jr.

DH – Courtney Ellzey, Satsuma, Jr.

DH – Shelby Wood, White Plains, Sr.

UTL – Hannah Dailey, St. James, Sr.

UTL – Taylor Brown, Wilson, So.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Baily Browning, West Limestone, Jr.

Catcher: Madi Robertson, Satsuma, So.; Emily Peyton, Westminster Christian, Jr.; Emma Broadfoot, Danville, Fr.

First base: Emilie Brown, Handley, Sr.; Kelsie Gilliam, Hale County, Jr.

Second base: None.

Third base: Taylor Benton, DAR, Sr.; Addie Robinson, Handley, Jr.

Shortstop: Jaiden Farnetti, West Blocton, Fr.; Aleigha Walden, Montgomery Catholic, Jr.

Outfield: Isabella Pinto, White Plains, Jr.; Mary Kilpatrick, Cordova, Jr.

Designated hitter: Emma Hyche, Cordova, So.; Sam Sisco, Dale County, Sr.

Utility: Morgan Weatherwax, Danville, Sr.; Josie Thompson, North Jackson, So.



First Team

P – Chandler Wyatt, American Christian, Sr.

P – Kennedy Barron, Pisgah, 8th

P – Corinna Dodd, Locust Fork, Jr.

P – Amy Woodham, Slocomb, Sr.

C – Anna Hood, Locust Fork, Jr.

1B – Emily Boin, Wicksburg, So.

2B – Kate Grill, American Christian, Fr.

3B – McKinley Parris, Pleasant Valley, Jr.

SS – Anabelle Brown, Plainview, Sr.

OF – Hannah Sartain, American Christian, Jr.

OF – Anna Kate Segars, East Lawrence, Jr.

OF – Kaylee Vaught, Pisgah, So.

DH – Bailey Smart, Plainview, Jr.

DH – Kolby Holcombe, Holly Pond, Jr.

UTL – Kathryn Fallen, Prattville Christian, So.

UTL – Mikayla Kendrick, Pleasant Valley, Jr.


Pitcher of the Year: Corinna Dodd, Locust Fork

Hitter of the Year: Kaylee Vaught, Pisgah

Player of the Year: Amy Woodham, Slocomb

Coach of the Year: Greg Kosloff, Gordo


Second Team

P – Cierra Brown, Gordo, Sr.

P – Jaylee Stough, Geneva, So.

P – Hannah Brenton, Mobile Christian, Sr.

P – Katherine Thompson, Plainview, So.

C – Macy Anderson, Pisgah, So.

1B – Kylie Robinson, Colbert Heights, So.

2B – Camille Palmer, Providence Christian, 8th

3B – Morgan White, Lauderdale County, Fr.

SS – Janie Posey, Houston Academy, Jr.

OF – Jada Terry, West Morgan, Sr.

OF – Kaylee Raines, Geneva, Sr.

OF – Amara Myles, Slocomb, So.

DH – Mariah Thompson, Weaver, Jr.

DH – Peyton Willcutt, Oakman, Sr.

UTL – Brittany Todd, Beulah, Sr.

UTL – Alanna Goble, J.B. Pennington, So.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Paisley Wilson, Prattville Christian, So.; Briley Pitt, East Lawrence, Fr.

Catcher: Cassidy Hudson, Lauderdale County, So.; Halli Koon, Gordo, So.

First base: Lori Terry, East Lawrence, Jr.; Kenzi Traylor, Plainview, Fr.

Second base: Abby Craig, Clements, So.; Kennedi Traylor, Plainview, Jr.

Third base: Makindle McGough, Carbon Hill, Jr.; Ariyon Hightower, Opp, Sr.

Shortstop: Alysia Anderson, Clements, Sr.; Emma James, Colbert Heights, So.

Outfield: Madison Hanson, Prattville Christian, Fr.; Taylor Clegg, Gordo, 8th

Designated hitter: Lauren Trousdale, Lauderdale County, Sr.; Emma Houston, Providence Christian, Fr.

Utility: Ashton White, Wicksburg, 7th; Ashley Daffin, Clarke County, Jr.



First Team

P – Ashley Berryman, Hatton, Fr.

P – Kynsley Blasingame, Horseshoe Bend, Sr.

P – Harley Godwin, Fyffe, Sr.

P – Riley Vaughn, Mars Hill, 7th

C – Katelyn Williams, Hatton, Jr.

1B – Brooklyn Pennington, Lamar County, Fr.

2B – Sydney Smith, Leroy, Sr.

3B – Erika Mitchell, Mars Hill, Fr.

SS – Emma Latham, Hatton, So.

OF – Lanie Page, Leroy, Jr.

OF – Brylie St. Clair, Sand Rock, So.

OF – Brittany Rivera, Collinsville, Fr.

DH – Olivia Baker, G.W. Long, So.

DH – Aryelle Jones, Collinsville, Sr.

UTL – Josie Page, Washington County, Sr.

UTL – Crystal McElhaney, Ider, Jr.


Pitcher of the Year: Kynsley Blasingame, Horseshoe Bend

Hitter of the Year: Emma Latham, Hatton

Player of the Year: Josie Page, Washington County

Coach of the Year: Nikki Long, G.W. Long


Second Team

P – Katlyn Childress, Billingsley, Sr.

P – Mollie Foster, Leroy, Sr.

P – Ayriana Stoneback, Reeltown, Jr.

P – Magen Rich, Sand Rock, Sr.

C – Morgan Long, G.W. Long, Sr.

1B – Kaitlyn Kleismit, Fyffe, Sr.

2B – Sophie Page, Washington County, 8th

3B – Kaylee Hassell, Lamar County, Fr.

SS – Savannah Sudduth, Lamar County, Jr.

OF – Natalie Richey, Fayetteville, So.

OF – Keeli Bobbitt, Lamar County, Sr.

OF – Morgan McGuire, Reeltown, So.

DH – Hayley Haggard, New Brockton, Sr.

DH – Paige Norris, Sand Rock, Jr.

UTL – Abigail Beech, Leroy, So.

UTL – Hannah Peters, Ariton, Sr.

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: Hannah Calhoun, Goshen, So.; Emmie Coachman, Cottonwood, Sr.

Catcher: Annah Steadman, Mars Hill, Jr.; Lila Blackburn, Red Bay, 8th

First base: Casey Headley, Billingsley, So.; Lexus Collins, West End, 8th

Second base: Hannah Henry, Mars Hill, Fr.; Cambelle Bryant, Ider, Fr.

Third base: Sagen Thomas, Fyffe, Sr.; Carson Hussey, New Brockton, Sr.

Shortstop: Abby Land, Geneva County, Fr.

Outfield: Mallory Stiefel, Fyffe, Sr.; Ivey Amlong, Zion Chapel, Jr.

Designated hitter: Asia Jones, Cottonwood, Jr.

Utility: Caroline Brannon, Collinsville, 8th; Mary Patton, Collinsville, Sr.



First Team

P – Leanna Johnson, Brantley, Jr.

P – Kamree Lay, Sumiton Christian, Sr.

P – Brooke Webb, Marion County, Sr.

P – Thea Luker, Sweet Water, Sr. 

C – Alaina Hampton, Coosa Christian, Sr.

1B – Sydney Kirkland, Millry, Sr.

2B – Brianna Cagle, Decatur Heritage, Sr.

3B – Taylor Whisonant, Sumiton Christian, Fr.

SS – Payton McGinnis, Spring Garden, So.

OF – Savanah Langston, Sumiton Christian, Sr.

OF – Kendall Beth Sides, Sumiton Christian, Sr.

OF – Alex Wilcox, Brantley, Sr.

DH – Jenna Ergle, Sumiton Christian, Sr.

DH – Josie Lipsey, Marion County, So.

UTL – Oakley Ward, Brilliant, Sr.

UTL – Lainey Wells, Brantley, Jr. 

Pitcher of the Year: Kamree Lay, Sumiton Christian

Hitter of the Year: Jenna Ergle, Sumiton Christian

Player of the Year: Jenna Ergle, Sumiton Christian

Coach of the Year: Jessica Gibson, Pleasant Home


Second Team

P – Ava Bailey, Pleasant Home, 8th

C – Destinee Harrison, Kinston, Sr.

1B – Olivia Jones, Brantley, So.

2B – Lara Little, Sweet Water, Sr.

3B – Amy Kate Bulger, Pleasant Home, 8th

SS – Lexie Gann, Covenant Christian, Jr.

OF – Emory Bush, Brantley, Fr.

OF – Alexis Hines, Marion County, Sr.

OF – Kaylee Bain, Tharptown, Sr.

DH – Payton Traffanstedt, Spring Garden, Jr.

DH – Natalie Watkins, South Lamar, Jr.

UTL – Kerstin Bryant, Spring Garden, Jr.

UTL – Sara Irvin, Sweet Water, Jr. 

Honorable Mention

Pitcher: None

Catcher: Kassidy Wilcox, Brantley, So.; Caitlyn Jones, Marion County, So.

First base: Claire Stephens, Coosa Christian, Jr.; Baileigh Evans, Decatur Heritage, Sr.

Second base: Shaylee Wieting, Tharptown, Fr.; Sommer Bullard, Berry, Jr.

Third base: Aidan Bellomy, Skyline, 8th

Shortstop: Breeann Biddle, Kinston, Sr.

Outfield: Madison Allen, Cedar Bluff, Fr.; Madison Smith, Skyline, So.

Designated hitter: Mackenzie Hollinger, South Lamar, Fr.; Alexis Smith, Cedar Bluff, Fr.

Utility: Abby Walker, Pleasant Home, Sr.; Abby Hester, Vina, Jr.



First team

P – McKenna Gillespie, Glenwood, Sr.

P – Savanna Wood, Abbeville Christian, So.

P – Shelby Lowe, Pickens Academy, Fr.

P – Tyler Armistead, Patrician, Sr.

C – Hannah Killingsworth, Lakeside, Sr.

1B – Sydney Sessions, Wilcox Academy, Sr.

2B – Caity Joe Lee, Edgewood, Sr.

3B – Morgan Kramer, Northside Methodist, Jr.

SS – Macey Petrey, Marengo Academy, Sr.

OF – Allison Johnson, Clarke Prep, Sr.

OF – Hope Gullatt, Glenwood, Jr.

OF – Sommer Sears, Macon-East, Sr.

DH – Taylor Ammons, Autauga Academy, Sr.

DH – Madisyn Kennedy, Macon-East, So.

UTL – Kacy Noland, Pickens Academy, Sr.

UTL – Peyton Rodie, Edgewood, Jr.


Pitcher of the Year: McKenna Gillespie, Glenwood

Hitter of the Year: Macey Petrey, Marengo Academy

Player of the Year: McKenna Gillespie, Glenwood

Coach of the Year: Jeremy DeLoach, Autauga Academy


Second team

P – Bailee Dempsey, Northside Methodist, Sr.

P – Taylor Adams, Autauga Academy, Sr.

P – Hannah DeLoach, Autauga Academy, Jr.

P – Caroline Capps, Macon-East, Fr.

C – Dawn Johnson, Macon-East, So.

1B – Kelsey Lewis, Patrician, Sr.

2B – Kaylee Pullin, Macon-East, Sr.

3B – Kayleigh Carter, Abbeville Christian, Jr.

SS – Arianna Atchley, Autauga Academy, So.

OF – Bailey Welch, Bessemer Academy, Fr.

OF – Karsyn Kemsel, Autauga Academy, So.

OF – Charkecia Davis, Evangel Christian, Jr.

DH – Jonnah Rager, Clarke Prep, Jr.

DH – Shelby Wood, Abbeville Christian, Sr.

UTL – Trinity Wilkinson, Marengo Academy, 7th

UTL – Kirstin Reynolds, Glenwood, Sr.

Honorable mention:

Pitcher: Emily Phillips, South Choctaw Academy, So.; Lindsey Johnson, Macon-East, Sr.

Catcher: Kassidy Tyson, Patrician, Sr.; Ashlyn Watford, Abbeville Christian, Sr.

First base: Mary Baxley Smith, Lee-Scott, Fr.; Makenzie Whatley, Evangel Christian, Sr.

Second base: Mary Grace Sheffield, Marengo Academy, Fr.; Lydia Lewis, Patrician, Jr.

Third base: Haleigh Dewberry, Pike Liberal Arts, Jr.; Kayla Boroff, Macon-East, Fr.

Shortstop: Landon DeLamar, Lee-Scott, Jr.; Morgan Bundy, Pike Liberal Arts, 8th

Outfield: Sierra Myers, Clarke Prep, Fr.; Laiken Hussey, Lowndes Academy, So.

Designated hitter: Riley Newton, Marengo Academy, 8th; Sidney Lee, Lee-Scott, 8th

Utility: Tara Ammons, Autauga Academy, Sr.; Haley Brown, Edgewood, 8th

Petrey, Latham split Watchman Player of the Year honors

Macey Petrey

For only the second time, the West Alabama Watchman has co-players of the year in a sport as SEC signees Abbey Latham and Macey Petrey each posted career years in leading their teams to strong seasons.

Petrey, a Mississippi State signee, shined as Marengo Academy’s shortstop with a .940 fielding percentage to go along with the best offensive season of her career. She hit a robust .543 on the season to go along with 10 homers, 29 doubles, three triples, 73 RBIs, 36 stolen bases and 61 runs scored. Most importantly, she led her team on a remarkable run through the postseason that culminated in the Longhorns winning the AISA, Class A state championship.

Abbey Latham

Latham earns Player of the Year honors for the third consecutive season after propelling her team to a 36-13 season with a tremendous season that includes a .605 batting average, 19 homers, 15 doubles, five triples, 16 stolen bases and 61 runs scored. The Tiger catcher and Ole Miss signee also drove in 74 runs on the season.

Coach of the Year honors go to Marengo Academy’s Chris Petrey, who stunned the AISA by escorting the Longhorns to the state championship well before most around the circuit expected such a return to prominence. Petrey’s team finished 26-19 on the season and put it all together at the right time in the state tournament, including a victory over nemesis Patrician after having lost to the Saints seven times in 2017. Petrey navigated a squad that included a seventh grade catcher at the cleanup spot and a freshman second baseman and eighth grade leftfielder filling out the top two spots in the order.

During the Longhorns’ state tournament run, Petrey nearly pushed every button flawlessly all the down to winning the coin toss for the final game and choosing to be the visiting team. His squad scored three runs in the top of the first inning. Then he inserted a freshman in the pitcher’s circle with the bases loaded and nobody out despite her not having thrown a single warmup pitch the entire weekend. She went on to allow one hit over seven innings of work for the win.

The West Alabama Watchman 2017 All-County Softball Team consists of:

C – Abbey Latham, Demopolis

1B – Bria Brown, Demopolis

2B – Elly Brown, Demopolis

3B – Courtney Smith, Demopolis

SS – Macey Petrey, Marengo Academy

OF – Kayla Marshall, Sweet Water

OF – Lara Little, Sweet Water

OF – Riley Newton, Marengo Academy

OF – Hannah Freeman, Marengo Academy

P – Natalie Tatum, Demopolis

P – Thea Luker, Sweet Water

P – Kayla Montz, Demopolis

DP – Natalie Luker, Sweet Water

UTIL – Kora Myers, Sweet Water

UTIL – Sara Irvin, Sweet Water

UTIL – Kendall Hannah, Demopolis

UTIL – Mary Grace Sheffield, Marengo Academy

UTIL – Trinity Wilkinson, Marengo Academy

Demopolis softball sees season end in walk-off fashion

TROY, Ala. – Demopolis saw its season come to a screeching halt in the South Central Regional Friday with a 4-2 loss to Marbury.

The Tigers battled out of a 2-1 hole in the top of the seventh inning as Kayla Montz drew a leadoff walk, advanced on Bria Brown’s sacrifice bunt and scored when Napoleon Roberson stroked a double over the head of the left fielder to tie the game.

The moment gave the Tigers renewed vigor in their quest to make the state tournament. Marbury’s Bailey Dixon opened the bottom half of the inning with a single to right center that narrowly dropped in front of a diving Taylor Smith. Freshman Kaileigh Harrison followed with a homer to left that ended the game.

Demopolis opened the scoring in the top of the third when Abbey Latham singled in Courtney Smith who had reached on an infield single. Marbury broke up Natalie Tatum’s perfect game bid in the fifth when Loren Ross legged out an infield single. Two batters later, Harrison repeated the feat. Jessie Easterling then hit a single just beyond the glove of a diving Elly Brown at second base for the 2-1 lead.

The loss marked the second time on the day Demopolis found itself within striking distance of making it to the state tournament only to stand in a postgame ceremony and watch its opponents receive coronation.

Demopolis opened its day in the 10:30 a.m. time slot against Moody in a winners bracket final. The Tigers were largely listless in the contest as the Blue Devils hit three homers in a 6-1 victory. The lone bright spot for Demopolis came on a Kendall Hannah solo shot to left in the fourth that narrowed the deficit to 3-1.

Demopolis caps its season at 36-13.

Demopolis goes 2-0 on first day at regional in Troy

Abbey Latham slides in safely on a steal of second base in the Tigers’ 5-3 win over Sylacauga.

TROY, Ala. – Natalie Tatum owned the day Thursday with a pair of dominant outings in the circle and one timely hit at the plate to give make Demopolis 2-0 on day one of the South Central Regional in Troy.

“Natalie just hits spots. She did a good job spinning the ball and throwing it where she was asked to throw it. She has been working hard for us all year and to throw two games back-to-back shows amazing skill and endurance,” Demopolis coach Brittany Dunson said of her junior pitcher.

Demopolis 5, Sylacauga 3

Natalie Tatum struck out 19 batters while going 2-0 in Thursday’s action at the South Central Regional in Troy.

The Tigers opened the afternoon with a 5-3 victory over Sylacauga. Bryanna Browning dropped down a bunt single to open the game before moving to second on a ball in the dirt, stealing third and then scoring on an error to put the Aggies up 1-0.

Demopolis wasted little time responding. Courtney Smith reached on an error and advanced on Elly Brown’s sacrifice bunt. Sylacauga appeared intent on issuing an intentional walk to Latham before ball four caught just a little too much. Latham unceremoniously deposited the pitch beyond the outfield fence for a 2-1 Demopolis lead and her 19th homer of the season.

The Tigers added to the lead in the bottom of the third when Latham drew an intentional walk and advanced on a pair of bunts by Kendall Hannah and Tatum. Bria Brown stroked a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in Latham for the 3-1 lead.

Latham struck again in the fifth when she drew an intentional walk and stole second before Hannah turned on a pitch and sent it to the fence in left center for the 4-1 lead.

Sylacauga narrowed the gap in the sixth when Brown singled, stole a base, advanced on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Madalyn Ingram. Henley Burton drew a walk and later scored on Sydney Conville’s single to slice the deficit to 5-3.

The Tigers reinserted Tatum in the pitcher’s circle after having allowed her to rest for a five batters. She fanned the first batter she saw to preserve the lead.

Demopolis gave itself some breathing room in the seventh when Taylor Smith executed a flawless bunt single and later scored on Elly Brown’s base hit to make it 5-3.

Tatum worked six and a third innings, striking out 13 in the contest while giving up just two hits and allowing one run.

Kendall Hannah drops down a bunt to advance a runner.

Demopolis 3, Marbury 1

Immediately following its initial effort, Demopolis found itself locked in a pitchers’ duel with Marbury and ace Layton Murphy. The Tigers scored all three of their runs with one swing of the bat and Tatum reinforced the lead by stranding nine Bulldog baserunners in a 3-1 victory.

Demopolis broke through in the third against Murphy as Elly Brown drew a hit-by-pitch and Latham stroked her second double of the game to put a pair of runners in scoring position with two out. Hannah coaxed a walk to load the bases for Tatum. The Demopolis pitcher dug herself out of an 0-2 hole and flicked a 2-2 offering just over the head of the Bulldog first baseman and into shallow right field. Brown and Latham scored for the 2-0 lead before the throw from the Marbury right fielder caromed away from the third baseman. Hannah sprung to her feet and rushed home, narrowly sliding her fingertips under the tag of the Bulldog backstop to make it 3-0.

“Later on in the game, we did start laying off the rise ball, being more patient, having disciplined at-bats,” Dunson said. “We did string something along and got lucky on also having an error and pushed across three runs.”

Bria Brown sends a fly ball to right against Sylacauga.

Marbury made its run in the top of the sixth when Jessie Easterling dropped down her second bunt single of the game and later scored on an error to narrow it to 3-1. Tatum retired six of the final seven batters she faced to end the game.

She scattered eight hits and allowed one unearned run while striking out six in the complete game win.

The win sets Demopolis up for a 10:30 a.m. rendezvous Friday against Moody. The winner of that game advances to the state tournament next week. The loser moves to a 4:30 p.m. date in the losers’ bracket in a must-win game to qualify for the state tournament.

“Staying loose is key. They get all tight and real antsy, then our game goes out the window,” Dunson said of her team’s approach to the tournament thus far. “If they stay loose and relaxed and just have fun out there, they’re on every time.”


Synergy 01 holding 16U/18U softball tryout in Demopolis

Synergy Fastpitch of Tuscaloosa will be holding an open tryout in Demopolis at the Sports-Plex on May 21 on fFeld 7 at 2 p.m. The tryout will be for the 16U/18U age bracket.

“We have openings for full time players as well as pickup players,” Eugene Flowers, organizer of the tryout, said. “We will be playing a full summer schedule with tournaments primarily in Alabama.”
Synergy has a history of advancing players to the next level with coaches dedicated to player advancement. Any questions can be directed to the Synergy Facebook page, Synergy 01 or

Marengo Academy runs to softball state championship

Led by senior Hannah Freeman, Marengo Academy rushes to grasp the state championship trophy following Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Abbeville Christian.

MONTGOMERY, Alabama – Marengo Academy’s improbable run through the state tournament looked to be in dire straits early in the final game Saturday before a surprise move by coach Chris Petrey shifted tenor of the contest. Mary Grace Sheffield moved from second base to the pitcher’s circle to anchor a 3-1 victory over Abbeville and the Longhorns’ first softball state championship since 2013

“That’s huge. We put her in a real, real bad spot. She had no idea that she was going to pitch. We didn’t even talk about her pitching today,” Petrey said.

Sheffield, a freshman, entered the game in the bottom of the first with the bases loaded and nobody out. After walking the first batter she saw, Sheffield was virtually unhittable for the remainder of the afternoon. She went one to strike out five batters and allow only one hit, a flare down the left field line in the sixth.

Mary Grace Sheffield hugs Riley Newton (12) while Brittan Davis (35) embraces Macey Petrey following Saturday’s state championship win.

“The next one to go to was Mary Grace. It caught her off guard. She hadn’t thrown a pitch all weekend, not even a warmup,” Petrey said. “But to come in with the bases loaded, no outs and to get out of that with only one run and let that be the only run that scored all game, that was huge. She’ll grow from that and God only knows what she’ll be in three years.”

Fittingly, the final out of the game was a comebacker that Sheffield knocked down, picked up out of the dirt and threw to first baseman Mary Jordan Drake before thrusting her hands to the top of her head and dropping to her knees in elation.

The Longhorns jumped up in the top of the first inning. Sheffield legged out a bunt single ahead of Riley Newton duplicating the feat to put two runners aboard. Eventual tournament MVP Macey Petrey hit an infield single to drive in Sheffield for the 1-0 lead. Trinity Wilkinson followed with a single through the left side to plate Newton and Petrey to make it 3-0.

Marengo Academy seniors Mary Jordan Drake, Hannah Freeman and Macey Petrey along with freshman Mary Grace Sheffield made the All-Tournament team along with Abbeville’s Savanna and Shelby Wood and Allie Cain.

The Longhorns, who lost the previous game to Abbeville 8-6 to force the decisive final contest, had won the coin toss but elected to bat first rather than following the conventional logic of being the home team.

“Every tournament we’ve been to this year, home and visitor has been decided by a coin toss. If I’ve won the coin toss, I take visitor because I know if I lose the coin toss I’m going to be visitor anyway. My mindset is: what better way to put somebody on their heels than to go out and put a couple of runs on them in the top half of the first inning,” Petrey said of the decision. “That has become the team’s mindset. We don’t wait for that last at-bat to do it. We start from the beginning and stay on top and pound them from the beginning.”

Abbeville got its lone run of the contest from Allie Cain, who scored on Shelby Wood’s bases-loaded walk.

The previous contest saw Marengo down 8-4 in the bottom of the seventh when Sheffield tripled and scored on Newton’s grounder to short. Petrey followed with a solo homer to cut the margin further but the Longhorns could draw no closer. The late flurry colored Petrey’s decision heading into the final game.

“We went out with a lot of momentum in that last inning. I just told them to take that momentum and carry it into the next game. The first game was kind of a freebie if you want to say that. We just needed to keep our momentum and keep our drive,” Petrey said. “We knew their pitchers were getting tired. We knew what their weaknesses were as far as us on the base paths. We knew we could run on them pretty good and we utilized that. They didn’t get down. They took that momentum from the last inning of the earlier game and they carried it into that one. It got us a three-spot in the first inning and that was enough to kind of get them on their heels and we were able to keep them there.”

The Longhorns earned their way into the final round by downing Abbeville 6-4 in the final winners’ bracket game of the day. Abbeville in turn defeated reigning state champion Patrician 4-3 to emerge from the losers’ bracket. The team’s traded punches but the Longhorns were largely done in by their inability to find the strike zone as they issued seven walks in the contest. Netwon singled home Jessie Flowers and Drake in the third before Petrey’s sacrifice fly plated Sheffield but the offense came only in bursts as Abbeville controlled the entirety of the contest. Flowers later legged out an infield hit to score Mary Kendall Glass and narrow the gap to 7-4 before the offensive flurry that fell short.

The Longhorns played their way into prime position Friday with a 13-3 win over Crenshaw and a 5-3 defeat of Patrician, a team who had bested them seven times this season.

“We’ve known all year long Patrician has just had our number. We haven’t been able to get off our heels with them. We’ve had some real competitive games with them, but we just haven’t had that one little break to go our way. Yesterday they just came out with fire. They knew what was at stake. They knew what the easier route to the championship was and they jumped on them fast. We were able to get on top and stay there,” Petrey said.

The 4-1 tournament run capped a 6-2 postseason stretch that followed the Longhorns 17-17 season. For Petrey and his crew, however, the record never much mattered in evaluating their staying power in the AISA’s most important weekend.

“You can look at the wins and losses and being 17-17 coming into the [postseason] but we pushed the envelope as far as who we play. You’ve got to realize that every time we made out a lineup, we had four or five kids that are ninth, eighth or seventh grade. The numbers of upperclassmen just weren’t there. We played with some younger talent,” Petrey said. “We pushed them. We went to some tournaments that we probably shouldn’t have competed in on paper.  We matched up with some 3A teams, some of the best 2A teams. We put ourselves in those positions and that created an atmosphere that we can compete with anybody. Win or lose, we knew we can compete. That was kind of the attitude coming in. It wasn’t about the record up to, it’s just when you peak and when you play. That’s kind of what got us through this tournament.”

The state championship is the second of the 2016-2017 academic year for Marengo Academy and the resumption of a long-standing run of success by the softball program in particular.

“Marengo does have a long history of championships. Last year was the first year in many years that we weren’t here, but the championship mindset was still there,” Petrey said. “We’re a small school. We’ve only got 209 kids, give or take, K-12. But we had a 1A championship in football this year. Our boys are playing for the A championship in baseball Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s a give it all you’ve got, nothing short of winning type of attitude. We knew going in that we’re not going to win them all, but as long as we take the good from one game to another, win or lose, that we can compete. That’s what we tried to get the girls to do all year: believe in yourself, believe in your teammates. That’s what they did.”

All-Tournament honors went to Sheffield, Drake, Petrey and Hannah Freeman.