Tatum walk-off hit gives Demopolis regional win

TROY — Demopolis (23-12) opened its South Central Regional Tournament run in thrilling fashion Thursday, getting a walk-off hit rom Natalie Tatum to beat Jemison 9-8.

The Lady Tigers entered the bottom of the seventh trailing 8-6 when Kendall Hannah opened the frame with a single. After Courtney Smith reached on an infield hit, Jessica Adams dropped a bunt down the third baseline that saw the Jemison fielder turn and fire toward third in an effort to erase the lead runner. The ball caromed into foul territory, allowing Hannah to score on the play and cut it to 8-7. After Jemison intentionally walked Abbey Latham for the third time in the game, Tatum worked a competitive at-bat into an opposite field single that dropped into right and scored Smith and Adams for the win.

The game proved a back-and-forth affair that saw each team score in four of the seven innings of play.

Jemison took a 2-0 lead in the first before Adams singled. Latham then took the first pitch she saw over the scoreboard to tie it 2-2.

The Panthers went in front again in the second inning, taking a 4-2 lead with a two-run, two-out rally. Adams reached on a two-out infield single before Latham drew an intentional walk. Tatum helped herself with a single to score Adams and make it 4-3. Bria Brown then singled to right to plate Latham and courtesy runner Alex Abrams to give Demopolis the 5-4 lead.

Demopolis trailed 6-5 in the fourth when Latham watched the first three pitches reach nowhere near the plate. What would have been ball four got just a little too much of the plate and Latham deposited it in right-center for a double. Brown followed with a single to score Latham and tie the game.

Jemison took the lead again in the top of the seventh with a pair of runs, setting the stage for the rally that gave Demopolis the victory.

Smith ended 2-for-5 with a run scored. Adams was 2-for-5 with a stolen base and three runs scored. Latham went 2-for-2 with a homer, a double, three intentional walks, two RBIs and two runs scored.

Tatum finished 4-for-5 with three RBIs. Abrams stole two bases and scored a run. Hannah was 1-for-3 with a stolen base and a run scored.

Demopolis is set to play again at 4:30 against Marbury in the semi-finals of the winners bracket.