The Fannin County High School Lady Rebels softball team traveled to the Lanier Park Softball complex in Gainesville to take part in the Region 8-AAA tournament. The Lady Rebels went 2-2 in the tournament, with both losses coming to the Lady Leopards of Banks County; however, the two losses did not prevent the Lady Rebels from making the state tournament. Fannin secured a place in the playoffs, with a win over West Hall in the first round of the conciliation bracket.
Fannin’s first round match up, featured the Rebels’ Region tournament with Banks. The Lady Leopards leapt on the Lady Rebels early, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second inning. The score remained 2-0 until the top of the fourth when Amy Mintz, after a leadoff double to center field, scored via an RBI bunt from Jordan Deal.
Banks bounced right back, adding two more runs in the bottom of the fourth to push the lead up to 4-1; however, after specific instructions from head coach, David Dyer to “Go H.A.M.,” the Lady Rebels cut the lead in half, in the top of the sixth.
Allie Barfield led off with a ground ball single to left field and Katie Brown followed by reaching first via an error that also put Barfield on third. A successful double steal, resulted in another Rebels run.
The bottom of the sixth saw the Lady Leopards push the lead up to three, 5-2, with an RBI ground ball single.
In the top of the seventh Josie Milsaps lead off with a ground ball single to center field, followed by a double from Ashley Rhodes that put runners on second and third. Mallory Deal’s two run, base clearing, triple cut the lead to 5-4; however three straight outs secured the win 5-4 win for the Lady Leopards.
The Lady Rebels responded well in the first round of the conciliation bracket, with a 12-0, three and a half inning, spanking of the Spartan ladies from West Hall.
A bottom of the first RBI triple from Mintz followed by an RBI single from Barfield put the Lady Rebels in front 2-0 going into the second inning.
After six straight outs from both teams, the Rebels’ offense exploded in the bottom of the third inning. A one out RBI single from Deal pushed the Lady Rebels’ lead to 3-0. Mintz and Barfield followed with a single and a walk respectively, effectively loading the bases.
The next at bat featured the first of Fannin’s two three run in the park home runs, of the inning. Brown grounded into a fielder’s choice at home; however, on the double play attempt at first, Brown was able to come all the way home, making the score 6-0.
Following two Fannin singles from, Kaitlyn Dickey and Jace Armstrong, Kiersten Seagle hit a ball deep to right center and was to make it all the way home, resulting in the second Rebels’ three run home run of the inning, and a 9-0 Fannin lead.
After a Mallory Deal double resulted in two more Rebels RBI, Mintz ended the scoring for the night with an RBI single for a 12-0 lead. The victory was secured when West Hall failed to score in the top of the fourth.
Starting pitcher, Armstrong was able to record a no-hitter in the game, recording six strike outs in the process.
The next round featured another Rebels’ rout, this one a 12-0 White Washing of the White County Warrior ladies.
The Lady Rebels rout began early, with Fannin finding four runs on the score board, in the bottom of the second inning. Armstrong’s sac fly scored Haley Bearden for the first Rebels run. Dickey scored via error, and Milsaps’ two run home run put Fannin up 4-0 into the top of the third.
Five runs in the bottom of the third, and three more in the bottom of the fourth secured the 12-0 mercy rule win, and set up another match up with the Lady Leopards of Banks.
Banks’ bats broke out first again, with two runs scored in the bottom of the second inning to take a 2-0 lead; however, the Lady Rebels responded with a two out, two run standing double dealt by Mallory Deal, that tied the game 2-2.
The top of the fourth saw Fannin’s first lead over the Leopards’ of the tournament. Brown led off with yet another Lady Rebels’ in the park home run, the result off a fly ball bouncing hard off the Banks’ center fielder’s face and rolling to deep right field. After several minutes of stopped play the outfielder was able to get up and walk to the dug out to the sound of applause from both fan bases.
A run in the bottom of the fifth tied the game at 3-3; however, the Lady Rebels would take the lead in the top of the seventh.
After Brooklyn Nazerian scored on a passed ball, Mintz’ two out, RBI, single scored Mallory Deal to put the Lady Rebels up 5-3. Fannin could not hold the lead and bases loaded walk of single ended the game.
The Lady Rebels secured a fourth place finish with the win over White County and will face a first place team in the state tournament on the road.