From The Tribune staff reports
MONTGOMERY – The North All-Stars rallied for three runs in the top of the eighth inning to win the first game of the 2021 All-Star Sports Week North-South Softball All-Star doubleheader at Lagoon Park 11-8 Wednesday afternoon. Game two got underway Wednesday night.
The NFHS Network is live-streaming the softball all-star games over its subscriber-based network with Central-Phenix City’s NFHS Network School Broadcast Program producing the games.
The exciting extra-inning victory overshadowed an amazing two-home run, seven RBI effort by South slugger Marlie Giles of Chilton County High School, who slugged a three-run homer in the first inning and a grand-slam in the bottom of the fifth inning to account for seven RBIs.
Her grand-slam, which erased a 7-3 North lead, set up an exciting finish, however.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Tallassee’s Belle Haynes poked a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the South an 8-7 lead. In the top of the seventh, the North tied the game at 8-8 when John Carroll Catholic’s Macey Ogle stroked a homer to dead center – forcing the game into extra innings.
The North took full advantage of its new life posting three runs in the top of the eighth inning with Makalyn Kyser of Springville leading off with an RBI single to plate Tessa Word of Plainview, who was placed on second to start the inning due to the International tie-breaker rule in place for the all-star competition. Later in the inning with runners on second and third, Thompson’s Ella Pate plated Kyser from third with a sacrifice fly to left, and Carlie Wilkins of West Point, who singled, scored from second when throw home got away from the catcher to give the North its final 11-8 lead.
Rogers’ Hannah Price, who struck out two in the bottom of the seventh, got the win – thanks in part to a strong relief effort by Emmah Rolfe of Bob Jones, who set down three batters in a row in the bottom of the eighth to get the save. The last out came with Giles, who had seven RBIs on her two homers, waiting for her third at-bat in the on-deck circle. Rolfe pitched three shutout innings total allowing two hits and striking out five.
The North took a quick lead in the top of the first inning when Maia Townsend of Mortimer Jordan and Larissa Preuitt of Hartselle opened the game with walks and Kyser singled both runners in with a hit.
Kyser, Springville’s senior catcher, went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and a run scored for the North. Hewitt-Trussville senior Riley Tyree also suited up for the North with two at-bats.
The North finished with 15 hits with Ogle finishing with two hits and two RBIs and Emily Simon collecting two hits. Giles, Weishaar and Kristen White of Central-Phenix City each had five hits.
The North improved to 26-23-3 in the series with the first-game win.