Lady Rebels use fast start to beat Tharptown 12-4]
BELGREEN – East Franklin, which beat Red Bay 5-4 in the opening game of the junior county tournament, used a big first inning to defeat Tharptown 12-4 Friday night.
Autumn Thomas and Mattie Benford combined for the three-inning win on the mound as the Lady Rebels beat Tharptown for the second time in as many days. East Franklin also defeated Tharptown 19-12 Thursday.
The Lady Rebels (7-4) pushed across 10 runs in the top of the first innings. After Benford and Brianna Lindsey scored to put East Franklin ahead 2-0, Breanna Berry hit a two-RBI single to score Michaela Gable and Ciara Harville and Thomas hit a three-run, inside-the-park homer that brought home Berry and Chastalyn Chaney. Benford had an RBI double to bring around Megan Risley, and Benford and Lindsey scored again on a passed ball and an error to make it 10-0.
Tharptown's Haley Hatton, who took the loss on the mound, hit an RBI single to centerfield to score Ashley Nicholson, and Chloe Lane hit an RBI grounder to bring in Hatton that cut the lead to 10-2 in the bottom of the first.
Both teams left two runners stranded for a scoreless second inning but each team pushed across two more runs in the third.
Gable, who homered over the fence Thursday, hit an RBI single to score Lindsey, who singled to lead off the third innnig. Berry drove in another run with a double to bring around Gable that put East Franklin ahead 12-2.
In the bottom of the third, Hatton stole home and Abby Allen drove in Chloe Lane to make the final score 12-4.
East Franklin advanced to play Phil Campbell in the winner's bracket Saturday.