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Submitted / The Outlook Alex City's 10U all-star softball team won its pre-area tournament this weekend against New Site. Members of the championship team were, front row from left, Elodie Waller, Ri Lockhart, Fallon Floyd; second row, Zoya Menniefield, Zi Lockhart, Henley Bice, Sam Galvan, Cheyenne Fuller; third row, Kennedy Rape, Zada McDaniel, Ree Johnson, Aubrey Chapman; back row, assistant coach Haley Bice, assistant coach Erlando Mennifield and head coach Mallory Gaston.

Alexander City’s 10U All-Star softball team competed in its first tournament last weekend and performed at the highest standards. The all-stars went 5-0 on the day, defeating a high-caliber New Site team in the tournament championship to win it all.

Alex City was absolutely dominating in pool play, picking up wins over Dadeville, 14-9, and Chelsea, 23-1. Henley Bice earned the win in Game 1, while Sam Galvan and Elodie Waller both had three strikeouts apiece to combine for the victory against Chelsea.

Kennedy Rape led the hitters by going 5-for-5 in the two games of pool play, while Fallon Floyd finished 3-for-5.

With back-to-back shutouts to start tournament play, Alex City advanced to the championship. In the quarterfinals, AC took down Millbrook, 11-0, and Bice allowed just one hit in the win. Ri Lockhart, Zoya Mennifield, Ree Johnson, Zi Lockhart and Aubrey Chapman all went 2-for-2 against Millbrook. Bice, Waller, Rape and Zada McDaniel each had a hit and scored a run.

“Our defense played lights out behind their pitcher this game,” Alex City 10U coach Mallory Gaston said. “We had three outstanding catches made by our center fielder Ri Lockhart.”

Alex City ace Chapman came in to pitch the semifinals against Phenix City, and Chapman proved just why she’s a top pitcher. She had a no-hitter in the four-inning victory and struck out five en route to the win.

“We had been saving our ace pitcher, Aubrey Chapman, all day for these last two days,” Gaston said. “We had confidence that we would be in the finals. We were thankful that we did, as Aubrey pitched a no-hitter against a very strong Phenix City team.” 

Waller went 2-for-2 while Zi Lockhart and Bice each had one hit.

In the championship, Alex City went toe-to-toe with New Site, earning a 2-1 victory.

“This is the game we had been waiting for since 8 that morning,” Gaston said. “It was almost 10 p.m. and we were gearing up to face our Tallapoosa County rival, New Site. New Site has been known for their strong program for the past five years. Alex City has never beaten New Site until this game.”

Chapman once again took the circle and allowed only two hits and two walks in four innings. Sam Galvan had a highlight-worthy play in right field to throw out the runner headed to first in the bottom of the second.

Down 1-0 heading to the top of the fourth, Alex City started to make its comeback. Cheyenne Fuller entered as a pinch hitter and drew a leadoff walk. Waller reentered to run and immediately stole second base before tying it up on an RBI single from Johnson. Zi Lockhart then notched a hit and used her speed to steal second and third and round home plate on a passed ball to give Alex City the 2-1 lead.

In the bottom half of the final inning, Chapman had a pair of strikeouts sandwiching a hit by New Site’s Holland Gamble. She then had a hand in the final out, snagging a grounder then easily tossing it to first base.

“The emotions started rolling as our girls ran off the field with excitement,” Gaston said. “This team plays better than any team I have ever coached. They fight every play to do their best, and this weekend, they deserved to win.”

Cheyenne Fuller was named the all-tournament MVP by the coaches. Fuller caught all five games for Alex City and improved throughout the day.

“If it weren’t for her glove behind the plate, we might have had a different outcome in our last five games,” Gaston said. 

Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.