Despite a tough ending to Day 1 of the Class 2A East Central Regional Tournament on Friday, Reeltown’s softball team will be back for more today. The Rebels were defeated by Leroy, 17-7, in six innings in the regional semifinals, but they had already gutted out a tough 6-3 victory over Highland Home to ensure a spot in Day 2.

The loss did drop Reeltown to the losers’ bracket, where it will face Southern Choctaw in a win-or-go-home game. The Rebels will need three straight victories to still clinch a spot at next week’s state tournament.

The day started off extremely well for Reeltown as it got into a back-and-forth battle with Highland Home. The teams were knotted at 3-3 through five complete innings before Reeltown finally took the lead for good in the top of the sixth.

With one out, Madison Ledbetter and Savannah Hornsby each laced singles, sandwiching the second out, and nine-hole hitter Bentley Baker came through in the clutch. Bentley sliced a line drive to the Flying Sqaudron shortstop, driving in Ledbetter for the go-ahead run.

Although that run was more than enough for the Rebels, they added some insurance in the top of the seventh. Chloe Davidson helped her own cause by leading off with a double, and courtesy runner Tikara Brooks was moved to third on a ground out. Kenzie Hornsby then singled her home, and Marlee Knox added one more insurance run with an RBI single before the inning’s end.

Highland Home looked to threaten in the bottom of the seventh by drawing two outs, but Reeltown’s defense stayed strong to ensure the victory. The Rebels racked up 12 hits in the win and were led by Kenzie Hornsby, who went a perfect 4-for-4. Knox and Savannah Hornsby both had two hits apiece. 

Although Davidson gave up nine hits in the win, she scattered them well enough to allow just three runs — only one of which was earned. She also struck out three.

Reeltown continued to hit the ball well in its second game against Leroy, as it finished with 10 hits, but the Bears did even better offensively, collecting 16 hits of their own. They scored at least two runs in five of the six innings and scored seven in the bottom of the sixth to put Reeltown away.

The Rebel offense in Game 2 was led by Morgan McGuire, who went 3-for-4 and racked up four RBIs. Bella Studdard and Davidson each had two hits apiece.

Reeltown’s Game 3 is scheduled for 9 a.m. today. The Rebels will go toe to toe with Southern Choctaw, which was a 19-0 winner over Central-Hayneville in the first game of the losers bracket.

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