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The PHS Nettes softball team is set to play this year’s state championship tournament.

Nettes head to state championship

            The Nettes’ regular season play clinched the team a spot in the state tournament. Pickens 3rd seed finish sent them to the Region 5 #1 seed at Sandy Creek Super Regional.                                     On Monday, Pickens opened play against Region 6 #2 seed LaFayette in Game 1. The Lady Ramblers opened the scoring in the first with a homer, scoring two runs. In the top of the third inning, Pickens answered back when Lexi Grizzle tied the game with a homer, scoring Ally Long. The game went into extra innings. In the top of the eighth inning, Ally Long hit a 2-run home run, scoring Jaycee Beck who was running for Madelyn Johnson. Pickens beat LaFayette 4-2 in Game 1. Ally Long and Lexi Grizzle each collected two hits in the game. Hannah Parks and Madelyn Johnson each had hits in the game.

            Lexi Grizzle earned the win for PHS. Grizzle gave up five hits and two runs over eight innings, striking out six, and walking one.

            Game 2 sent the Nettes back to Sandy Creek to face Region 8 #4 seed Monroe Area. Pickens trailed by as many as five runs, but mounted a late comeback for an exciting win. Monroe Area set the tone by starting the game with a home run on the first pitch. Monroe Area extended their lead to 5-0 over the next several innings. In the bottom of the sixth, the Nettes battled back to score seven runs on eight hits to take a 7-5 lead. The biggest blow of the inning was a double by Charli Fendley that drove in two. Ally Long went 2 for 3 at the plate to lead Pickens in hits. Charli Fendley led Pickens with two RBIs. Lexi Grizzle earned the win for Pickens in relief of Cheyenne Coleman. Grizzle surrendered five hits and one run over 5 and two-thirds innings, striking out eight, and walking three.

            Game 3 for the Nettes was the Championship match-up. Lafayette emerged from the loser’s bracket needing to defeat Pickens twice to advance to the Elite 8.  The Nettes just had to win one of two games. LaFayette got on the board in the bottom of the first inning. The Ramblers added to their lead in the third inning and the Nettes could not catch back up.  Lafayette ran away with the game, 13-0 setting up a final and deciding game to advance in the play-offs.

            Pickens got on the board in the first, reversing momentum from the previous game.  The Lady Ramblers battled back to tie the game as it got into the later innings.  In the sixth, Skylar Weaver doubled with the bases loaded to put Pickens up 7-3 and needing only 3 outs to advance.  Lexi Grizzle finished the last inning 1-2-3 and the Nettes celebrated earning a trip to the Elite 8 in Columbus for the first time since 2005.

            The Nettes started their play in the Elite 8 with Morgan County on Wednesday, October 25th at 11.

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