Their 3-2 triumph against Saks, who has become their rival the past two seasons came in the winner’s bracket of the Calhoun County softball tournament at Woodland Park.
A win today at 1:30 p.m. against whoever emerges from the loser’s bracket and White Plains can lay claim to the county championship.
“I talked to them about how I thought it was a full team effort,” White Plains coach Rachel Ford said. “We saw weaknesses in some of the things that we were doing, but also they just gutted it out when the game was on the line.”
White Plains (30-7), ranked No. 1 in the state in the Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 3A poll and seeded first in the tournament, held a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth. But second-seeded Saks, ranked eighth in the state, rallied in what would’ve been its final at-bat with the game clock expired, scoring two runs of its own to tie the contest.
Saks had runners on second and third with two outs when freshman pitcher Anna Snider struck out Saks’ Haley Cobb on a 3-2 pitch to get out of the inning.
White Plains added the game’s final run, scoring on a wild pitch. Snider struck out the Saks’ final two batters, first fanning McKynlie Nunez then retiring Kendra Prater to end the game.
“We threw a curve ball a great bit and she did a great job of cutting it on the corners, making it look like a strike and then it kind of tails away from the batter.” Ford said “That was a go-to pitch a lot of times.”
Snider, who was named the state’s Class 3A Pitcher of the Year as eighth-grader, struck out four and gave up three hits in seven innings of work on her way to the win.
“I’m proud of Anna because I felt like at times, you know, it was close calls,” Ford continued. “And maybe she didn’t get the calls she wanted. She just still gutted it out when it was tough and found a way to get it done.”
White Plains’ first baseman Olivia Taylor jumped things off for White Plains with a solo homer to right center in the third to break a scoreless tie. Caley Ponder scored on back-to-back passed balls to give White Plains a 2-0 lead in the sixth.
Kabrina Snell’s RBI on a standup double sparked the Saks’ run to the tie game in the bottom of the sixth.
Taylor finished 2-for-2. Morgan Cobb finished 1-for-3 with a double and Carley Wood added an RBI for White Plains.
Saks pitcher Taylor West finished with 11 strikeouts and Tiffany Springer led the way offensively for her team with a pair of hits against White Plains.
Saks (21-10) will face No. 3 Alexandria in for a chance to stay alive today 9 a.m.
“It just comes down to who gets the clutch hit at the right time and the three games so far this year they’ve done that and we’ve come up inches short,” Saks coach Mike Tucker said. We’ve got to win one game to get back in the finals against them. So, our goal is to win three games and win the county championship.”