Union City’s teams have taken the shortest possible route, while South Fulton has traveled a little farther.
Ultimately, they have all reached the same place.
UC’s baseball and softball squads, as well as the Red Devilette softball team, are all in the Region 7A Tournament and will be in action today in the semifinal round.
Both Golden Tornado teams will host McKenzie as the softball game starts at 5:30, while baseball game is slated to begin at 7.
With the staggered start times, UC officials are hoping to draw fans of both schools to each game.
South Fulton, meanwhile, will hit the road to take on Huntingdon in an elimination game between two traditional 1A West Tennessee powers. Game time will be 5 p.m.
UC head coach Jeremy Maddox has a hot and rested team heading into today’s game after claiming the District 14A championship in short order.
The Twisters (25-7) needed just four games to put away the field and has most of its pitching ready to go for the opener.
Clay Treece, the ace of a solid staff, is ready to go after throwing a three-hitter in a 7-0 win over Greenfield. He posted 13 strikeouts in that game.
Drew Cooley is also good to go after pitching 61⁄3 innings in the tournament, allowing three hits while striking out seven.
Drake Parker saw two-thirds innings in relief in the tourney and is ready to come out of the bullpen, if needed.
Eric Moore would likely need a round to be ready again after throwing a no-hitter against Halls in the championship game on Thursday.
Parker is swinging a hot bat in the postseason, posting an average of over .700 while earning the 14A tourney MVP award.
Treece was named the district’s Pitcher of the Year, while Parker earned Offensive Player of the Year honors for the league during the regular season.
UC’s strong lineup also includes catcher Luke Searcy, first baseman Travis Rutland and outfielder Caleb Long, all selected to the all-district team.
If recent history is any indication, then Union City is in good shape for the opening round. Back on March 29, UC handed McKenzie a 15-5 setback.
Sadie Hollis has carried the Lady Twisters (20-6) throughout the season and has stepped up in the final weeks of the campaign.
The main pitcher, Hollis (13-5) has gone seven consecutive games without allowing an earned run and posted the victory in all three postseason games.
She has posted 181 strikeouts and only 28 walks in 1102⁄3 innings, owning a 1.01 earned run average.
While UC posted three shutout wins in the postseason, two by a 1-0 score, the team is solid at the plate as well.
Bettye Claire Beachum tops the team with a .506 average, 39 hits and 32 runs. Ashley Faught has a .486 batting average, a team-best 13 doubles and 23 runs batted in, while Tory Reedy leads the team with 34 RBI, including the game-winner against Halls in the eighth inning of their 14A semifinal game, to go with a .378 average and seven doubles.
Courtney Sherrill has also been strong in the lineup, having joined Hollis, Faught and Reedy on the all-14A tournament team.
In earning its first-ever regional home game, Union City will face a McKenzie team it has already played this season. UC claimed a 4-2 win over the Lady Rebels on April 8.
The Lady Tornadoes will face a good pitcher in Brooke Baucum.
While Union City is in relatively new territory with a home region game, a South Fulton-Huntingdon match-up at the regional level has become commonplace over the last decade.
Making the Region 7A Tournament for the 17th consecutive year, SF is seeing a team it has eliminated — and been knocked out by — several times in recent history.
Another good game appears on tap as the Red Devilettes (22-12) will likely send Sara Reams, who pitched two strong games in the district semifinals and finals on Thursday, against Hannah Belew.
Led by Desiray Sturgeon and Aalia Bivens, who joined Reams on the all-14A tourney team, the South Fulton lineup is formidable and gives opponents fits in many ways.
In beating Halls 9-4 in the 14A semifinals, the Devilettes played small-ball in putting up a five-run inning and then strung together several solid hits in a four-run inning after the Lady Tigers had pulled within 5-4.
Today’s winners advance to the regional finals on Wednesday.
Published in The Messenger 5.13.13