COVINGTON - In the end, the Thomas County Central bats were too much for the Region 4-AAAA runners-up to overcome.
Hannah Maddox went 3-for-3 with a home run to lead a 14-hit attack as the visiting Yellow Jackets cruised to a 10-1 win over Alcovy in game three of the Class AAAA first-round series.
The teams split the first two games Tuesday at Alcovy before rain pushed the deciding game back a day and over to Turner Lake Park. Thomas County Central's (22-11) girls made themselves at home right away, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Maddox, who singled to lead off the inning, scored on Layne McDermond's fielder's choice.
Alcovy (19-13) answered in the bottom half with its only run of the game. Dallas Hardin led off with a double, moved to second on a sacrifice and scored on a single by Chelsea Murphy to tie the game at 1-1.
Katie Corbin started the second with a walk. Three batters later, she scored on a wild pitch to give the Yellow Jackets the lead for good at 2-1.
Maddox, whose error allowed the winning run to score in Alcovy's victory in Game 2 on Tuesday, ripped the first pitch she saw in the third inning over the center-field wall for a home run and a 3-0 cushion.
Thomas County Central, the No. 3 seed from Region 1-AAAA, pulled away in the sixth. Erin Vick, Corbin and Chelsea Weaver had consecutive singles to start the frame, and things began to unravel for Alcovy. Pinch-runner Ashlee Smith scored on a wild pitch and Corbin scampered home on a passed ball before Ashley Holland's sacrifice fly made it 6-1. Maddox scored on an error by catcher Kelsey Sweat, and Kayla Dawson, Morgan Rich and Vick added RBI singles to put Thomas County up 10-1.
"Its just one of those things where you have to give (Thomas County) credit. They hit and we didn't," Alcovy coach Casey Bates said. "If they hit the ball like that they're going win the state championship, in my opinion."
Hardin went all six innings and took the loss for the Tigers, striking out five.
"Dallas was doing the same thing she always does. That team did a good job hitting the ball," Bates said. "Got to take your hats off to them. I told the kids there's only going to be one team at the end that's happy. We got to pull for the team that beat you, so we're pulling for Thomas County Central."
Kurt Aschermann Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.