Alcovy one win from perfect region season

COVINGTON - The Alcovy softball team has been proving all season long it’s once again the class of Region 2-AAAAAA. After another victory Wednesday, the Tigers are one win away from region perfection.

Kayla Johnson pitched a complete game and drove in three runs, including a big first inning hit as Alcovy defeated county rival Newton 5-1 in the winner’s bracket final of the league tournament.

The No. 1 seed Tigers got all the runs they’d need in the bottom of the first. With one out, Waneshia Morris doubled down the left field line, Raven Smith was walked on four pitches and a wild pitch by Newton starter Maddie Cronic pushed the runners up to second and third. The lefty swinging Johnson roped an opposite field triple to make it 2-0. Morgan Beshears’ pop up was dropped by second baseman Ashton McKinnon and pinch-runner Madison Beazley scored to make it 3-0.

Aleizha Wilson led off the second with a single, stole second and scored on a single by Chelsie Nolley. In the third, Smith narrowly missed a home run and settled for a one-out triple, later scoring on Johnson’s ground out to put the hosts up 5-0.

Second-seeded Newton broke up the shut out with a gift run in the fifth. Ciara Bryan ripped her third triple in two tournament games with two outs, and wasn’t running on contact when Cronic popped up to the left side of the infield. The ball fell between third baseman Wilson and Smith at shortstop and Bryan took off for home. Smith’s throw caromed off Bryan’s helmet allowing the Newton sophomore to score and cut the deficit to 5-1.

Newton loaded the bases with one out in the third on singles by Bryan and Cronic and a walk to Bri Weaver. Ashley Weesner hit a line drive that Smith caught off her shoe tops and doubled-off Bryan at third for the inning-ending double play. After Cronic’s ball fell in to chase home Bryan in the fifth, the southpaw Johnson got four of her eight strikeouts during a stretch where she retired the final nine batters in order.