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AHSAA 1A Softball Championship | Kaylee Navarre pitches Brantley into championship finals

Josh Bean

By Josh Bean

Oxford, AL – Brantley High School needs just one more win to capture its fifth Class 1A championship since 2014.

The Bulldogs (31-12) earned a trip to Wednesday’s 1A championship game with a 7-2 victory over Appalachian in Tuesday’s 1A winners’ bracket final. Brantley has won four 1A state titles, having taken home the Blue Map in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018 and finished second in 2019. No champion was crowned in 2020 because AHSAA spring championships were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 1A championship game is set for Wednesday at 5 p.m., in Choccolocco Park’s softball stadium. A second game, if necessary, follows. The NFHS Network will live-stream the finals over its subscriber-based platform and the AHSAA TV Network will televise the games over its network with WOTM TV producing the contests.

Against Appalachian (24-8), Brantley starting pitcher Kaylee Navarre struck out 13 to earn the complete-game victory, her third of the day. She struck out 41 in the three wins. Appalachian took an early 2-1 lead, but Brantley’s Ainsley Watts, Navarre and Elleight Layton delivered back-to-back-to-back RBI singles in the fourth inning.

Brantley opened the tournament with a 10-0 victory over Cedar Bluff in game shortened to six innings by the 10-run, mercy rule and defeated Skyline 4-2.

Here’s a look at other Class 1A games played Tuesday at Choccolocco Park.

SKYLINE 9, PLEASANT HOME 4: 
Skyline (30-14-1) scored five runs in the fifth inning with Olivia Treece delivering a two-RBI double and Jayla Ross driving in two runs with a single. Treece earned the win for Skyline (29-14-1), striking out 14. The season ends for Pleasant Home (22-20).

SOUTH LAMAR 10, HOLY SPIRIT CATHOLIC 1: South Lamar (28-19) stayed alive in the elimination bracket as Lana Atkins earned the victory on the mound. The season ends for Holy Spirit (15-19).

BRANTLEY 4, SKYLINE 2: Pitcher Kaylee Navarre hurled a three-hitter and struck out 11, and Ainsley Watts had two hits and drove in two runs for the Bulldogs.

APPALACHIAN 4, HOLY SPIRIT CATHOLIC 2: Jordan Henderson hit a two-run homer during a three-run fifth inning as the Eagles rallied from a 2-0 deficit.

PLEASANT HOME 9, BELGREEN 2: Pleasant Home pitcher Ava Bailey recorded 10 strikeouts, while Emily Taylor and Amy Gardner drove in two runs apiece as Belgreen (25-20) was eliminated.

SOUTH LAMAR 8, CEDAR BLUFF 4: The Stallions’ Savannah Crimm had an RBI double in the fourth and a two-run single in the sixth as South Lamar rallied from a 3-0 deficit to eliminate Cedar Bluff (14-26-1).

FIRST ROUND

SKYLINE 1, SOUTH LAMAR 0: Skyline’s Gracie Stucky tripled with two outs in the 7th and scored on Audra Bellomy’s infield single.

BRANTLEY 10, CEDAR BLUFF 0: Brantley’s Kayden Dunn hit a monstrous two-run homer, and pitcher Kaylee Navarre struck out 17 of 18 outs and allowed just two hits in a game shortened to six innings by the 10-run, mercy rule.

HOLY SPIRIT CATHOLIC 3, BELGREEN 0: Holy Spirit’s Alyssa Faircloth pitched the complete-game shutout, and Olivia Watkins scored the game’s first run when she walked, moved to second on a fielder’s choice, stole third and later scored on a groundout.

APPALACHIAN 7, PLEASANT HOME 5: Appalachian’s Zoe Payne hit a three-run homer to spark the Eagles to victory.