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The Sparkman High Lady Senators softball team gather together in silence after losing its bid to advance to the AHSAA State Tournament. The Senators, like other teams who lost in its quests for a state title, gave their best in 2022 season. Photo Contributed

Seasons End For Local High School Softball Teams

FLORENCE/ALBERTVILLE- As an old saying goes, “all good things must come to an end.” Such was the case for the three local high school softball teams that advanced out of Area Tournaments to the Regionals for a shot at making their ways to the coveted State Tournament. Both Bob Jones and Sparkman made it as far as the Regionals in Class 7A while Class 4A Madison Academy followed suit in its quest for a state title.

All three squads had tremendous 2022 seasons, but their play ended sooner than they had hoped for.

Class 7A:

The fourth-ranked Bob Jones Patriots fell to Austin in the Area 8 Tournament finals and was paired with No. 8 Thompson in the opening round of the North Regional Tournament held in Florence. In a close, hard-fought contest, the Patriots fell to the Warriors 2-1. In the consolation bracket, Bob Jones was 0-3 versus their rival Austin from Decatur during the season, but came alive against the third-ranked Black Bears pounding out 15 hits with five runs in the first inning and four more runs in the fifth inning to hold off Austin 12-4. In the consolation finals and a trip to the State Tournament on the line, the Patriots tangled with seventh-ranked Hoover only to fall to the Buccaneers in a heartbreaker 2-1. Bob Jones completes its season with a tremendous __ record and seven seniors seeing their final action as a Patriot.

For the Sparkman Senators, the Area 7 winners had high expectations heading into their East Regional only to see one Senator cross home plate in three games. In round one Sparkman drew fifth-ranked Spain Park out of Hoover. The Jaguars scored five runs in the fifth inning and kept the Senators scoreless in a 7-0 final. In the consolation bracket Sparkman scored its one run in the regional, but it was enough to edge Huntsville 1-0. Advancing to the consolation final and berth in the State Tournament, the Senators (31-13) again had to face Spain Park and again were shutout, this time 9-0 as Spain Park (32-13-2) scored eight runs in the second inning thus ending the 2022 campaign for the ladies from Harvest who had just six seniors in uniform.

Class 4A:

The Lady Mustangs of Madison Academy raced to an incredible Area 13 championship outscoring their opponents 32-1 as they posted victories of 10-0 over St. John Paull II and 10-0 and 12-1 scores over Westminster Christian thus advancing the East Regional in Albertville as area champs.

In the East Regional, Madison Academy faced fourth ranked White Plains (31-13) in round one only to lose 5-2 to the Wildcats out of Anniston. In their consolation round game, the Oneonta Redskins (24-24-1) out gunned the Mustangs in an 12-8 Oneonta victory ending the 2022 season for Madison Academy (18-8).

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