OXFORD – The GW Long softball team went 2-1 on Friday in the Class 2A State Tournament at Choccolocco Park in Oxford to end the opening day among the remaining four teams still alive for a chance to win the state title on Saturday.
The Rebels started with a 6-3 win over Thorsby before losing 14-1 to Mars Hill Bible.
They bounced back with a resounding 15-3 win in the losing group against Luverne.
GW Long (28-12) will face Thorsby at 9 a.m. Saturday after Thorsby stayed alive with a 13-10 victory over Hatton.
The 9 a.m. winner will then face Mars Hill Bible in another losers bracket match at 10:45 a.m.
The winner of this 10:45 match reaches the championship at 1:30 p.m. against Orange Beach, having to beat defending champion Makos twice.
GW Long 15, Luvern 3: The Rebels came out swinging the bats after losing to Mars Hill Bible as four players got two hits in a five-inning win over the Tigers.
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Emmaline Hughes was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBIs. Ainsley Watts was 3 for 3 with two RBIs and Ally Whitehead and Dallas Potter both had two hits apiece.
Maleah Long, Emma Clair Long and Allee Grace Abercrombie all added a single and scored a run each.
Makayla Phillips was the winning pitcher, working the first three innings, not allowing an earned run and striking out two. Whitehead has finished the last two innings and struck out three.
Mars Hill Bible 14, GW Long 1: The Rebels were down 16-6 in the loss.
Ainsley Watts was 2 for 3 to lead the GW Long attack. Emmaline Hughes, Dallas Potter and Maleah Long each had one success. Millie Munn drove in the Rebels’ only race.
Phillips was Long’s losing pitcher.
GW Long 6, Thorsby 3: Emmaline Hughes and Makayla Phillips were both 3-for-4 on offense, with Hughes scoring three points. Ainsley Watts, Makenna Long and Hughes completed one run each.
Phillips earned the pitching victory after scattering eight hits over seven innings. She scratched one.