Softball teams prep for regionals


Southside’s Savannah Thomas leads the Class 5A, No. 3 Panthers into this weekend’s North Regional in Huntsville. (Photo by Nick Johnston | Gadsden Times | File)


It’s now two strikes and you’re out for high school softball teams.

Regional softball tournaments begin Friday as teams begin their quest for a spot in the state tournament. It’s double-elimination, meaning two losses and the season is over.

The team that remains undefeated in the winners’ bracket will qualify as the top seed for the state tournament, while the team that wins the losers’ bracket will qualify as the second seed.

The state tournament is next week in Montgomery.

Southside, Gaston, Sardis and Glencoe each advanced out of their respective area tournaments to gain regional bids.

Southside, ranked third in Class 5A, won the Area 13 tournament and will play Arab at 5 p.m. Friday in the stacked North Regional at the Metro Kiwanis Sportsplex in Huntsville. The North Regional includes No. 1 Scottsboro, No. 2 Hartselle and No. 4 Lawrence County, who the Panthers (34-12-1) likely would play in the second round with a win.

Gaston is the surprise participant of the 2A bracket. The Bulldogs upset No. 8 West End in the Area 13 tournament and finished as runner-up to qualify for the tourney. They play fifth-ranked Ider at 8 a.m. Friday.

Also in Huntsville on Friday are Cedar Bluff and Collinsville in 1A, Sand Rock and Fyffe in 2A, Geraldine in 3A and Fort Payne in 5A.

Fourth-ranked Sardis (33-12-2) is considered one of the favorites at the North Central Regional in Tuscaloosa. The Etowah County and 4A, Area 12 champion plays Alexandria at 3:30 p.m. Friday. Sardis is one of just two ranked teams in 4A at the North Central Regional, with the other being No. 3 Cherokee County. The Warriors take on Crossville at 3:30 Friday.

At the South Central Regional in Troy, No. 3 Glencoe (31-9) will take on sixth-ranked White Plains at 9:30 a.m. Friday.