Horseshoe Bend pitcher Danielle Mitchell and the Generals found themselves one out away from breaking a two-year drought with area titles.
The Generals got the final groundout, completing a sweep of the Class 2A Area 7 tournament with a 7-5 victory at Reeltown on Thursday.
“I’m just proud of them,” Generals head coach Hagen Whiteard said. “We talked about being consistent all season, and they finally showed that (Thursday). It feels even better doing it here in Reeltown. I’m very excited about heading to the regionals.”
Horseshoe Bend (16-20) avenged the regular-season sweep by Reeltown (13-19-1) by holding on after a five-run second inning.
Leighann McWhorter led off with a walk, Alyssa Whiteard hit a single and Nadia Brooks walked. Reagan Taylor hit an RBI double then Mitchell hit a big three-run homer.
McWhorter reached base three times and scored twice. Mitchell went 2-for-4 at the plate and pitched a complete game, allowing the five runs (three earned) on nine hits and a walk with four strikeouts on her 120 pitches.
Reeltown scored the game’s first run on an RBI groundout by Bella Studdard, who finished with four RBIs and lasted 3 1/3 innings in the circle. Studdard hit a two-run double in the third to cut Horseshoe Bend’s lead to 5-3 in the third.
“We played a couple of tough, close games,” Rebels head coach Kelli Hilyer said. “Bella’s been seeing the ball very well all season. She’s just a freshman and she’s really coming into her own. We couldn’t make all the plays but we’ll go into the regionals knowing that we can’t take innings off.”
Horseshoe Bend and Reeltown will represent Class 2A Area 7 at the East Central Regional in Oxford beginning May 9.