Central High School's softball team held off a late Hixson rally to claim a 6-4 victory for the District 6-AA tournament championship Tuesday evening.
The Lady Purple Pounders, who have not lost a district game all season, got on the board early, scoring two runs in the first inning. Alexis Grampp brought in the first with a sacrifice fly, followed by pitcher Brooke Parrott's RBI double.
Central and Hixson traded blows in the third and fourth, with the Lady Pounders coming away with a 5-1 lead, but the Wildcats responded with three runs in the sixth.
"Hixson is a good ball club and a good-hitting ball club, so you can never count them out," Central coach LeeAnne Shurette said.
Coming off a wild 15-14 win over Red Bank in the losers-bracket final, the Lady Wildcats overcame a slow start to nip at the Lady Pounders' heels.
"We came out kind of flat and tired, emotionally, from the game against Red Bank, but we came back and just couldn't finish," said Hixson coach Jayme Putman. "I'm really proud of our team. They worked and showed a lot of heart."
A single and a double in the sixth set the table for Abigail Tipton, who ripped a double into the left-field corner to score two for the Lady Wildcats. They then cut the lead to one on Cambree Spurlock's RBI single before Parrott escaped the jam in relief.
Central tacked on a run in the bottom half of the inning with a double off the bat of Britney Sylvester.
"We stayed focused, and we knew what we wanted to do coming in," Shurette said. "We wanted to win this one to host the region tournament. Our ultimate goal is to win the last game because that means we're state champs, but we have to meet our smaller goals along the way."
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