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CHHS set for tourney play

The AHSAA’s softball area tournaments are going on all across the state this week, and today marks the start of the Class 5A Area 3 tournament in Eufaula.

The Charles Henderson Trojans will travel to Eufaula in hopes of securing a berth in next week’s South Regional in Gulf Shores.

CHHS comes in after a win at the Gulf Shores Invitational over Baker on April 23, but has not played since that game due to weather cancellations.

“Practice has been going pretty well, and it’s something that we really needed,” said CHHS head coach Chad Lapp.

“We only got to play one game in Gulf Shores because of the weather, so we needed some time to try and get back in a rhythm before the tournament.”

The Trojans finished the season 3-3 in area play, and will enter the tournament as the No. 3 seed out of four teams.

CHHS will have to overcome two ranked teams in order to win an area title in No. 7 ranked Eufaula and No. 6 ranked Rehobeth.

“We know they’re good teams, but we also know we can beat any of those teams because we have beaten Rehobeth once this year, and we came within a run of beating Eufaula,” Lapp said.

The win over Rehobeth came on April 19, when the Trojans downed the Rebels 5-4 on Charles Henderson’s senior day.

CHHS had some timely hitting in that win, and Lapp said the Trojans’ offensive performance will be the determining factor today.

“I think we really need to have a good day at the plate,” Lapp said.

“Our defense has been sound all year, so if we can just hit the ball, we could be the ones who win the area.”

If the Trojans do not perform well at the plate, the careers of seniors Taylor Smartt and Caitlin Sexton could come to an end.

The top two finishers at the area tournament will advance to the South regionals, meaning it is now time to win or go home.

Despite their season possibly coming to an end tomorrow, Lapp said the Trojans have acted as if there is no added pressure on them.

“There’s no pressure on us,” Lapp said.

“If anything, the girls are even more focused because they know they have an opportunity to do something special. I think they’re looking forward to showing Rehobeth and Eufaula both that they can be the ones to knock them out and take home an area championship.”

Charles Henderson will take on No. 2 seed Rehobeth at 10 a.m. in Eufaula, and the winner will advance to face the winner of Eufaula and Carroll, who will also play at 10 a.m.

The two losers will then play an elimination game, with the winner advancing to face the loser of the winner’s bracket game in another elimination game.

The two teams left will then play in the championship game at 4 p.m. , with a second game to be played at 6 p.m., if necessary.