Goshen, CHHS, Pike County prepare for area tournaments

Published 10:25 pm Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The entire regular season has come down to the next two days for three area softball teams.

Goshen, Charles Henderson and Pike County are all looking to keep their season’s alive with strong showings in their respective area tournaments.

A top two finish for the teams at area will ensure them a spot in the regional tournament next week, either in Troy or Gulf Shores.

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Goshen won its regular season area title, and gets to host the area tournament. However, it wasn’t smooth sailing for the Lady Eagles during the season.

Goshen stumbled early, and lost a pair of games – one each to Elba and Zion Chapel – but picked up a season sweep of New Brockton to claim the title.

Led by pitcher Lizzy Galloway, power hitters Katie Thomas and Casey Allen and the always-reliable Haley Hughes, Goshen will look to earn a spot in the state tournament for the third consecutive year.

While Goshen likes hosting the area tournament, head coach Amy Warrick said that it wasn’t the main goal.

“To us, it is not really about where we play,” said Warrick. “We just wanted a good seed. There is no better seed than No. 1, and that is what we wanted. We know nothing is automatic. We have to earn it and fight for it.

Goshen’s first game in the area tournament is set for 3 P.m. Friday in Goshen

Charles Henderson entered the 2014 season with tons of questions, and has tried to answer them throughout the season.

The Lady Trojans will take the No. 2 seed in to the area tournament in Headland on Thursday. A win over Ashford in the tourney opener could propel the young Charles Henderson team to a solid weekend.

Charles Henderson split with Ashford in the regular season, losing on the road and winning at the Troy Softball Complex.

Hannah Calhoun dropped down a perfect bunt in the bottom of the seventh to allow Kelsey Gibson to score the winning run.

Charles Henderson has also stepped up in classification over a dozen times in 2014, and head coach Trent Givens feels by playing larger schools the Lady Trojans see better competition.

“We want to be playing the best softball we can come the area tournament,” Givens said in a recent interview. “We have played some really good 6A teams and our area opponents are pretty good as well. We have seen some of the best, and I feel that our group of girls is ready for the tournament.”

Charles Henderson opens the tournament Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. Against Ashford in Headland.

The Lady Dawgs of Pike County High School enjoyed its first trip to the regional tournament last season, and is looking to do it again in 2014.

Pike County, led by head coach Karie Striplin, travels to Montgomery Thursday for its area tournament at Montgomery Catholic.

“To win the area you have to beat Montgomery Catholic,” Striplin said in a recent post-game interview. “Their pitchers are rise ball-curveball pitchers, and we have seen mostly fastball-changeup pitchers so far. We need to make those adjustment, and I think we can.”

PCHS opens the tournament against Abbeville at 9 a.m.