Prep softball: Oxford dominates in area tournament opener
by Brandon Miller
bmiller@annistonstar.com
May 02, 2013 | 2054 views |  0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OXFORD — Oxford opened the Class 6A, Area 13 softball tournament like the team that won a regular-season championship.

The Lady Yellow Jackets outperformed Gadsden City in every way Thursday in a 10-1 win. They collected 12 hits, and pitcher Jordyn Skinner allowed only three hits.

“You want to come out in area and win the first couple of games and not get in the losers’ brackets,” Oxford coach Wendy McKibbin said. “But we have to take it one inning at a time.”

The big win puts Oxford a win away from clinching a spot in the North Regional in Huntsville for the fourth straight season. The Lady Yellow Jackets’ first chance to earn a bid comes today against Clay-Chalkville at 3:30 p.m.. Clay-Chalkville is the only area team to have beaten Oxford this season.

“Every time we’ve played them it’s been a hit fest. We just have to out-hit them,” McKibbin said. “We’ve got to win one more to get there then worry about winning it outright.”

But in the game against Gadsden City, Oxford’s domination grew as the game went deeper. After a run in the first inning, the Lady Yellow Jackets added three in the second behind a three-run home run from Lexie Higgins.

Although pitcher Jordyn Skinner had an unearned run tacked on to her line, she settled in afterward, putting Gadsden City down in order all but one of the final four innings.

“An eighth grader pitching varsity is really big,” McKibbin said. “But she’s done a good job for us all year.”

With Skinner cruising on the mound, Oxford took a 4-1 lead in the fifth and turned it into a blowout, adding four more runs on four hits, including a home run by Jenn Turner. The Lady Jackets would add two more in the sixth behind Stewart Gail Chase and Makenzie Trantham.

“We struggled early hitting, but made some adjustments in the fourth inning and started hitting better,” McKibbin said.

Haley Lyner, Morgan Whaley and Trantham each had two hits and an RBI. Skinner earned the winning, allowing three hits and striking out six.

Brandon Miller covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575 or follow him on Twitter @bmiller_star
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