Prep softball: Oxford's season ends in North Regional
by Mark Edwards
medwards@annistonstar.com
May 11, 2013 | 3150 views |  0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HUNTSVILLE -- Those Oxford softball players who weren't shedding tears after a heartbreaking Class 6A North Regional loss Saturday afternoon were trying their honest best to hold them back.

Oxford saw its season end with a 6-2 loss to Buckhorn at the Huntsville Sportsplex, and it came in about the worst way possible: The Yellow Jackets fell after fighting and clawing through a 14-inning marathon that lasted 3 hours, 30 minutes.

This came after an eight-inning loss by one run to Grissom in the opening round Friday night. Two games, two losses, and a gutty Oxford team was out of the double-elimination tournament.

"The kids never quit," Oxford coach Wendy McKibbin said after giving consoling hugs to several of her players. "We continued to fight. We just don't quit.

"Some things didn't go our way, but we came from behind and tied it up. We've been coming from behind all year. Nobody has flat beat us. We always fought."

Oxford (30-19) entered the regional having won nine of its previous 11 games, but the Yellow Jackets struggled to score.

On Saturday, both teams got their first batter of the game on base and across the plate for a run. For Oxford, Lexie Higgins scored on Jenn Turner's groundout.

But the game remained 1-1 until the 11th when Buckhorn's Jennifer Kern singled home Shelby Miller in the top half of the inning. Oxford answered in the bottom half.

Sydney Williams doubled with two outs and nobody on, and she scored on an error. Buckhorn couldn't come up with a grounder by Higgins.

In the 14th, Buckhorn took advantage of three Oxford errors and a bases-loaded walk to score four times. In the bottom half, Oxford managed to load the bases with two outs but couldn't push across a run.

Oxford also loaded the bases in the third inning but couldn't score.

Oxford eighth-grader JoJo Skinner pitched the first 11 innings, allowing 10 hits and only one earned run. She walked only one batter. Williams worked the final three innings.

"They both did a good job," McKibbin said.

At the plate, Williams was 3-for-6. Stewart Gail Chase was 2-for-6.

Also at the North Regional, Cedar Bluff lost a Class 1A elimination game to Falkville 11-6. In 2A, Sand Rock lost the winners' bracket final to Hatton 10-0 in five innings.

Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at medwards@annistonstar.com or 256-235-3570. Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.

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