Bruce Bits

Published 8:03 pm Monday, May 1, 2006

By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
The T.R. Miller Lady Tigers have drawn the top seed and a first-round matchup against the W.S. Neal Lady Blue Eagles in the opening round of the Class 3A Area Softball Tournament. The tournament will be played Friday at the Brewton Area YMCA Park.
The T.R. Miller-W.S. Neal game is one of two first-round contests that will be played at 2 p.m. Second-seeded Straughn will face third-seeded Clarke County in the other first-round contest. W.S. Neal is the fourth seed in the tournament.
Two second-round games will be played at 4 p.m. The T.R. Miller-W.S. Neal winner will play the Straughn-Clarke County winner in a championship bracket semifinal game. The losers from those games will meet in an elimination game.
The second elimination game is slated for 6 p.m. The championship series will begin at 8 p.m. If necessary, a second game in the championship series will be played at 10 p.m. All game times after the first round may be pushed up or back depending on how quickly the preceding round is finished.
Admission to the Area Tournament is $6. That price is set by the Alabama High School Athletic Association.
T.R. Miller (11-5) is 5-0 against Area 1 foes this season. Two of those wins have come against its first-round opponent, W.S. Neal. The Lady Tigers notched a 16-1 victory in three innings at the Brewton Area YMCA Park March 13 and a 20-6 win at East Brewton April 4.
T.R. Miller also owns two wins over Straughn. The Lady Tigers posted a 12-5 win at Brewton back in the season opener and rallied for a 6-5 win at Straughn Friday. defeated Straughn 12-5 and Clarke County 15-7. The Lady Tigers also posted a 15-7 win over Clarke County in a game played at Brewton.
W.S. Neal finished regular season play 0-6 against its Area foes. In addition to the two losses to T.R. Miller, the Lady Blue Eagles have lost 23-0 and 19-0 decisions against Straughn, and 20-16 and 8-3 in matchups Clarke County.
The top two teams from the Area 1 tournament will advance to the first round of sub-state play May 9. The Area 1 champion will host the Area 2 runner-up, while the Area 1 runner-up will travel to the Area 2 champion. The sub-state round is a best-of-three series. Area 2 consists of Abbeville, Dale County, Slocomb and Headland.
The second round of sub-state play will be May 13. The Class 1A, 3A and 5A state tournaments will be May 18-19 at Lagoon Park in Montgomery. Class 2A, 4A and 6A will also be played at that site May 19-20.