A total of five runs were scored in the first game, with No. 7 Spring Garden winning 3-2. The nightcap was again a one-run affair, but in this one Spring Garden outlasted No. 8 Collinsville by the final of 13-12.
It was the seventh area championship in a row for Spring Garden (20-10), which will head to the North Regional Tournament at the Huntsville Sportsplex where it will play Area 15 runner-up Woodville at 8 a.m.
Collinsville (16-11-1) also advances to the North Regional. It will play Area 15 winner Athens Bible, also at 8 a.m. on Friday.
"I am proud of the girls for winning the area," Spring Garden coach Ann Welsh said. "It isn't something that we have talked about a lot throughout the year. Obviously we wanted to keep our streak going, and I'm very exited about doing that, especially with all the changes we have had since last year. The win was a total team effort, and I am proud of all of them."
In the area championship game, Spring Garden leadoff batter Jordan Sides was 4-for-5 with a double, two runs and four RBI. Callie Thompson went 3-for-4 with three runs, a walk and a RBI. Tara Mullinax and Elizabeth Spoon were both 2-for-3 with a double and two runs apiece. Mullinax also had a walk and two RBI. Spoon drove in three runs.
Heather Smart and Hayden Bates were both 1-for-3 with a run apiece. Smart also had a pair of walks and a RBI. Ivy Franklin contributed a hit and scored a run.
Bates picked up the win, giving up nine earned runs on 13 hits with nine walks and five strikeouts.
In the two teams' first meeting on Thursday, there wasn't quite as much offense in Spring Garden's 3-2 victory.
Collinsville jumped out on top 1-0. Christy Cox walked to lead off the top of the first. She stole second base and scored on a groundout by Brittney Tidmore.
Spring Garden tied the game at one in the third inning. Collinsville starting pitcher Summer Roberts walked the bases loaded and was chased from the game. However, the Lady Panthers could only muster the one run on a walk by Zonna Forrister. That brought home Bates, and it tied the game at a run apiece.
Collinsville regained the lead with a run in the top of the fourth. Back-to-back singles by Summer and Jamie Roberts gave Collinsville runners at first and second wtih no outs. Clair Cox bunted the runners over for Christy Cox, who grounded out to second to score Summer Roberts.
Spring Garden rallied for a pair of runs in the bottom half of the fourth to take a 3-2 lead. Thompson singled to center to lead off the inning and later scored on a pop to left field by Sides that was misplayed by Mason. Sides scored on Heather Smart's single to center to give Spring Garden the lead again.
Collinsville threatened to score in the top of the fifth, but came away empty handed. Bates loaded the bases with one out and Summer Roberts at the plate. She popped out to Spring Garden right fielder Spoon, who threw to the ball to catcher Mullinax to double up Trista Duque at the plate to end the inning.
Bates retired the side in the sixth and seventh to earn the win. She finished with six strikeouts.
Heather Smart was 1-for-1 with a pair of walks. Thompson went 1-for-3. Sides had a pair of walks and Forrister had a RBI.
Duque led Collinsville at the plate by going 2-for-4 with a double.
Collinsville 9, Cedar Bluff 5
SPRING GARDEN - Cedar Bluff's softball season came to a close against Class 1A, No. 8 Collinsville on Thursday in an elimination game in the Class 1A, Area 14 Softball Tournament at Spring Garden.
The Lady Tigers finished the year at 19-13, the highest win total in school history since going to fast pitch.
"It has been a good year for us this year," Cedar Bluff head coach Shane McFry said. "In two years, we have gone from three wins to 15 last year and now 19. We suffered some injuries late in the season or that total may have been higher. I am very proud of the young ladies and the work and effort that they put in. I would not trade my team for any in the state."
McFry noted Lady Tiger seniors Lindsey Lambert, Tabitha Combs and Haley Haney for their contributions to the softball program.
"We will really miss our three seniors," McFry said. "They have been the cornerstones of the program turning around. They will not only be missed as players, but as leaders of our team."
Cedar Bluff jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first. Haley Kimberly singled and later scored on a Combs double.
Collinsville scored two runs in the bottom of the second to take a 2-1 lead. Erica Osborn reached on an error. Marissa Solomon then singled to right, and Osborn scored on an errant throw. Solomon later scored on a Summer Roberts' double, giving the Lady Panthers the lead.
Collinsville tacked on another run in the bottom of the third to go up 3-1. Brittney Tidmore reached on an error and scored on Trista Duque's sacrifice fly.
Cedar Bluff rallied to regain the lead in the top of the fourth. Combs led off with a double. Haley Haney also belted a double to score Combs. Suzie Quarles reached on an error, which brought Haney home. Brandi Lybrand followed with a single, then Katie McGinnis brought home two runs on a single of her own, making it 5-3 Lady Tigers.
The Lady Panthers got one of those runs back in the bottom of the fourth on back-to-back singles by Solomon and Katie Mason, making the score 5-4 Cedar Bluff.
Collinsville took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth. Christy Cox and Tidmore walked and scored on passed balls and a RBI-groundout from Duque, making it 6-5 Lady Panthers.
Collinsville added three more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Tidmore had a two-run double for the big blow in the inning. Duque added a RBI-single to put the Lady Panthers on top 9-5.
Cedar Bluff loaded the bases twice late in the game, but could not come up with the big base hit it needed.