The Commerce Tigers (15-8) won the silver bracket championship at the North Fall Classic last weekend at North Hall.
The Tigers played their first qualifying game against Banks County. The game was tied at 2-2 at the end of regulation. Banks earned a 4-3 victory in the ITB (International tie-breaker) when they scored two runs, allowing the Tigers only one.
Commerce’s next qualifying opponent, AAA Fannin County defeated the Tigers 7-1, with Jenna Thomas earning the sole run for the Tigers.
The Tigers were seeded third in the silver bracket, which resulted in a matchup with Towns County in the first round of Saturday’s play.
Commerce easily knocked off Towns 9-2. Commerce head coach Pam Canup noted multiple hits by Libbi Lance (2-2), Mattie Canup (3-3), Jenna Thomas (3-3), Savannah Barnett (2-3) and Kaylee Partin (2-3). The winning pitcher was Savannah Barnett.
Commerce advanced to take on the Rabun County Wildcats. The Tigers quickly disposed of Rabun after the game was called due to the mercy rule when Commerce went up 13-2. Earning multiple hits against Rabun were: Libbi Lance, Jenna Thomas, Rachel Floyd, Savannah Barnett and Kaylee Partin. The winning pitcher was Bridget Barnett.
After knocking off Rabun, the lady Tigers advanced to face AAAAA Flowery Branch in the championship game.
After three scoreless innings, Libbi Lance got on base in the fourth and Mattie Canup earned a hit, helping Lance move around the bases. Jenna Thomas earned a double, moving both runners into scoring position. Finally, Bridget Barnett stepped up to the plate and made a sacrifice play, allowing the runners to score.
Flowery Branch scored one run in the fourth as well, but neither team would score again.
The Tigers took home the championship in a 2-1 nail-biting victory.
I feel like we are still getting smarter and smarter every game,” said Commerce coach Pam Canup. “The tournament exposed a couple small things that I now know we need to work on. Hopefully it will better prepare us for the region tournament and however far we progress after that. I’m pleased, but I’m not satisfied just yet.”
The Tigers defeated region 8-A opponent Hebron Christian Academy 15-6 at home earlier in the week. Leading batters were: Libbi Lance (3-4), Mattie Canup (2-3), Rachel Floyd (3-5), and Hannah Crumley (2-4). Savannah Barnett was the winning pitcher.