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Tigerettes

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The TSSAA 8-AA District Softball Championship came down to two teams last week, two teams that had each beat the other in the regular season, and ended up sharing the regular season championship. The DeKalb County High School Tigerettes softball team had earned the top seed in the district tournament by points, but the championship would come down to a battle with their regular season nemesis, Upperman.
On May 6, Upperman had to play twice, once to earn a spot in the championship game. Their first game would pit them against Macon County, with the game ending with the Lady Bees squeaking out a 1-0 win in eight innings.
In the championship game, DeKalb came out on fire and looked to put the game away early on. The Tigerettes came away with four runs in the bottom of the first inning, then held the Lady Bees scoreless until the fourth with Upperman getting one run.
The Lady Bees would get to within one at the top of the fifth, with two more runs. Tigerettes Head Coach Danny Bond paced the dugout neverously through the fifth inning, staying upbeat and encouraging his team. The girls did not let him down, with Graham and Hall each coming in with a run. The Tigerettes would hold the Lady Bees scoreless through the next inning and a half to take the 6-3 victory.
 DeKalb had nine hits for six runs, with one error, while Upperman had eight hits for three runs, and one error. Kayley Caplinger was the winning pitcher, striking out eight and walking one.
Danielle Tyson had a double and a single in the game, while Tyra Graham had two singles. Katie Hall, Chelsey Brannon, Lauren Colwell, and Dani Meadows, each had a single, while Caplinger had a double.
"It’s been since 2010 since we’ve won the district tournament championship, as well as the regular season championship," Coach Bond told the Review after the game. "Apparently we were co-champions in the regular season this year, came into the tournament as the top seed, and we won four straight games in the tournament against some good quality teams. We really had to battle and compete, and I thought we played some of our best ball in the district tournament."
When asked if the season’s success was a surprise, Coach Bond said he had faith in his team. "It was a little surprising this season I guess. Some people thought we would have had a better season last year, but I knew, with the core of seniors that was coming back this year, if we came together, our leaders would lead, our younger players would step up, especially on defense earlier in the season, that we would have a good season."
"This has been an exceptional season, as far as wins and losses," Bond continued. "I think we are currently 38-5. I think the school record is 39 wins, and we’d like to get 40 wins this year. That would be a big plus for this program."
After the game, district awards were announced with several Tigerettes receiving honors. Members of the All Tournament Team included Chelsey Brannon, Daniell Tyson, Tyra Graham, and Dani Meadows. Others included on the team were  K r is t e n   Hull  a n d   Hannah  Leftwich   of Upperman, and  J o r d a n   S h o c k l e y   and Mary Belton of  M a c o n   C o u n t y  .
Kayley Caplinger was named as the District Tournament Most Valuable Player, as well as Freshman of the Year on the All Freshman Team. Others on the Freshman Team are Sidney Pennycuff of Livingston, Paige Clark and McKenzie Mercer of Macon County, Madison Spivey, Haven Jenkins, and Abbi Gregory of Smith County, Alyssa Ward of Central Magnet, and Lynzee Yantz of York.
Brannon, Caplinger and Tyson were each named to the First Team All District. They were joined by Jamie Wilson of Livingston, Klaudia Hull and Elizabeth Wheeler of Upperman, Brianna Gregory of Smith County, Paige Clark and Jordan Shockley of Macon County, and Kristen Hale of Cannon County.
Katie Hall, Tyra Graham, and Lauren Colwell made the Second Team All District, along with Livia Walker, Macy Williams, and Macy Clements of Cannon County, Whitney Smith and Evelyn Drake of Central Magnet, Addi Stover of Livingston, Sue Ellen Cope of York Institute, and Mary Belton of Macon County.
Danielle Tyson was named Best Offensive Player, and shared the title of District MVP with Kristen Hull of Upperman.
Tigerettes Coach Danny Bond was named Coach of the Year during the ceremony.
In a related story, Coach Bond was honored by the DeKalb Board of Education last week for his service to the team. Coach Bond is the only coach the Tigerettes have ever known over its 29 year history, and in April DeKalb marked the 600th win for Bond. To honor that the board announced that the Tigerettes softball field will be named in his honor.
The DCHS Tigerettes’ softball season is not over however, as the team moves on to the 4-AA Regional Tournament.


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