DISTRICT 7-3A SOFTBALL TOURNEY: DeKalb County Clinches Championship, Region Berths; Upperman, Stone Memorial To Face Off In Final Elimination Game

By Michael Lindsay


The DeKalb County Tigerettes clinched their first district championship and region tournament berths since 2019 Friday afternoon as they defeated #1 seed Upperman in the District 7-3A tournament winners’ bracket, 12-0.

“I’m so proud of the girls overall,” said DeKalb County head coach Danielle Horton. “At the beginning of the season, the girls set a goal of getting past the district tournament. We were tight the other two times we played Upperman, so today we just had fun.”

The Tigerettes were led by a complete performance by pitcher Kora Kilgore, who struck out 5 batters while surrendering only 1 hit in 4 innings of work. Kilgore went 3-4 at the plate with a 3-run home run.

“Our entire team was hitting the heck out of hit,” said Horton. “Kora came in hot and was on the money today.”

DeKalb County jumped on the scoreboard early as they scored 4 runs in the top of the first inning including Kilgore’s 3-run homer. The Tigerettes tacked on 4 more runs in the second and third innings to lead 8-0 after three before winning by a 12-0 final score in 5 innings.

“Yes, we have the region berth, but we want the opportunity to play that first region game at home,” said Horton. “Anybody can come in and beat you, so we have to be ready.”

The Tigerettes are set to face the winner of Stone Memorial and Upperman on Saturday at 4 p.m. as the Lady Bees and Lady Panthers face off in the final elimination game at 2 p.m.

Stone Memorial won back-to-back elimination games on Friday over Livingston 7-2 and White County, 13-10.

“Grit and determination are something we’ve been working on all year,” said Stone Memorial head coach Brittany Bilbrey. “We’ve been building confidence and consistency and I think everything came through at the right time.”

Senior pitcher Kara VonAchen striking out 7 batters in 6 and 2/3 innings while going 2-3 with 3 RBIs, 3 runs scored and a double offensively. VonAchen started the White County game at pitcher before switching to catcher, then back to pitcher again.

“That’s rare, what she was able to do,” said Bilbrey. “We couldn’t be more proud of her as a person and player. That could’ve went south fast, and she came back in and battled. There at the end, I had no doubts.”

Stone Memorial jumped out to a 5-1 lead after 3 innings before a Kylie Norvell grand slam in the top of the fourth inning tied the contest at 5 runs each. White County tacked on two more to take a 7-5 lead entering the bottom of the frame, where Stone Memorial scored 5 more to retake a 10-7 advantage.

“I told them we have to keep hitting,” said Bilbrey. “They’re going to score and we have to be strong enough to handle that.”

The Warriorettes posted 3 runs in the top of the fifth to tie the contest at 10 runs each before a Cadence Cox single and White County error two batters later scored a total of three runs to give the Lady Panthers a 13-10 lead after 5 innings.

VonAchen and White County pitcher Hannah Crawford went to work from there as neither team scored in the final two frames, securing Stone Memorial’s 13-10 victory and advancement in the District 7-3A tournament.

Stone Memorial vs. Upperman is set for 2 p.m. with the winner facing DeKalb County in the district championship at 4 p.m. and earning an automatic Region 4-3A tournament berth.

“We have to get some good rest and eat some protein,” said Bilbrey. “I told the girls whatever they felt at the end on that third out, they’ve got to bring that out here and let it carry us.”

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