Baseball/softball notebook: How many dogpile celebrations?

·2 min read

May 17—These days, you can't win a championship in baseball or softball without having a dogpile celebration on the field.

There could be several dogpiles for area teams this week.

Athens and Hatton are competing for softball state championships in Oxford at Choccolocco Park. Athens begins the chase today. Hatton starts on Friday.

Three area baseball teams are just two wins away from state championships. Decatur Heritage goes first on Wednesday with the series concluding Thursday.

Lindsay Lane and Hartselle both play their first games Thursday and play for championships on Friday.

The baseball championships have a new home this year. The first game of each series will be played at Choccolocco Park in Oxford. Each series concludes the following day at Jacksonville State's Jim Case Stadium.

So how many dogpile celebrations will we see for area teams?

Five is not out of the question. If that happens, this week becomes one of the best ever for area high school sports.

If just one area team takes home a state championship trophy, that's pretty special. Anything beyond that is gravy.

Winning state championships is nothing new for four of these area teams. Athens softball last won a state championship in 2010. The Golden Eagles were also slow-pitch champs in 1999, 1990 and 1989.

Hatton softball has five fast-pitch state championships from 2017, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010. The Hornets also have slow-pitch championships from 1992, 1993 and 1996.

Hartselle baseball can match Hatton softball with eight state championships. They came in 2013, 2009, 2000, 1999, 1994, 1992, 1991 and 1990. All eight were in Class 5A. The Tigers are chasing their first in Class 6A.

Decatur Heritage won the 1A state baseball championship in 2016. The Eagles fell one game short of being repeat champions in 2017.

Combining state championships among Athens and Hatton softball with Hartselle and Decatur Heritage baseball gives you 21. That's a lot of winning tradition that can help push a team over the top.

Lindsay Lane would like to add to the winning tradition. The Lions have quickly produced a strong championship contender.

They are making their first run at a state championship in just the second trip to the playoffs in its fourth year to compete in the AHSAA. Those young Lions would love to end this season with their championship dogpile Friday on the field at Jim Case Stadium at Jacksonville State.

david.elwell@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2395. Twitter @DD_DavidElwell.