By PATRICK CASEY
Shelby Watson pitched a two-hitter as South Walton won their first Walton County softball tournament title with a 4-1 win over the Walton Braves in DeFuniak Springs on Friday night.
Walton(8-10) took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, only to see South Walton rally with three runs in the top of the fifth inning. Brittany Jay had a solid night at the plate as she went 3-for-3.
Watson beat the Braves for the third time this season on the mound as she struck out 14 batters while driving in a pair of runs for the second night in a row.
The win saw the Seahawks capture their 20th win of the season against only one loss.
Freeport(8-15) defeated Paxton in the consolation game 14-4 as Jordan Howell had three hits while driving in six runs for the Bulldogs. Freeport rallied from a 4-2 deficit by scoring eight runs over the final three innings of play to rally for the win in the only meeting between the two schools this season.
Paxton(2-11) got three hits from Chantel McCormick and grabbed a 2-0 lead before Freeport rallied to go up 6-4 after three innings of play.
On the opening day of the event, South Walton picked up a 3-0 win over Freeport while Walton defeated Paxton 10-0.
The Seahawks got a no-hitter from sophomore pitcher Shelby Watson as she struck out 12 Freeport batters in picking up the victory.
Watson had a hand in the three runs that the Seahawks scored as she doubled and scored in the second inning on a sacrifice bunt by Meghan Smith, then drove in a pair of runs with a single in the third inning for a 3-0 lead.
The Seahawks managed only three hits off of Freeport starter Curstin Buford, but took advantage of five Bulldogs fielding errors to put three runs on the board.
Freeport drew three walks from Watson, but only got three balls out of the infield, all flyouts to centerfield.
Walton brought their bats to bear on Paxton as the Braves delivered 11 hits in five innings of play while plating 10 runs to down the Bobcats 10-0 in five innings.
Alex Infinger recorded three singles for Walton while driving in four runs with Shelbie Standland adding a pair of triples and five RBIs in the nightcap.
Devin Richardson and Emily Davis combined to pitch a one-hitter as Lillie Dixon had a single for the Bobcats only hit of the game.
Kappi Stewart took the loss for Paxton as the Bobcats played their first contest after a 13-day break due to Spring Break week.
Team Notes: South Walton and Walton will play for the second time in five days in Pensacola in the opening round of the District 1, Class 3A softball tournament on Tuesday. (Details were not available at press time.) Walton defeated South Walton last season in the opening round of that same tournament which was hosted by the Seahawks, but the South Walton squad has won all three meetings so far this season. Freeport, Paxton and PDL must all win two games to keep their seasons going. Freeport may have the best chance to do so, but would have to upset Baker on their home field in the semifinals of the District 1, Class 2A tournament on Tuesday night assuming they get past the Pirates in the first round on Monday evening.
By PATRICK CASEY