Sumiton Christian sophomore Abbey Bice hit a game-winning two-run single to give the Eagles an 8-7 victory over Ider to win the Class 2A softball state championship at Lagoon Park on Saturday.
Sumiton Christian, in its seventh consecutive state tournament, won its first state title since 2010. The Eagles lost in the state finals in 2012. This time, the Eagles cried tears of joy.
“We’ve been fighting every year when we get here,” Eagles head coach Jessica Aderholt said. “We played better this weekend than we have before. It’s really great to bring a title back to Sumiton.”
Bice’s hit culminated a five-month comeback from a torn ACL and meniscus while playing for the Eagles’ basketball team in the second game of the season.
Bice said she was worried about coming back quickly from knee surgery, but getting her first game-winning hit was well worth the work.
“I just knew I had to do something big for my team,” Bice said. “I rehabbed so hard to repair my knee. I was just waiting for my pitch and when it came, I smacked it.”
Eagles pitcher Jenna Ergle was named tournament MVP, but it was Bice who would be mobbed at first base after the winning run touched home. Bice was all smiles after finally getting up.
“Someone told me that my dad was yelling, ‘Get off of her! Get off of her!’ ” Bice said. “It was just a great moment. I love every one of my teammates.”
The resilient Eagles won three straight games in their final at-bat to take the title, something Aderholt said was the story of their season.
“My girls this year have never given up,” Aderholt said. “We’ve worked on our mental game all year, and it paid off tonight.”