Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer|
Hartselle third baseman Haley Miller makes a play in the Morgan County softballtournament.
Hartselle wins 1st county softball championship
By Brooke Milam
FLORETTE — After winning the first Morgan County softball tournament championship, Hartselle High still had one more responsibility:
Pictures with the trophy.
Making sure seven seniors got their spot on the front row, the Lady Tigers posed with the rotating Morgan County softball trophy, beginning a tradition Saturday night.
Hartselle clinched the title with a 5-3 win over Austin in the championship game.
“I told them, ‘Your name will always be first on that trophy forever,’ ” Hartselle coach Shane Alexander said.
Hartselle hopes the festivities were a warm-up for future trophy acceptance.
Specifically, the LadyTigers are hoping to continue the trend at the state tournament in Montgomery on May 17-19.
Hartselle (41-9) was favored in the county tournament after moving to the top spot in Class 5A in the final Alabama Sports Writers poll of the season Thursday. Alexander said he sees the county title as a necessary step in a return trip to Montgomery.
“These girls have a lot of pressure on them, but this group is pretty laid back. They don’t let it get to them that much,” Alexander said. “I don’t think we’ve played our best yet. I hope we haven’t.”
Hartselle pulled off a come-from-behind win for the title, warding off a hot Austin team that Lady Black Bears coach Butch Wright said played some of its best games of the season Saturday.
His Lady Black Bears earned their spot in the finals, coming into the final day carrying one loss from bracket play Friday in the double-elimination tournament.
The Lady Black Bears (18-30) won four straight games Saturday to reach the finals, beating city rival Decatur to make the championship game.
“I’m very proud of them,” Wright said.
“They came ready to play. This is a good place to start getting ready for area tournament in a few weeks.”
Decatur entered Saturday undefeated in the tournament before suffering losses to Hartselle and Austin to finish third in the seven-team field.
In the finals, Hartselle didn’t lead until the fifth inning.
Austin went up early 3-0, posting a trio of runs in the second.
An RBI single by Bryonna Jackson scored Tara May before Melissa Thompson’s double plated Jackson for a 2-0 lead. Thompson scored on a single by Rebecca Stephenson, putting Austin up 3-0.
Hartselle scored its first run in the third when a double by Kristy Pevahouse with two outs scored Breanna Segars.
Whitley Collins hit an RBI double that drove in Kayla Orr in the fourth inning, and Collins later scored the tying run, evening the score at 3-3.
The Lady Tigers completed the job when Collins tripled with two outs in the fifth,
driving in Catie Keel and Chandler Orr for a 5-3 advantage, which stood for the final score.
Decatur 2, West Morgan 1: Decatur’s Mollie Russell struck out 15 batters to earn the win, while West Morgan’s Lauren Seibert struck out 12.
Meg Whitten knocked in the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth, scoring Whitney Fletcher.
Hannah Harris scored the lone run for the Lady Rebels on a passed ball.
Hartselle 6, Danville 2: Hartselle senior Collins hit the first home run of her career — a two-run shot.
Bethany Evans and Kassie Cowart each hit a single and scored a run apiece for Danville.
Brewer 6, Priceville 4: Meagan Hormel was the hero for Brewer, hitting a game-ending three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to eliminate Priceville.
Teammate McKinsey Stump had three singles for the Lady Patriots. Brewer’s Megan Lawrence got the win on the mound, striking out six.
For Priceville (20-20), Meaghan Bond struck out seven batters in five innings.
Austin 5, West Morgan 0: Emily Payne returned from injury and pitched her first of two wins Saturday for Austin.
Payne tossed a two-hitter, eliminating West Morgan (21-12).
Ali Barnette’s two-run homer and a double paced Austin at the plate.
Amy Anderson added a double and a single for the Lady Black Bears. Lauren Seibert struck out four on the mound for West Morgan.
Whitlee Potter and Sara Hulvey each had a single for the Lady Rebels.
Austin 6, Brewer 0: Austin’s Carlie Keenum struck out four batters in the shutout that eliminated Brewer (5-22).
Sarah Corn had a double and two RBIs for Austin.
Thompson and Lauren Lindsey each hit two singles and Thompson had an RBI.
For the Lady Patriots, Ashley Henderson delivered two singles, and teammate Candice Ford struck out a pair of batters, allowing three earned runs.
Austin 12, Danville 2: Ali Barnette had a pair of doubles and three RBIs to lead Austin at the plate, in the contest that eliminated Danville (19-17).
Stephenson had three singles for the Lady Black Bears. Thompson had a double and a single, and Lindsey had a pair of singles. Payne picked up the win on the mound for Austin.
Danville’s Evans, Kelsey Bell and Nicole Linderman had two singles each.
Hartselle 1, Decatur 0: Pevahouse had an RBI triple, driving in Segars for the game’s only run.
Segars struck out six batters on the mound for the Lady Tigers, while Decatur’s Russell also struck out six.
Austin 7, Decatur 1: Behind 3-1, Decatur left two runners on base in the top of the fifth inning, and Austin responded by posting four runs in the inning to increase its lead to the final margin.
The loss eliminated Decatur (34-16), which was missing several players because of the school’s prom Saturday night.
Seven different Lady Black Bears scored.
Thompson, Stephenson, Lindsey, May, Anderson, Jackson and Corn each had a run for Austin.
Fletcher scored Decatur’s lone run, batted in by Whitten.
Austin’s Izzy Gillespie and Decatur’s Russell each struck out three batters in the rivalry game.
Morgan Co. softball
Saturday’s scores from the Morgan County softball tournament at Florette:
Decatur 2, West Morgan 1
Hartselle 6, Danville 2
Brewer 6, Priceville 4
Austin 5, West Morgan 0
Austin 6, Brewer 0
Austin 12, Danville 2
Hartselle 1, Decatur 0
Austin 7, Decatur 1
Hartselle 5, Austin 3
Morgan County softball
Champion: Hartselle. The Lady Tigers took the first county fast-pitch championship with a 5-3 win in the finals.
All-tournament team: Hartselle: Kayla Orr, Breanna Segars, Kristy Pevahouse and Whitley Collins; Austin: Rebecca Stephenson, Melissa Thompson and Ali Barnette; Decatur: Whitney Fletcher and Lindsey Hawkins; West Morgan: Lauren Seibert and Mikaila Etheredge; Brewer: Meagan Hormel and McKinsey Stump; Danville: Kristen Sparkman and Kristen Thompson; Priceville: Caitlin Williams and Sumer Boyd.
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