Daily photo by Emily Saunders|
Lee catcher Dominque Tucker awaits the throw as Decatur's Amanda Tidwell scores in the Lady Red Raiders' doubleheader sweep Tuesday.
to 2nd round
Lady Red Raiders to host
Etowah on Saturday
By Mark Edwards
email@example.com · 340-2461
When it's the first round of the sub-state playoffs, that apparently is more than enough motivation to bring out a solid effort from Decatur High's softball team.
It didn't seem to matter much that the opponent, Lee-Huntsville, struggled to put up much of a fight during a best-of-three series Tuesday.
In a pair of games that might not have required much more intensity than a family reunion slow-pitch game, Decatur blasted Lee 14-0 and 20-0 at home to move on to Saturday's second round.
The first game ended after 41/2 innings because of the mercy rule, and the second ended after three innings when Lee (7-25) conceded.
The doubleheader took only 2 hours, 25 minutes, including the break between games.
"Our goal is to get to Montgomery, and we're taking it one game at a time," Decatur shortstop Lindsey Hawkins said.
Montgomery hosts the state tournament, but Decatur (42-19) has one more road block — the Lady Red Raiders will host Etowah in Saturday's second round of the sub-state. Like the first round, it will be a best-of-three series. Etowah advanced with two wins over Cullman 4-2 and 11-1 Tuesday.
On the day, Decatur pounded out 27 hits, while Lee managed a runner as far as second base only once.
In the opener, the Lady Raiders' Mollie Russell struck out 11, allowed no hits and walked two.
In the second game, Meg Whitten pitched to 10 batters, struck out eight, coaxed one to ground out and walked one.
In four of the seven innings in which the Lady Raiders batted, they sent at least 10 batters to the plate four times.
"Our young players got some playing time," Decatur coach Ashley Mueller said, "and we gained confidence — that's always important."
Plenty of Decatur players got in on the action.
In the opening game, Hawkins went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs, while catcher Whitney Fletcher had two singles and three runs from the lead-off spot in the batting order.
Scarlett Wright singled twice and drove in two runs. Jennifer Lawrence doubled, while Meg Whitten had a triple. Jelisa Thompson, Russell and Amanda Tidwell each had a single.
In the second game, Fletcher singled and again scored three runs, giving her six for the day.
Kara Couch singled three times and drove in three runs. Lawrence had a single, two RBIs and three runs. Thompson singled and scored three times. Whitten singled and doubled, while Paris Owens had two singles. Wright
and Liz Pressley each had a single.
And Hawkins punctuated the win by going 2-for-4, including a three-run homer over the left-center field fence.
"She's kind of our rock," Mueller said. "She's always very positive."
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