Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer|
Hartselle's Kayla Orr, above, was one of the big sticks in the Lady Tigers' sub-state sweep of Southside-Gadsden in Hartselle on Tuesday. Hartselle's Kristy Pevahouse makes a leaping catch to end the second-game victory. The Lady Tigers advance to play Scottsboro in a best-of-three series Saturday.
Lady Tigers sub-state
sweep includes 53rd win
By Brooke Milam
firstname.lastname@example.org · 340-2460
HARTSELLE — Despite a variety of reasons to celebrate, the Hartselle Lady Tigers appeared calm, slowly walking off the field as they headed to the outfield corner for a postgame team meeting, following a 6-3, 12-1 sweep of Southside-Gadsden in the Class 5A sub-state round Tuesday.
It was all business until a few players asked, "What's our record?"
Coach Shane Alexander's reply brought the cheers and excitement from his team that the game hadn't brought out.
The Lady Tigers are 53-14.
"You just broke the school record for wins," Alexander told his team. "You have won more games than any team in any sport in the history of Hartselle High School."
Now that's something to cheer about and the Lady Tigers did, but only for a brief moment.
Back to the focus — the Lady Tigers are now one win away from a return trip to the state tournament, where they finished third last season.
Hartselle advances to play a best-of-three series with Scottsboro on Saturday with the winner earning a berth in next week's state tournament in Montgomery. Scottsboro advanced to meet Hartselle by sweeping Russellville 6-1, 20-1 on Tuesday.
Hartselle senior Mary Curtis tossed a one-hitter to close out sweep over Southside-Gadsden. Curtis got the start on the mound for the Lady Tigers in the second game and struck out two batters, while Hartselle's offense rolled up runs for a five-inning decision.
Audrey McClanahan and Breanna Segars both scored on a double by Kristy Pevahouse in the second inning, giving Hartselle a 2-0 lead. Haley Miller added a run on a passed ball and Pevahouse scored on a double by Whitley Collins, putting the Lady Tigers ahead 4-0.
"The thing with them is if they score early, they just relax and keep scoring," Alexander said. "Early on in the first game we looked tense, but we came out in the second game and put up those early runs and just kept going."
A pop-up to third base by the Lady Tigers' Sara Lang fell, plating Kayla Orr and completing Hartselle's second-inning surge with a 5-0 lead. Another pop-play to third, this time by Miller, fell and scored Segars in the third. Pevahouse drove in Miller before a two-run homer by Kayla Orr had Hartselle up 9-0.
Segars' run, driven in by Pevahouse, in the fourth inning gave Hartselle a 10-run advantage. The Lady Tigers added two more runs when Kayla Orr's single plated Kayla Byford and Miller.
Segars struck out seven batters, pitching the complete opening-game win for the Lady Tigers.
Hartselle built a 5-2 lead in the first game. Southside-Gadsden cut the Lady Tigers' advantage to 5-3 in the fifth, but that was as close as the Lady Panthers would come.
McClanahan added another run in the fifth, scoring on a passed ball to put Hartselle up 6-3 for the final margin.
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