Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer|
West Morgan’s Ashley Thorn takes a hard swing at an Ider pitch.
West Morgan can’t overcome Ider ace
By Brooke Milam
TRINITY — It took six hours of softball Saturday for the Ider Lady Hornets to punch their ticket to the Class 2A state softball tournament and end West Morgan’s season.
With a sunny mid-afternoon start to the second-round sub-state matchup, Ider took the opening game 1-0. West Morgan won the second game 2-0, but Ider sealed the series with a 2-0 win in the deciding third game Tuesday night.
“I’m extremely proud and extremely disappointed that we lost,” West Morgan coach Keith Harris said. “But it was exciting, and I got to pump my fists a few times.”
Sophomore Hilary Phillips (34-4), the Alabama Sports Writers Association 2A player of the year last season, pitched both wins for Ider, striking out 34 batters, including 20 in the first game.
Even so, West Morgan scored only one less run than Ider on the day.
“I knew coming in that this was going to be a tough series,” Ider coach David Hughes said. “This was two of the top teams in the state tonight, and it’s a shame we both can’t go down to the (state tournament).”
Ider (57-14) will open state tournament play Thursday at Montgomery’s Lagoon Park.
West Morgan ends its season at 45-15.
“I feel like we accomplished the goal of being a team, we just didn’t get as far as we wanted,” Harris said.
Shortstop Lauryn Kilgo is the only West Morgan senior, and Ider’s Hughes said he expects a bright future ahead for the team that gave his team what he called some of the best competition they had seen all season.
“They’ve got a top-notch program, a top-notch facility, and they’re young — someone to contend with for years to come,” Hughes said.
Sophomore Lauren Seibert (42-13) pitched every inning for the Lady Rebels, striking out nine batters, bringing her season total to 423.
“We certainly knew this kid (Phillips) was one of the top pitchers in the state,” Harris said. “Her speed is real good and her location — she mixed it up pretty good. My kid (Seibert) is pretty good, too.”
Seibert hurled the shutout in the second game, which was scoreless until Hayden Hamby’s two-RBI single in the top of the fourth drove in Seibert and Kilgo for a 2-0 West Morgan lead that stood as the final score.
Ider stranded a runner on third base in the fifth and sixth innings as the Lady Rebels pulled off the split.
No one scored in the first game until the fourth inning when Ider’s Jessica Hughes put up a run for a 1-0 lead.
After Seibert reached base on an error in the sixth, Hannah Harris’ single meant the Lady Rebels had the tying and go-ahead runs on base, but the inning ended when Seibert was tagged out at third.
Hamby got on base when a pop-up to short centerfield fell in during the seventh, but Phillips closed out the win with a game-ending strikeout.
In the third game, Lacey Hancock scored for Ider in the fourth off a West Morgan throwing error and the Lady Hornets led 1-0. Megan Goins put Ider ahead 2-0 when she scored on a single by Phillips.
Needing to rally, Kilgo was the only Lady Rebels batter to reach base in the final inning, hitting a single with one out.
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