Lady Tigers take long way to championship
Hartselle's Lady Tiger softball team carried a 25-game winning streak and a No. 1 ranking into Montgomery, but had to start a fresh streak to collect the state championship.
"In the first game, we got a little shell-shocked," Coach Garry Pressley said. "Sabrina (Roberts) had not been hit like that all year and when they hit Jess (Lyle) and J.J. (Lawrimore) too it unsettled us."
"We had a little talk after the game and the seniors told the girls, 'We can do this. We've been here before,' " Pressley said. "That settled them down and they concentrated more in the rest of the games."
"I really think getting the second win Thursday night (against Wetumpka) helped us," Pressley said. "We were able to beat Buckhorn Saturday morning and then go back to our motel all afternoon and rest before playing Oak Mountain. We didn't have to stay at the park and wait through the rain.
"When they called the Oak Mountain game and delayed the championship games to Saturday, that turned the title into a double-header. The girls said, 'we've done this all year. Let's go win a double-header.' "
Robertsdale 7, Hartselle 0:
The Robertsdale Lady Golden Bears had no trouble getting 10 hits off some of Hartselle's top pitchers as they sent the Lady Tigers to the losers' bracket in both squads' opening game of the tournament.
Neither team lit the scoreboard in the first two innings, but the Lady Bears got on board with four runs in the third inning. They added one in the fourth and capped the game with a pair in the seventh.
Hartselle connected for six hits, but most of those went straight to Robertsdale gloves, frustrating the Lady Tigers.
Sabrina Roberts took her first loss of the season, giving up four hits and three runs in two and one third innings. Jessica Lyle lasted only two outs in relief of Roberts, yielding one run. J.J. Lawrimore closed the game for Hartselle, giving up three hits and the final three Robertsdale runs.
Anna Byrd was the leading batter for Hartselle with two base hits. Ashley Jackson, Rachel McAbee, Rachel Carden and Roberts all finished with one base hit each.
Hartselle 4, Benjamin Russell 2:
After their "little talk" the Lady Tigers got back into winning form Thursday evening as they dispatched the Benjamin Russell Lady Wildcats to stay alive in the tournament.
Lindsay McClanahan picked up her 14 th win of the season with a six-inning performance. Her defense backed her up as she gave up six hits, but walked none. Roberts got the save with two innings of no-hit work.
The victory was keyed by a 2-RBI single by McClanahan. Hartselle got all four runs in the first inning, while Russell picked up their pair in the top of the sixth inning.
Lyle and Jackson topped the Hartselle hitting with two base hits. Byrd and Roberts finished with one single each.
Hartselle 11, Wetumpka 0:
The Lady Tigers shortened this game with a nine-run bottom of the third after plating two runs in the first.
"We hit the ball much better in this game than we did earlier," Pressley said.
Roberts rebounded from her earlier loss to claim her 21 st pitching win of the season in four innings of work. Lawrimore provided one inning of relief and picked up the save.
McClanahan lead the Hartselle hitting with a 2-RBI double in the third.
Anna Corum went 2 for 3 at the plate, ripping two singles and driving in one run. Rachel McAbee connected for an RBI single and Roberts matched that.
Lyle singled twice. Jackson got a base hit and Regan Sandlin clubbed a double to complete the Hartselle hits roster.
Hartselle 4, Buckhorn 1:
Hartselle jumped out to a two-run lead in the bottom of the first inning, but the Lady Bucks looked as though they would make a game of it when they responded with a run in the top of the second.
The Lady Tigers picked up two more runs in the second and from there the game was a defensive struggle.
Hartselle turned several double-plays to prevent Buckhorn threats in the later innings.
McClanahan got the win in four innings of work. She struck out one, walked one and allowed four hits. Jessica Lyle worked the mound for three innings to get the save. She struck out two with no walks and one hit.
Byrd drove in one run on two base hits. Corum had an RBI single and Lyle doubled for Hartselle. Roberts finished 2 for 3 at the plate with two singles and McAbee ripped one single.
Oak Mountain 2:
Rain shortened a rematch of last year's championship bill as the Hartselle girls got a degree of satisfaction by knocking off the team that denied them the championship last year. The game was called in the top of the sixth inning after a 30-minute rain delay.
Hartselle established dominance of the contest early, scoring two runs in the top of the first and adding at least one run in each of the remaining four innings.
Anna Corum had RBIs in the first, third and fourth innings and Roberts set a school record with her 22 nd pitching win of the season.
Roberts got the win in four innings with four hits and no walks. She finished the season with a.55 earned run average. Lyle closed the game with the last out.
Corum got the big hit for Hartselle with a double, while Byrd got two singles. All other hitters singled. Roberts and Sandlin got one RBI each.