Lady Hawks fly high

By Staff
Danville sweeps Glencoe to advance to state tournament in Montgomery
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Danville's Lady Hawks combined strong pitching with solid defense to knock out Glencoe 4-1 and 3-1 in the second round of sub-state play at home on Friday and earn a berth in the Class 3A state softball tournament in Montgomery.
They will face West Blocton at noon on Friday in the first round of the double- elimination tournament.
State tournament competition is nothing new to the Lady Hawks. They have competed there in three of the past four years but have yet to come away with the big prize.
The Lady Hawks (27-21) had to overcome an early 1-0 deficit to pull out a Game 1 win over Glencoe (30-17). They pushed across the tying run in the bottom of the second inning on a double, a sacrifice bunt and a throwing error and went up 2-1 on a passed ball. In the bottom of the third, a single by Kristen Thompson with the bases loaded and two outs scored two more runs.
Glencoe also held a 1-0 lead in the second game before the Lady Hawks exploded for three runs in the top of the third. Two of the runs resulted from Mallory George's bases-loaded single.
"Pitching and defense took the day," said Danville assistant coach Rod Gillott. "They've worked harder this year than any year in the past. Our four seniors played lights out."
"They came ready to play today," said head coach Holly Little. "I'm proud of them. Our pitchers were at the top of their game and we had some clutch hits."
Catcher Bethany Evans, who threw out three baserunners in the first game, said she and her teammates were focused on playing well together as a team.
"It felt good out there today," she said. "I felt confident we could win."
"Winning and getting back to the state tournament meant a lot to us," said pitcher Brittany Atkins. "This was our goal and I'm proud I was able to be a part of it."
"I wanted to help my team reach its goal," said pitcher Kristen Thompson. "I've been working hard on my change-up and it was working. All I had to do was get them to put the ball in play and our defense was doing the rest."
Atkins went the distance to pick up the Game 1 win. She allowed seven hits, had four strikeouts, didn't give up a walk and hit four batters.
Nicole Teal was tagged with the loss. She gave up four runs on six hits while striking out seven and walking three.
George had a pair of singles and two RBIs to lead the Lady Hawks at the plate. Kristen Thompson had a double, and Whitney Haggamaker and Bethany Evans each singled. Thompson was the winning pitcher in the second game. She fanned 13 batters, allowed only four hits and gave up two walks.
Teal took the loss, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out eight and giving up one walk.
George again led the Hawks in hitting with a two-RBI double. Thompson had a triple and Nicole Linderman, Haggamaker and Kassie Cowart each singled.

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