One to grow on

By Staff
Danville picks up opening win at state tournament; ties for 5th place
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
MONTGOMERY – After going two-and-out in last year's state tournament, Danville's softball team wanted to improve on that performance in 2007.
The Lady Hawks opened their state tournament trip in impressive fashion, winning the opening game 7-2 over West Blocton Friday afternoon at Lagoon Park. But Danville's winning ways did not continue as the Lady Hawks dropped their next two games, 13-2 to Mobile Christian Friday night and 10-2 to Leeds Saturday morning.
"That's what our girls said in the week leading up to the tournament, that they wanted to do something once we got down here," Danville coach Holly Little said after the win Friday. "That was our goal, was not just to be happy to be here, but to do some damage."
The Lady Hawks' season ended with a tie for fifth place in Class 3A and a final record of 28-23.
Danville 7, West Blocton 2
Down 2-0 heading to the bottom of the fifth inning, Danville staged a seven-run rally that started with a strikeout, of all things.
Danville's Kelsey Bell struck out to lead off the inning, but still reached base safely after West Blocton catcher Lynsey Cargile dropped the third strike. Whitney Haggamaker put down a bunt and reached safely on an error and Sarah Terry followed with a two-RBI single to get the rally started.
"(West Blocton's) errors certainly helped us get going in that game," Little said. "But then we helped ourselves out with the bunt and strong hit. We were able to break it wide open."
Terry scored the winning run when she came home on Bethany Evans' one-out RBI single. Nicole Linderman, Mallory George, Kristen Sparkman and Kristen Thompson each followed with consecutive singles.
In the inning, Thompson and Terry each had two RBIs and Evans, George and Sparkman each picked up one RBI. Scoring one run each in the inning were Morgan Doherty, Sarah Stephenson, Haggamaker, Terry, Evans, Linderman, George and Sparkman.
Brittany Atkins took the win, working a complete game and allowing six hits while striking out eight.
Mobile Christian 13, Danville 2
Danville fell into the losers' bracket after dropping a five-inning decision to Mobile Christian Friday evening. The big blow came in the fourth inning, when the Lady Leopards scored seven runs.
Mobile Christian took an early 2-0 lead but Danville battled back to tie it in the bottom of the first inning.
The Lady Hawks loaded the bases with nobody out and Thompson and Linderman each had consecutive RBI singles, but Danville could not muster any more offense.
The Lady Leopards scored three runs in the third inning before breaking it open in the fourth. Laura Callaway hit a three-run home run to help pace Mobile Christian's offensive explosion.
Sparkman, George and Bell each singled for Danville in the loss.
Leeds 10, Danville 2
Danville committed nine errors and Leeds collected 17 hits as the Lady Green Wave ended the Lady Hawks' run in the state tournament. Leeds eventually moved on to win the Class 3A title, surprisingly battling out of the losers' bracket with five straight wins Saturday.
"(Leeds) was one of the better teams here, but we didn't play like we are capable of playing," Danville's Brittany Atkins said.
Leeds led 1-0 after the first inning and pushed its advantage to 8-0 after five innings.
Danville finally reached the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth inning. Atkins, Terry and Kassie Cowart each singled to load the bases with nobody out. Doherty, pinch running for Atkins, scored on Evans' RBI groundout and Cowart scored on a two-out RBI single from George. Terry finished the game 2-for-3.
The Lady Green Wave added a run in both the sixth and seventh innings.

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