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Hartselle should be strong favorite to reach state tournament in ‘09

By By Todd Thompson, Hartselle Enquirer
Shane Alexander is ready to get back to the business of softball, but the Hartselle head coach doesn’t want his players to settle for the state’s runnerup trophy next year.
Hartselle used a strong run in the loser’s bracket to reach the championship game in the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s state softball tournament at Lagoon Park in Montgomery before losing to Mortimer Jordan in the championship game.
It hasn’t taken the Lady Tigers long to put aside the loss in the Class 5A championship game. Already the team is looking at making another run at the title in 2009.
The team will lose offensive powerhouse Kristy Pevahouse, but the Lady Tigers will have plenty of returning players coming back that should have Hartselle on the inside track for the state championship.
Hartselle finished the year with a 40-19 record, a mark that surprised some around the state. The Lady Tigers had lost almost their entire starting lineup and had little varsity experience coming back this spring.
Hartselle opened the state tournament with a tough 7-0 loss to top-ranked Rehobeth and quickly found themselves in the loser’s bracket facing a long, tough road to the finals.
For Hartselle, the option was to pull together. That meant that the Lady Tigers were put in a situation where they needed to turn to Plan B.
Hartselle won four straight games to earn the shot at Mortimer Jordan.
Hartselle battled with Mortimer Jordan in the finals before falling 11-3 to the more experienced Lady Blue Devils.
But the loss to Mortimer Jordan didn’t diminish what Hartselle accomplished this season, especially in the state tournament. Few teams ever lose their opening game and go on to reach the finals.

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