Lady Tigers second in Bob Jones tourney
By By Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle’s Lady Tigers dug themselves out of a deep hole and rose to the top against 40 highly competitive softball teams from a three-state area in the Bob Jones Invitational Tournament at Palmer Park in Madison and Kiwanis Sportsplex in Huntsville on Saturday.
After losing both of their pool play games on Friday and getting a low seed in their bracket, the Lady Tigers battled back with a vengeance. They won five straight games in 12 hours and earned the right to compete for the tournament championship as the last team left standing in the Palmer Park bracket. Meanwhile, Mortimer Jordan’s Blue Devils, the defending 5A state champs, accomplished the same feat at the Sportsplex, defeating all three opponents they faced without giving up a single run.
The final game, which was played on the Bob Jones campus, featured a rematch of a Hartselle vs. Mortimer Jordan game in the opening round of pool play. The Lady Blue Devils eked out a 3-2 win in that contest after trailing 0-2 and 1-2 and scoring the winning run in the bottom of the final inning. They also came out on top in the final game by breaking a 1-all tie in the fourth and adding three runs in the sixth and final inning.
Hartselle scored its only run in the championship game in the third inning to tie the score at 1-all. Mortimer Jordan went up 2-1 in the fourth and added three more runs in the fifth.
Hartselle managed just three hits in the championship game
Audrey McClanahan, Chandler Orr and Michel Fields each singled for Hartselle.
Meaghan Gray went the distance and was credited with the loss. She allowed seven hits, struck out three and walked two.
For the tournament, the Lady Tigers out hit their opponents 51 to 45 and outscored them 25-23. Their hits include three home runs, two triples and 10 doubles.
Chandler Orr was recognized as Most Outstanding Defensive Player in the tourney.
Hartselle 3, Sparkman 1
Hartselle pushed across single runs in the second, third and fifth innings and went on to defeat Sparkman 3-1 in a semifinal tournament game at Palmer Park in Madison on Saturday.
Getting hits for the Lady Tigers were Sara Lang with a double and Orr and Michel Fields each with a single.
Breanna Riley was the winning pitcher. She allowed one run on four hits while striking out eight and walking three.
Hartselle 8, Alabama Christian Academy 1
The Lady Tigers hammered Alabama Christian Academy 8-1 to advance past the quarterfinal round in the Bob Jones Tournament.
Hartselle went ahead 1-0 in the first inning, scored four runs in the third, added two in the fourth and two more in the fifth. HCA ‘s only run was recorded in the fourth.
Hartselle pounded out nine hits. Fields had a home run and a pair of singles; McClanahan homered and singled, Lang and Ashley Bonner each doubled and Orr and Alex Paulsen each singled.
Gray pitched the entire game and was credited with the win. She gave up only four hits, struck out five and walked one.
Hartselle 4, Vestavia 1
The Lady Tigers picked up their third tournament win by outscoring Vestavia 4-1 in a five- inning game.
They scored all of their runs in the second inning while Vestavia scored its only run in the bottom of the same inning.
Hartselle recorded five hits, a pair of singles by Anna Hall, a double by Orr and a single each by Riley and McClanahan.
Riley posted the win, allowing one run on six hits while striking out nine batters.
Hartselle 4, Athens 3
The Lady Tigers pounded out 13 hits on their way to a 4-3 extra-inning battle with the Athens Golden Eagles in their second tournament game.
Orr was four-for-four at the plate. She had a double and three singles. Hall also doubled and picked up a pair of singles, Lang added a pair of singles and Bonner singled.
Gray pitched all seven innings and picked up the win. She allowed three runs on six hits while striking out 10 and allowing no walks.
Hartselle 3, Buckhorn 1
Hartselle posted a 3-1 win over Buckhorn in the first game of the single-elimination tournament.
The Lady Tigers edged ahead with a single run in the first inning and added single runs in the third and fifth innings. Buckhorn scored its only run in the fourth.
Hartselle had five hitters. Orr had a double and single, McClanahan homered, Hall tripled, and Raley Sittason and Bonner each singled.
Riley was the winning pitcher. She allowed one run on four hits while posting three strikeouts.
Hartselle 0, Mercy Academy 7
Hartselle came up empty handed in a second pool game Friday night as they lost to Mercy Academy of Louisville, Ky. 0-7,
Posting hits for the Lady Tigers were Fields and Shelby Hoff, each with a double and McClanahan and Orr each with a single.
Britney Kerr was the losing pitcher, She gave up seven runs on five hits, walked three, hit a batter and struck out one in three innings. Riley pitched the last two innings and allowed no runs on one hit while striking our four and walking one.
Mortimer Jordan 3, Hartselle 2
The Lady Tigers battled Mortimer Jordan, the No. 1 ranked 5A team in the state, on an even basis for four innings before finally yielding the winning run in the fifth and final inning in a first round pool game on Friday afternoon.
Hartselle out hit the winners 8-6 and had the bases loaded with one out in the third inning but was unable to score. Orr and Fields each had a pair of singles, McClanahan tripled, Lang and Sittason each doubled and Bonner singled.