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Hartselle finishes 1-2 in state tourney

By By Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
MONTGOMERY - Hartselle’s Lady Tigers came up short in their second consecutive run for a Class 5Astate softball title on Saturday as they fell to Spanish Fort’s Lady Toros 3-0 in a loser’s bracket game at Lagoon Park in Montgomery.
Following a crushing 16-5 defeat at the hands of Mortimer Jordan’s defending champion Lady Blue Devils on the night before, the Lady Tigers struggled with their bats in the early Saturday contest with the once-beaten Lady Toros. They managed only two hits, a single each by Alex Paulsen and Anna Hall, in 10 innings.
The Lady Toros struggled at the plate as well with just three hits over the first nine innings. They broke out of their slump in the top of the 10th inning, however, as they scored three runs on three bunt singles and a double, a rally for which Hartselle had no answer.
Breanna Riley pitched all 10 innings and was tagged with the loss. She gave up three runs on seven hits while striking out 13, walking three and hitting one.
Facing Mortimer Jordan’s Lady Blue Devils for the third time in the season, the Lady Tigers fell behind by four runs in the first inning and were never able to get back into the game even though they collected 14 hits. The winners added five runs in the second, two in the third, one in the fourth and four in the seventh.
The Lady Tigers scored three runs in the sixth on the strength of Chandler Orr’s three-run homer and single runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
All three of Hartselle’s pitchers had a shot at the Lady Blue Devil batters. Starter Meaghan Gray gave up seven runs on seven hits and struck out one in one inning. Riley pitched one inning and gave up two runs on three hits and walked one. Abby McHugh worked five innings. She gave up seven runs on nine hits while striking out two and walking three.
Orr Paced the Lady Tigers on offense as she collected a pair of single to go with her homer. Katie Gentle had a pair of doubles, Kimmie Minor, Sara Lang and Audrey McClanahan each had a pair of singles, Paulsen and Ashley Bonner each doubled and Hall singled.
In their opening round win against Rehobeth on Friday, the Lady Tigers pounded out 14 hits. They grabbed a 5-2 lead in the fourth inning on the strength of Gentle’s based-loaded home run and added single runs in the fifth and seventh innings.
The winning run was scored in the bottom of the seventh as Bonner singled, Minor walked and Paulsen singled to load the bases. Gentle then singled to center field to knock in the winning run.
Gentle paced the Lady Tigers at the plate with a home run and a pair of singles. Bonner and Paulsen each had three singles, McClanahan and Hall each had a pair of singles and Michel Fields singled.
Riley went the distance on the mound and was credited with the win. She allowed six runs on seven hits while striking out one and walking four.