Wascavage, Hayes lead HHS to area title

When Hartselle needed clutch performances in the Class 5A, Area 15 tournament, the Lady Tigers got the spark it needed from its two North-South All-Stars, Jada Hayes and Taylor Wascavage.

The two juniors combined to hit four home runs in the area tournament and Hayes pitched (20-8) a shutout in a 2-0 win against Cullman to clinch the area championship Friday night at the Grady and Margie Long Complex.

Wascavage hit her 11th home run of the season in the first inning to give Hayes the lead. That’s all Hayes would need, as she struck out 10 batters and allowed only two hits and one walk.

“It means a lot to us to keep the area championship streak alive,” Wascavage said. “It makes all of things we do in the preseason worth it.”

Hope Cain, who was also 2-for-3, scored the other Hartselle (40-12-1) run on Wascavage’s double in the sixth inning.

The Lady Tigers clinched a No. 1 seed in the Class 5A North Regional next weekend, as Hartselle hopes to advance to its first state tournament since 2012.

Wascavage’s key for Hartselle’s success next weekend was simple.

“We have to hit the ball,” she said.

Hayes had a couple tips of her own.

“We have to come out and play our game and not the other team dictate what we do,” Hayes said.

Hartselle 11, East Limestone 4

Hayes and Wascavage each hit three-run home runs and Cain finished 3-for-4 to clinch a berth in the North Regional.

Hayes’ home run, which was her eighth of the season, keyed a six-run first inning, allowing Hartselle to cruise to the win.

Wascavage then put the game out of reach with her 3-run shot in the fifth inning, which was her 10th home run of the season.

Sarah Ellen Battles went 2-for-3 with two runs while Ashley Boggs and Ali Forth had hits.

Hayes earned the win, allowing four runs on six hits with 11 strikeouts and three walks.

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