Lady Tigers split with Decatur, 1-2 and 7-1
Nick Johnston, Hartselle Enquirer
DECATUR – A split will have to do.
The Hartselle Lady Tigers traveled to Decatur and split with the Lady Red Raiders, 1-2 and 7-1.
The Lady Tigers, who are ranked second in the latest Class 5A softball poll, will travel to Muscle Shoals Friday for the first game of the Sectional tournament.
Decatur 2, Hartselle 1
An error in the first inning haunted Hartselle until the final out, as the Lady Red Raiders took game 1.
With one out in the bottom of the first frame, Decatur's Taylor Phillips hit into what appeared to be a ground out. However, second baseman Jodi Coffey had trouble fielding the grounder, and allowed Phillips on base.
Shelley Stanley made the Lady Tigers pay for the mistake.
See SOFTBALL, B-3
She gave a 3-1 pitch a ride over the left center field fence, giving Decatur a 2-0 lead.
From there, starting pitcher Alison Lyle pitched five innings of shutout ball, but the problem for Hartselle was at the plate.
The Lady Tigers did not reach second base until the fifth inning when Anna Byrd hit a double down the left field line. She was stranded at second.
Still trailing 2-0 in the sixth, the Lady Tigers put together a rally that ended with one run. Jessica Lyle drew a lead off walk and scored two batters later on J.J. Lawrimore's single.
Regan Sandlin followed with a double, putting runners on second and third. Both Lawrimore and Sandlin were stranded at the end of the inning, and the Lady Tigers went three up and three down in the seventh to end the game.
Katy White started the game and earned the win despite pitching just 1.1 innings. She was struck on the hand after Hartselle's Sabrina Roberts hit a shot up the middle.
Stanley entered the contest and allowed just one run on four hits in 5.2 innings. However, she was hit by a pitch and is questionable for the Class 6A Section tournament.
Jessica Lyle suffered the loss, giving up two runs on four hits. She struck out three batters and walked three.
Hartselle 7, Decatur 1
A five run seventh inning spelled disaster for Decatur.
Hartselle led 2-1 going into the final inning, but put five runs on the board to leave little doubt.
Sabrina Roberts earned the win. She allowed just one run on two hits, but also got the job done at the plate. She doubled and singled.
See next week's edition for coverage of the section tournament in Muscle Shoals.