Lady Bulldogs fall to Sylvania in 3
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Priceville's Lady Bulldogs got a leg up on Sylvania's Lady Rams in the first round of the state softball playoffs May 9 by winning the first game 2-1 in a best two of three series before dropping two straight games after a rain delay and ending their season with a 30-15 record.
Sumer Boyd's first home run of the season, a hard liner that cleared the left center field fence by four feet, locked the first game score at 1-1 and forced the contest into extra innings. At bat with one out in the bottom of the 10th she rapped a single, stole second and third and came home with the winning run on a fielder's choice.
Sylvania took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning on a Bailey Reed triple, after a muffed fly ball in the outfield allowed Meghan Horton to reach base.
The contest for the most part was a pitcher's battle featuring Jessica Hopper, a sophomore, and Sylvania's Lauren Wilborn, a junior. Hopper emerged the winner by allowing just one run on four hits while striking out three and walking one. Wilborn allowed two runs on eight hits while striking out nine and walking two.
Boyd also had a pair of singles, Caitlin Williams doubled and singled and Emily Childers, Maria Stejskal and Ashten Howser each singled for the Lady Bulldogs. Reed also had a single and Ashly Carroll and Desiree Clark each singled for Sylvania.
The second game was postponed in the bottom of the second inning by a thunderstorm with Sylvania leading 2-0. The Lady Rams picked up where they left off on May 11 by carving out a 7-0 win on the strength of Reed's hitting and Wilborn's pitching.
Reed had three of her team's seven hits, a double and a pair of singles. Wilborn allowed just four hits while striking out five and walking three. Carroll and Clark each doubled and Horton and Holly Brooks each singled.
Shayna Boyd took the loss for Priceville She worked three innings, allowing two runs on five hits while walking one. Hopper took over in the fourth inning and finished the game, allowing five runs on two hits while striking out one and walking three. Hopper also led her team in hitting with a triple and double. Tiffany Bracken and Sara Parker each singled.
Sylvania out-hit Priceville 9-6 en route to a 6-0 win in the third and final game, scoring single runs in the third and fifth innings and four in the seventh. Wilborn picked up her 29th win of the season against seven losses, allowing no runs on six hits while striking out seven and walking one.
Carroll paced the win at the plate with a homer, triple and single. Clark also homered and singled and Brooks, Amber Rice, Reed and Wilborn each singled.
Howser paced Priceville with a couple of singles, Hopper and Parker each doubled and Bracken and Jessica Kennedy each singled.
"Our girls picked up their hitting in the second game and played solid defense all the way," said Sylvania head coach Jeff Watkins. When our pitching is on we do all right. They played like champions."
"Their pitching was tough and it carried them in the last two games," said Priceville coach Holly Waters.
"This team went through the area without being beat for the second year in a row. I'm really proud of them, especially the first group of seniors to leave. They've been together so long and are so close.
"We can always come back strong next season if we stick together and work hard."