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Hartselle Enquirer

A new tradition: Hartselle beats Austin 5-3 in Morgan County softball championship

By Staff
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle rallied from an early deficit to defeat a hot Austin team 5-3 in the championship game of the first Morgan County softball tournament Saturday evening at Brewer High School.
The Lady Bears, who came into the title game with an 18-29 record but had won four straight in the tournament, put a scare into the Class 5A No. 1 Lady Tigers by taking a 3-0 lead in the second inning.
"I definitely think we underestimated Austin early," senior infielder Whitley Collins said. "We beat them in pool play by 10 runs [17-7 in an April 19 game], and tonight we didn't come out ready to play."
It was Collins who had the biggest hit of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning with the score tied 3-3. After Catie Keel hit a two-out double, Austin elected to intentionally walk Kayla Orr and pitch to Collins. The move made sense, considering Orr's 14 home runs this season.
Collins came through in the clutch with a triple to right field to score both Keel and Orr and give Hartselle (41-9) its first lead of the game.
"When I came up to the plate I looked over at coach (Shane Alexander) and he gave me that 'it's time to step up, senior' look," Collins said. "I was definitely full of aggression at the plate and was ready to hit the first pitch I liked."
Collins' triple proved to be the winning hit and Hartselle's pitching and defense did the rest. Audrey McClanahan, who allowed five hits and three runs over the first two innings, settled in and allowed just one hit in her next four innings to pick up the win. She struck out five and walked two. Mary Curtis worked the seventh inning, allowing one hit and striking out one and walking one.
While Morgan County has long had tournaments for its other sports, this was the first softball championship. The field of teams was Hartselle, Austin, Decatur, Danville, Priceville, Brewer and West Morgan.
"That's pretty cool for these girls," Alexander said. "I told them, 'No matter what happens, you'll always have the first name on that trophy.'"
Hartselle chipped away at Austin's early lead with one run in the third inning and two runs in the fourth. In the third inning, Breanna Segars led off with a single and moved to second base on Anna Hall's sacrifice bunt. Segars moved to third on Haley Miller's groundout and came around to score on an RBI double from Kristy Pevahouse.
In the fourth, Orr led off with a single and scored one batter later when Collins hit an RBI double. Collins scored with two outs on an Austin throwing error to tie the game.
Hartselle finished with seven hits, five of the extra-base variety – four doubles and Collins' triple.
"That's kind of been the way it's gone all season for us," Alexander said. "We're either all or nothing. We've got a lot of power, but sometimes I wouldn't mind seeing a few singles every now and then.
"I still don't think we've played our best softball yet this season, at least I hope we haven't."
Named to the All-County Tournament team were: Hartselle's Kayla Orr, Breanna Segars, Kristy Pevahouse and Whitley Collins; Austin's Rebecca Stephenson, Melissa Thompson and Ali Barnette; Decatur's Whitney Fletcher and Lindsey Hawkins; West Morgan's Lauren Seibert and Mikaila Etheredge; Brewer's Meagan Hormel and McKinsey Stump; Danville's Kristen Sparkman and Kristen Thompson and Priceville's Sumer Boyd and Caitlin Williams.
Saturday's elimination round games:
Hartselle 6, Danville 2
Collins picked a good time to hit the first home run of her career, blasting a two-run shot to help Hartselle to a win over Danville Saturday.
Bethany Evans and Kassie Cowart each singled for Danville.
Brewer 6, Priceville 4
Brewer senior Meagan Hormel hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to give the Lady Patriots an exciting victory and eliminate Priceville.
McKinsey Stump had three singles for Brewer and Megan Lawrence earned the win, striking out six.
Meaghan Bond struck out seven batters for the Lady Bulldogs.
Austin 12, Danville 2
The Lady Hawks were eliminated and finished fourth. Kelsey Bell and Nicole Linderman each singled twice for Danville.
Austin 6, Brewer 0
Ashley Henderson had two singles and Candice Ford struck out two on the mound for Brewer, which was eliminated.
Hartselle 1, Decatur 0
Pevahouse's RBI triple drove in Segars for the game's only run as Hartselle defeated Class 5A No. 6 Decatur, which was undefeated through pool play. Segars picked up the win, striking out six in a pitcher's duel with Mollie Russell, who also struck out six.
Friday's elimination round games:
Hartselle 10, Brewer 0
Hartselle pitchers Breanna Segars and Audrey McClanahan combined to throw a no-hitter. Segars struck out six batters in three innings and McClanahan had two strikeouts in one inning of work.
Sara Lang had a pair of singles, an RBI and two runs. Michel Fields had a single, double, and two RBIs and Kristy Pevahouse hit a single and scored a run.
West Morgan 6, Priceville 5
West Morgan's Hayden Hamby hit a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat the Lady Bulldogs.
For Priceville, Sumer Boyd led the way with two singles. Meaghan Bond hit a double and Caitlin Williams and Katelyn St. John each singled. Bond struck out five in a complete-game effort.
Danville 6, Austin 2
Nicole Linderman hit a triple, scored a run and had three RBIs to help pace the Lady Hawks to a win. Kristen Thompson struck out four to pick up the victory, and also helped out offensively with two runs scored after walking in each of her four at-bats.
Bethany Evans had two singles, Sarah Terry and Kassie Cowart each had a single and RBI and Kimberly Lindsey scored a run.
Other elimination round scores: Decatur 2, West Morgan 1; Austin 5, West Morgan 0; Austin 7, Decatur 1 (losers' bracket final).
Pool play scores: (Friday) Decatur 15, Brewer 1; West Morgan 10, Danville 0. (April 19) Decatur 10, Danville 0; Decatur 5, West Morgan 0; West Morgan 8, Brewer 6; Danville 4, Brewer 0; Hartselle 5, Priceville 0; Hartselle 17, Austin 7; Austin 10, Priceville 7.

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