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Hartselle Enquirer

Hartselle powers to title

By By Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle’s Lady Tigers won eight of nine games, including three come-from- behind decisions, to capture their second consecutive Morgan County softball championship at Wilson Morgan Park in Decatur Saturday night.
To turn the trick the Lady Tigers had to defeat Austin in back-to-back games after falling into the loser’s bracket at the hands of the Lady Black Bears earlier in the day. In prior tournament games, they downed Danville, Brewer and Priceville and swept Decatur, West Morgan and Priceville in pool play.
In nine tournament games Hartselle out-scored and out-hit its opponents 52 to 26 and 72 to 32, respectively. Hartselle pitchers recorded 74 strikeouts and allowed only 20 walks.
Priceville finished third in the tourney, followed by Brewer. Receiving all-tournament honors were Chelsea Bennich, Ashley Bonner, Leah Robinson and Olivia Golden from Hartselle, Amy Anderson, Byronna Jackson and Libby Ann Olinger from Austin, Candice Ford and Chelsea Moore from Brewer, Sarah Terry and Regan LaRoche from Danville, Samantha Davis and Jessie Thompson from Falkville, Meaghan Bond, Danielle Richard and Ashlee Beggs from Priceville and Alexia Casteel and Hannah Harris from West Morgan.
Hartselle 6, Austin 5
The Lady Tigers scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning and went on to defeat Austin 6-5 in the championship game of the Morgan County Tournament Saturday night.
Hartselle scored two of its runs in the third to take the lead but had to come up with four runs in the top of the seventh to get the win. Austin scored four runs in the fourth and added a run in the sixth.
Robinson paced the Lady Tigers at the plate with a home run and a single. Jacquie Shadden had a pair of singles and Alex Paulsen, Bennich and Katie Gentle each singled.
Meaghan Gray started the game on the mound and went four and two-thirds innings. She allowed four runs on four hits while striking out two and walking two. Breanna Riley pitched two and a third innings in relief and got the win. She allowed one run on two hits while striking out two and walking two.
Hartselle 4, Austin 3
Springing back from an earlier loss, the Lady Tigers remained alive in their bid for a second straight county title by edging Austin 4-3 on the strength of Golden’s solo homer in the top of the seventh inning.
Austin led 2-0 after the first inning but trailed by one after the Lady Tigers rallied for three runs in the sixth. A single run in the bottom of the sixth by Austin tied the game at 3-all, setting the stage for the game-winning homer in the top of the seventh.
Golden had a pair of singles in addition to her home run. Bonner and Bennich each doubled and singled and Gentle and Riley each singled.
Riley was the winning pitcher. She allowed three runs on six hits while striking out seven.
Hartselle 8, Priceville 4
Hartselle pounded out nine hits, including three home runs, and benefited from one-hit pitching as they prevailed over Priceville 8-4 in a loser’s bracket game in the Morgan County Tournament Saturday afternoon.
The Lady Tigers fell behind 0-4 after two innings as the result of four errors. They bounced back with a vengeance in the fourth inning, however, as they scored five runs on the strength of back-to-back home runs. and a pair of singles. They put the game out of reach in the sixth with three more runs.
Bonner’s two home runs and four RBIs paced Hartselle’s hitting. Gentle had a double and a pair of singles, Bennich had a homer run and Shadden, Paulsen and Kelsey Starr each singled.
Gray was the winning pitcher. She allowed only one hit while striking out five.
Austin 5, Hartselle 4
A single and three errors produced three runs in the top of the eighth inning and led to a 5-4 Austin win over Hartselle in a winner’s bracket game Saturday.
The game was a barnburner from start to finish. Austin went on top with a single run in the top of the first inning and Hartselle answered with a single run in the bottom of the same inning. Austin took a 2-1 lead in the third and Hartselle tied the score at 2-all in the fourth. After Austin took a 5-2 lead in the eighth, Hartselle bounced back with two runs in the bottom of the same inning and had a runner in scoring position before the game ended on a ground ball to third and a fly to center field.
Riley was the losing pitcher even though she allowed only four hits and struck out 15. She also had a home run and a double to lead her team at the plate. Golden had a double and Starr and Robinson each singled.
Hartselle 3, Brewer 1
The Lady Tigers combined timely hitting with strong pitching to get by Brewer 3-1 in a second game Saturday afternoon.
Hartselle scored single runs in the second, fourth and sixth innings while Brewer got on the scoreboard with a single run in the sixth.
Bonner paced Hartselle in hitting with a home run and a single. Paulsen had a pair of singles and Gentle added a single.
Gray pitched all seven innings and was credited with the win. She allowed one run on three hits, struck out nine and walked two.
Hartselle 5, Danville 1
Hartselle grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning and went on to hand Danville’s Lady Hawks a 5-1 loss in the opening round of the Morgan County Tournament Saturday morning.
Leading Hartselle’s nine-hit attack was Robinson with a homer and single. Golden had a double and single, Starr had a pair of singles and Paulsen, Gentle and Bonner each singled.
Gray was the winning pitcher. She allowed one run on five hits while striking out four and walking two.
Hartselle 3, Priceville 2
A solo home run by Bennich in the top of the sixth inning gave the Lady Tigers the edge they needed to defeat Priceville 3-2 in a hard-fought third and final pool play game Friday afternoon.
Hartselle broke open a scoreless game in the top of the fourth inning by scoring a pair of runs and the Lady Bulldogs answered with a single run in the bottom of the same inning.
The Lady Tigers led 3-1 in the seventh before Priceville loaded the bases with two outs and scored its second run of the game. A potential tying run was denied at home plate, ending the game.
In addition to Bennich’s four-bagger, Robinson and Bonner each doubled and Riley, Starr and Gentle each singled.
Riley pitched all seven innings and was credited with the win. She allowed two runs on four hits while striking out eight.
Hartselle 11, Decatur 1
Bonner knocked in seven runs with a pair of home runs and a single as Hartselle’s Lady Tigers trounced Decatur 11-1 in the nightcap of pool play in the tournament on Thursday.
Six other Hartselle players had hits Paulsen doubled and singled, Bennich and Gentle each had a pair of singles, Shadden and Lindsey Romager each doubled and Stephenson had a single.
Hartselle grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first inning, scored another run in the fourth and exploded for seven runs in fifth. Decatur’s scored its only run in the fourth inning.
Gray was the winning pitcher. She allowed one run on one hit while striking out five.
Hartselle 8, West Morgan 0
Home runs by Bennich, Golden and Gentle powered Hartselle’s Lady Tigers to an 8-0 win over West Morgan in the opening round of pool play in the tournament at Wilson Morgan Park in Decatur on Thursday.
Five of their teammates also contributed hits. Robinson doubled and singled and Paulsen, Riley, Shadden and Hoff each had a single.
Hartselle broke the game open in the second inning with a single run, added two runs in the third, two in the fifth and three in the sixth.
Riley was the winning pitcher. She gave up only two hits while striking out 16 and walking one.
Falkville 12, Danville 9
Falkville had 10 hits to pick up a 12-9 victory over Danville in 10 innings in the tournament.
Paige Mayer had four hits to lead Falkville in the win. She had a three-run triple and finished the game with four RBIs.
Sara Smith added three hits - including two doubles - and three RBIs.
Samantha Davis, Jessie Thompson, Sarah Goodman and Mary Ward all had two singles for the Lady Blue Devils. Katelynn Smith added a single.
Katelynn Smith picked up the win in relief.
Austin 17, Falkville 0
Falkville managed just two base runners in a loss to Austin in pool play.
The Lady Blue Devils’ offense struggled against the Lady Black Bears and didn’t get a hit in the game.

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