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Hartselle Enquirer

Cullman sweeps Hartselle to claim area title

McKenzie Jackson runs up for a bunt against Cullman during game two of the Class 6A Area 15 Tournament, Cullman defeated Hartselle 3-1. | Caleb Suggs
McKenzie Jackson runs up for a bunt against Cullman during game two of the Class 6A Area 15 Tournament, Cullman defeated Hartselle 3-1. | Caleb Suggs

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

It was day two of the class 6A area 15 tournament last Thur., May 5,  and the Hartselle Tigers were looking for revenge to go along with the area title when they took on the Cullman Lady Bearcats on the Bearcats home field. Cullman had the Tigers number so far this year as they had knocked them off in both their regular season meetings. To make matters worse for the Tigers, Hartselle came in with a 3-6 record at Cullman in football, basketball, baseball and softball this year.

Hartselle tried to take control early on as Hope Cain doubled to start the game. Her courtesy runner, Kylie Winton would advance to third with two outs to give Hartselle a runner in scoring position. However, Cullman’s Olivia Schwaiger would strike out the last batter to end the inning with no damage.

The two teams would go back and forth in a defensive battle as they tried to feel each other out for the next few innings.

Cullman would take control of the game in the fourth inning. The Bearcats would take the lead 1-0 thanks to singles from Sierra Eastwood and McKensi Burks. Cullman would improve the lead to 3-0 when Burks and Elli Dixon scored on an error and a single respectively.

Hartselle would go into the last inning still trailing and needing to get 3 runs to keep the game going with just 3 outs to work with.

Bailey Powell would be walked to start the inning on a positive note for the Tigers. McKenzie Jackson would reach base for the Tigers as well but it would cost Powell at second. Gracie Poe would then double which allowed Jackson to score and cut the lead to 3-1. Kennadi Hogan would add a single to put runners on first and second with just one out. However, Schwaiger would record the last two outs and Cullman would take the win 3-1.

Hope Cain pitched the whole game for the Tigers with 15 first pitch strike and 9 strikeouts.

Hartselle would get another crack at the Bearcats later in the day after defeating the Austin Black Bears to preserve their season and advance to regionals. However, the Tigers would have to defeat the Bearcats twice to win the area title after already playing back-to-back games beginning at 3 p.m.

Cullman would take control of the game early in the first inning. Singles by Dixon, Schwaiger and Hannah Morton would allow the Cats to take a 4-0 lead in the first inning.

Hartselle would attempt to climb back in the game in the third inning. Back to back doubles from Sara Faulk and Kaitlyn Spangler would put runners on second and third with one out. Mary Jane Wooley would then hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Faulk and cut the lead to 4-1. However, this would be the only threat the Tigers would make for the rest of the game as Cullman took the win 4-1 and claimed the area title.

After a tough first inning Gracie Poe pitched a strong game as she threw 23 first pitch strikes and 7 strikeouts and allowing only 2 hits after the first inning.

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