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Hartselle Enquirer
Blayne Godfrey struck out 35 batters in 15 innings of work during the Red & Blue Invitational. Enquirer photo by Jim Meadows.

Hartselle softball opens season with runner-up finish at Red and Blue Invitational

The Hartselle Tigers softball team had an impressive start to their 2023 season with a runner-up finish at Vestavia Hills’ Red and Blue invitational.

The Tigers finished with wins over Brooks, Gulf Shores, Hayden and Hoover before falling to Sparkman in extra innings in the championship game.

Hartselle 13, Brooks 6
Hartselle scored eight runs in the top of the first and never looked back in their 13-6 win over Brooks. The Tigers added two runs in the second and three in the fourth before Brooks scored six in the bottom of the fourth.

Aly Putnam, Brantley Drake and Chloe Gray each hit home runs to lead the Hartselle offense. Putnam and Drake finished with two RBI each. Kaelyn Jones and Katie Gillott each finished 2-of-3. Jones had a triple, a stolen base, two runs scored and an RBI, while Gillott had a double, a stolen base, two RBI and a run scored. Brooklyn Stiles added two RBI.

Blayne Godfrey (1-0) pitched 3.0 innings of no-hit ball, striking out seven. Sophia Hutson pitched the final inning, giving up six runs on four hits.

Hartselle 14, Gulf Shores 1
Jones finished 3-for-4 with a triple, 4 RBI and two runs scored to lead the Tigers to a 14-1 win over Gulf Shores. Drake was 2-for-2 with a double, a triple, two runs scored and an RBI. Ryley Cate Wolf was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI.

Sarah Bowling (1-0) got the start and picked up the win after allowing one run on four hits while striking out two.

Hartselle 19, Hayden 5
Bowling picked up her second win after pitching 2.0 innings and allowing one hit while striking out three in the Tigers’ 19-5 win over Hayden. Hutson pitched the final two innings and gave up five runs on seven hits.

Brityan Godfrey finished 2-for-3 with a home run, three runs scored and three RBI to lead the Hartselle attack. Gray was 2-for-2 with four runs scored and two RBI. Wolf had three RBI, while Collins and Bowling had two RBI each for Hartselle (3-0).

Hartselle 4, Hoover 0
Hartselle plated a run in the second and three runs in the fourth to earn a 4-0 win over 7A Hoover.

Stiles’s lone hit was a two-run bomb to give Hartselle a 4-0 lead. Gray had a double and an RBI, while Drake and Collins scored runs.

Blayne Godfrey (2-0) pitched 5.0 innings, allowing two hits and striking out 12.

Sparkman 3, Hartselle 1
Hartselle scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the first when Drake brought home Jones. Sparkman plated a run in the top of the fifth and then two in the top of the seventh (the second extra-inning) to secure the 3-1 win over the Tigers.

Brityan Godfrey, Jones and Katie Norgard each had a hit for the Hartselle offense.

Blayne Godfrey (2-1) took the loss, pitching 7.0 innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits. She had 16 strikeouts. She finished the weekend with 35 strikeouts in 15 innings.

Up next
Hartselle (4-1) will travel to Tuscaloosa for the Patriot Classic, hosted by Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa. They will open with 7A Fairhope and 6A Hillcrest on Thursday before playing 7A Spain Park and 4A Orange Beach. Bracket play will be Saturday.

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