AHSAA Softball Spotlight
MONTGOMERY -- Sheonte Barginere of Brantley High School slammed a home run, the first official round-tripper in the newly-named Alex Wilcox Field, and the Bulldogs (17-6) blanked Elba 11-0.
Prior to the game, Coach Cindy Hawthorne and the Brantley softball team gathered for a ceremony in the infield as Brantley’s softball field was named in honor of the former Bulldogs’ softball star.
Wilcox passed away last summer after a 2 ½-year battle with cancer. Coach Hawthorne also announced the retirement of Wilcox’s jersey No. 8 during the pre-game ceremony. She became just the third Brantley player to have their jersey number retired. The other two belonged to NBA basketball standouts Wesley Person Sr. (11) and Chuck Person (45).
Wilcox, who signed with Mississippi State out of high school, helped build Brantley softball into one of the top softball programs in the AHSAA, led the Bulldogs to three state softball titles (2014, 2015 and 2016) and was present last spring to help present the school with the fourth title won at the AHSAA 2018 Class 1A State Tourney.
She was select MVP of the state tourney twice and her sister Kassidy once. Mississippi State University and the rest of the softball teams in the Southeastern Conference paid tribute to Wilcox and others who were battling ovarian cancer by wearing special jerseys in her honor last season.
Crenshaw County Superintendent of Education and former Brantley principal Dodd Hawthorne was also on hand at the ceremony and presented a proclamation and plaque to Shaun and LeAnn Wilcox, Alex’s parents, proclaiming the field’s new name. Wilcox finished her prep career with 50 home runs, 237 RBIs and 417 runs scored.
Coach Hawthorne pointed out to the crowd that the softball diamond was one of Alex’s favorite places.
“This is where she wanted to be,” she said. “No doctors, no needles, no surgeries. (Just) like where she is now.”
“When she signed with Mississippi State, I said then she was the face of Brantley softball,” Brantley coach Cindy Hawthorne told Montgomery Advertiser reporter Stacy Long last summer. “I don’t see that changing. Now hundreds of thousands across this nation know her and her story. Her legacy will live on.”
Wilcox, who received the Alabama Sportswriters Association Jimmy Smothers Courage Award for 2016, played in 16 games as a freshman at Mississippi State, which honored her and others fighting ovarian cancer with special jerseys. Opposing schools also supported the cause.
"The bravest, most courageous young lady I have ever known went through the toughest battle with a smile on her face every day," Mississippi State coach Vann Stuedeman said following Wilcox’s death. "The grace and beauty that she put forward while suffering this horrific disease was truly remarkable and nothing short of heroic. Our hearts are broken for her family and all of those that loved her so dearly."
In other top softball highlights and other spring sports performances from the past week:
SISTER BATTLE ENDS IN DRAW: Sisters Haley and Taylor Cassidy squared off in last week’s 6-4 Alabama Christian win over LAMP – and while ACA got the win, each sister walked away with plenty to write home about. Hayley, a sophomore inserted in the Eagles’ lineup as the designated hitter, and Taylor, a senior who pitched for LAMP, faced her younger sister four times in the game. Haley had a double and single in two at bats and Taylor struck her sister out in the other two plate appearances.
ALEA JOHNSON, FAIRHOPE: Hurled a complete game four-hitter and struck out 18 to beat McCracken County (KY) 9-1. She also provided the offense slugging s three-run homer for the Pirates.
AINSLEY LAMBERT, SPANISH FORT: Hurled a two-hit shutout and struck out 14 to lead the Toros to a 6-0 win over Gulf Shores. She now has 261 strikeouts on the season.
HALEY PITTMAN, ALABAMA CHRISTIAN: Pitched a perfect game with 13 strikeouts in a 5-0 win over Catholic.
RAYLEIGH COTTON, SLOCOMB: Pitched four of the five wins as Slocomb won the Ariton Purple Cat Tourney with a 5-0 record. She hurled 19 innings and allowed just one earned run and 10 hits while striking out 17.
KATHRYN FALLEN, PRATTVILLE CHRISTIAN: Was 8-for-15 with 13 RBIs in five games for Prattville Christian last week. PCE went 4-1 in the Sparkman Invitational tourney to finish as co-champs. Teammate Carolyn Greer had two home runs, including a grand slam, as the Panthers beat Chilton County 11-0.
CAMRYN McLEMORE, SARALAND: Had two home runs and collected seven RBIs in the title game of the Saraland Invitational tournament as the host Spartans won 14-0 over Baker. She finished 3-for-3 and scored three runs.
BAILEY COX, BALDWIN COUNTY: Led the Tigers to four straight wins and the title of her school’s own tourney. She had three hits, including a homer, drove in three runs and scored three times in an 11-5 win over Lee-Montgomery. She added three hits and two RBIS in a 10-2 win over J.U. Blacksher and collected two hits, stole a base and scored a run in a 3-2 victory over Mobile Christian in the finals. Baldwin County also beat Flomaton 7-0.
EMMA BROADFOOT, DANVILLE: Slugged two home runs, finished with four hits and drove in seven runs as Danville beat West Morgan 21-9.
TAYLOR HARRIS, BENJAMIN RUSSELL: Was 5-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs as the Wildcats beat Smiths Station 14-9. Teammate Haylee Hunter added two hits, including a bases-loaded double, and finished with four RBIs.
ANSLEY WELLS, GORDO: Led her team to a 16-1 win over Holt with two hits and four RBIs.
PEYTON PERKINS, AUSTIN: Had three hits and five RBIs in Austin’s 20-6 win over Florence.
DELANEY JOHNSON, COVENANT CHRISTIAN: Doubled to score Ashlee Gann in the final inning to the Eagles a 4-3 win victory over Athens Bible and the Class 1A, Area 15 area championship.
ALEX DAVIS, HUNTSVILLE: Had a triple and accounted for five RBIs as the Panthers blanked Lee-Huntsville 15-0.
MALLORY LOTT, JAMES CLEMENS: Collected four hits and drove in two runs as the Jets downed Hartselle 12-8.
MORGAN WHITE, LAUDERDALE COUNTY: Homered twice and also drew two walks and collected four RBIs in a 7-1 win over Westminster Christian.
SAVANAH GINN, NEW HOPE: Had two doubles and a two-run homer in a 14-11 win over Skyline. She also had two doubles in a 19-4 victory over Holly Pond.
KRISTY FINLEY, NEW HOPE: Blasted a grand-slam homer and finished with five RBIs in a 19-4 win over Holly Pond and slugged a two-run home run in New Hope’s 14-11 win over Skyline.
MADISON MURRAY, RUSSELLVILLE: Had four hits, including a homer and double, and collected four RBIs in the Tigers’ 16-4 win over Hamilton.
MACKENZIE WILSON, BREWBAKER TECH: Had a home run and triple and scored three runs as Brew Tech downed Park Crossing 12-4.
K.J. BRASWELL, NORTHVIEW: Belted two home runs, including a grand slam, and drove in seven runs to power the Cougars past Headland 19-0 at the Enterprise Lady Wildcat Invitational. Teammate Sara Harper also had three hits and scored four runs in a 7-6 win over Wicksburg at the tourney.
TRACK AND FIELD
ANNDRELA WOODS, CENTRAL-TUSCALOOSA: Was named Queen of the West Invitational at Tuscaloosa after leading the Falcons to a third-place finish. She won the 100-meter dash with a 12.54-second time, the 300-meter hurdles (44.10) and the long jump (18-01).
GROVER WINSTON, NORTHRIDGE: Crowned king of the West Invitational meet winning the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.40 seconds and the 400 in 49.06. He also ran a leg on the winning 4x400 relay and on the 4x100 relay runner-up team.
KARMEN WILLIAMS, BLOUNT: Won the javelin throw with a toss of 133 feet, 8 inches to win the Mobile Meet of Champions event.
KATIE STROZIER, PELHAM: Ran the 800-meter race in 2:12.61 to nip Claire Frazier Bolton of McGill-Toolen Catholic, who was a close second at 2:14.19.
DAVID DOLAN, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Set a personal best clearing 16 feet, 3 ¼ inches in the pole vault competition at the Mobile Meet of Champions – ranking his performance among the Top 10 in the nation this season.
WILL STONE, HOMEWOOD: Won the 3,200-meter race at the Mobile meet with a winning time of 9:28.19. Faith Academy’s Myles Stoots was third with a 9:37.72 time.
NATHAN COOPER, DOTHAN: Won the shot put with a toss of 56-10 ½ at the Mobile meet.
MICHAEL McCARTY, PRATTVILLE CHRISTIAN: Scored 11 goals and had five assists in a 14-0, 14-0 sweep of Ellwood Christian.
ERNESTO DELGADO, WEST MORGAN: Scored six goals in the Rebels’ 10-1 win over Hamilton.
SPENCER GOSS, MARBURY: Scored five goals in the Bulldogs’ 8-0 win over Shelby County to up his season total to 13 in 16 matches.
MYLES CORNETT, HEWITT-TRUSSVILLE: Had eight goals and four assists in four Huskies’ wins.
LOGAN ROMP, VESTAVIA HILLS: Had three goals in a win over Mill Creek (GA).
MARI JULIA DELGADO, WEST MORGAN: Planted five goals in a 10-0 soccer win over Hamilton.
MARLEY SMITH, DAPHNE: The senior scored one goal and had three assists as the Trojans downed Elberta 8-0 to clinch the Class 6A, Area 2 title.
KAITLYN AMBROSE, PINSON VALLEY: Scored seven goals in two wins, including six in a victory over Ramsay.
MIMI DAVIS, ALTAMONT: Tallied five goals and an assist in three matches for the Lady Knights.
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