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CLASS 3A STATE SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP Prattville Christian 7, Geneva 1

Prattville Christian 7, Geneva 1

MONTGOMERY – Prattville Christian rolled undefeated through the 2018 AHSAA Class 3A State Softball Tournament at Lagoon Park beating Geneva 7-1 in the championship game Friday night as the Panthers claimed their first AHSAA state title.
   Freshman pitcher Landyin McAnally pitched a two-hitter in the final game and struck out eight to get the win. She was also named the 3A state tourney MVP.
   Coach Randy Stough’s Panthers (41-12) beat Opp 4-1, Plainview 6-4 and Geneva 8-5 in the winner’s bracket finals. Geneva (33-22) opened the tourney with wins over American Christian (5-2) and Locust Fork (9-4) before falling into the loser’s bracket. Coach Brent Johnson’s team downed Plainview 12-9 to advance to the finals.
    PCA took a 5-0 lead early off starting Geneva pitcher Jaylee Stough, who gave up 10 hits, four earned runs and struck out two. McAnally gave up a run to Geneva in the bottom of the sevenkth when Anslee Finch slugged a solo home run. Avery Nance had the other hit.
    Hannah Thrift had a double and drove in four runs to pace Prattville Christian. Paisley Wilson, Carolyn Carter and McKenzie Montgomery also had two hits each. Carter had two doubles.
    The AHSAA 24th annual fast-pitch state tourney will conclude Saturday with Classes 2A and 6A finals set for 2 p.m. The NFHS Network will be live-streaming both over the NFHS Network. Go to www.nfhsnetwork.com to access or subscribe.

   CLASS 3A ALL-TOURNEY TEAM
  
Landyn McAnally, Prattville Christian (MVP); Madison Hanson, Prattville Christian; Kathkryn Fallen, Prattville Christian; Carolyn Carter, Prattville Christian; Anslee Finch, Geneva; Chloe Nance, Geneva; Jesselyn Culverhouse, Geneva; Kenzi Taylor, Plainview.

CLASS 6A STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES GAME 3: Hazel Green 1, Helena 0 (Hazel Green is state champ)

GAME 3: Hazel Green 1, Helena 0 (Hazel Green is state champ)
MONTGOMERY – Hazel Green High School Coach Frankie Perez said he learned early on in his first season as the Trojans’ head baseball coach that in a clutch situation, he and the team wanted to ball in the hand of senior left-handed pitcher Tyler Duskin.
   Friday night, Perez did just that and Duskin did not disappoint the Hazel Green faithful. Duskin hurled a five-hit shutout in game three of the AHSAA’s Class 6A State Baseball Championship Series as the Trojans nipped Helena 1-0, and Hazel Green (32-13) captured the school’s first-ever state baseball title.

    The Trojans won game one of the series 4-3 on Thursday night at Paterson Field, then fell in game two at Riverwalk Stadium, the home of the Southern League Montgomery Biscuits, 3-1 in game two to force the final game of the best 2-of-3 series.
   Duskin (8-2) was masterful from start to finish. He struck out six, walked none and pitched out a jam only a couple of times thanks to his sharp fastball and excellent control.
    Helena (27-16), making its third appearance in the state finals for Coach P.J. Guy, got a strong pitching performance from Landon Green in game two and also got a solid effort from game three starter Brooks Tolbert (4-5) and reliever Josh Daugherty. Tolbert pitched five innings, gave up just three hits, walked one and struck out one. Daughtery closed out with two shutout innings.
    The Trojans got the only run of the game in the top of the fourth when junior shortstop Bradley Hulin walked, moved to second on Hunter McGriff’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Jordan Beck’s single up the middle. With Duskin on the mound, that run would be enough.
     Helena got a runner to third base in the bottom of the fourth but Duskin got the last out on an infield grounder. The Huskies got another runner to third in the fifth but Dusking struck out the next two hitters to close that rally. With runners on second and third in the sixth inning, Duskin pitched out of the jam by getting the Helena batter to pop up to catcher Chandler Hardin for the third out.
    And in the seventh inning, Landon Green battled the left-hander for 11 pitches, fouling off seven strikes before grounding out to Hulin at short. Duskin then retired the side to seal the victory and the state title.
   The two teams each scored six runs in the series and mirrored each other with their solid defense, excellent pitching and timely hitting in what turned out to be one of the top championship series in the history of the baseball playoffs since it moved to its current format 17 years ago.

GAME 2: Helena 3, Hazel Green 1
Helena senior pitcher Landon Green (12-1) tossed six-hitter and struck out three to pace the Huskies to a 3-1 win over Hazel Green in  second game of the AHSAA 2018 Class 6A State Baseball Championship Series Friday afternoon at Riverwalk Stadium to force game 3.
    Coach P.J. Guy’s Huskies (27-15) took the lead in the first inning John Stephen Heacock singled in Brody Moss, who opened the inning with a walk. Hazel Green (31-13) tied the game in the top of the third when Bradley Hulin walked and later scored on Jordan Beck’s sinking liner that turned into a sacrifice fly caught by Helena’s Trevor Bell.
    Helena regained the lead in the bottom of the third Richard Fitts singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Heacock’s second RBI single of the game.  The Huskies added an insurance run in the fourth inning when Josh Daugherty singled and pinch runner Tristan Waters scored when Trevor Bell doubled to left.
    Coach Frankie Perez’s two hurlers, starter Jackson Minor (3-4) and Hayden Lindsey, combined to scatter seven hits. Lindsey struck out six in 3 2/3 innings of relief.



CLASS 6A STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES GAME 2: Helena 3, Hazel Green 1

GAME 2: Helena 3, Hazel Green 1
MONTGOMERY – Helena High School senior pitcher Landon Green (12-1) tossed six-hitter and struck out three to pace the Huskies to a 3-1 win over Hazel Green in  second game of the AHSAA 2018 Class 6A State Baseball Championship Series Friday afternoon at Riverwalk Stadium to tie the series at 1-1. Game three got underway 30 minutes later.
    Coach P.J. Guy’s Huskies (27-15) took the lead in the first inning John Stephen Heacock singled in Brody Moss, who opened the inning with a walk. Hazel Green (31-13) tied the game in the top of the third when Bradley Hulin walked and later scored on Jordan Beck’s sinking liner that turned into a sacrifice fly caught by Helena’s Trevor Bell.
    Helena regained the lead in the bottom of the third Richard Fitts singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Heacock’s second RBI single of the game.  The Huskies added an insurance run I nthe fourth inning Josh Daugherty singled and pinch runner Tristan Waters scored when Trevor Bell doubled to left.
    Coach Frankie Perez’s two hurlers, starter Jackson Minor (3-4) and Hayden Lindsey, combined to scatter seven hits. Lindsey struck out six in 3 2/3 innings of relief.
    The Class 7A championship series also opened Friday at 6 p.m. at Paterson Field with Hewitt-Trussville (32-9) facing Auburn (35-7). The 7A series close the AHSAA Championships Saturday at Riverwalk Stadium with game two at 10 a.m.
    All championship series games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
The AHSAA Softball Championships is underway at Lagoon Park today through Saturday.

CLASS 5A STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES GAME 2: Faith Academy 7, Russellville 3 (Faith is state champion)

GAME 2: Faith Academy 7, Russellville 3 (Faith is state champion)

MONTGOMERY – The third time was the charm for Faith Academy’s baseball team Friday morning as the Rams beat Russellville 7-3 to complete the sweep of the AHSA Class 5A State  5A State Baseball Championship Series at Riverwalk Stadium.
   Russellville (30-16) won the 5A title in 2015, 2016 and 2017 – beating Faith Academy in the finals the last two seasons. This year’s finals belonged to Coach Matt Seymour’s Rams (36-3).
     Sophomore pitcher Eli Giles (8-1), who pitched the final two outs of Thursday night’s 5-3 win in game one to notch a save, hurled six strong innings Friday allowing only four hits, one earned run and striking out eight to get the win. He was also named the Class 5A series MVP.
    Faith Academy pecked away at Russellville from the get-go scoring a single run in the first, third and fifth innings to take a 3-1 lead into the top of the sixth. Senior catcher Chris Sargent delivered a bases-loaded double to clear the bases and then pinch runner Brandon White added the fourth run of the inning scoring on John Griffin Bell’s suicide squeeze bunt.
    Coach Chris Heaps’ Golden Tigers scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, and relief pitcher James Flynn shut done Russellville in the seventh inning to seal the win.

     Faith Academy got eight total hits with Braxton Bell had a double and two singles, John Griffin Bell had one hit and two RBIs, Jackson Bell had the double and three RBIs, and Reece Ewing had two hits.
    Starting pitcher Rudy Fernandez (6-4) pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowed five hits, two earned runs and struck out two for Russellville. Houston Kitterman had a single and RBI while Brock Malone, Devin Buckhalter and Fernandez each had one hit for the Tigers.
     The Class 6A series between Helena (26-15) and Hazel Green (31-12) gets underway at 4 p.m., today at Riverwalk. The Trojans won Thursday’s game 4-3 and holds a 1-0 edge in the best 2-of-3 series.
    The Class 7A championship series opens Friday at 6 p.m. at Paterson Field with Hewitt-Trussville (32-9) facing Auburn (35-7). The 7A series close the AHSAA Championships Saturday at Riverwalk Stadium with game two at 10 a.m.
    All championship series games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
The AHSAA Softball Championships is underway at Lagoon Park today through Saturday.



CLASS 6A STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES GAME 1: Hazel Green 4, Helena 3

GAME 1: Hazel Green 4, Helena 3

MONTGOMERY – Hazel Green scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning fought off a late Helena rally to win 4-3 in the first game of the AHSAA 2018 Class 6A State Baseball Championship Series Thursday night at Paterson Field.
    The Trojans (31-12) and Huskies (26-15) will play game 2 in the best 2-of-3 series at Riverwalk Stadium Friday at 4 p.m. Game three, if needed, will follow.
    Helena took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when John Stephen Heacock doubled and scored on Landon Green’s double.
    The Trojans answered in a big way in the bottom of the inning, using two timely hits, a fielder’s choice and a throwing error to score all four runs. Austin Tatum’s bases-loaded single started the second inning rally for Coach Frankie Perez’s Trojans. Bradley Hulin’s single plated the fourth run and Hazel Green led 4-1.
    Helena hurler Richard Fitts shut down the Trojans the rest of the way, allowing just two more hits and finishing with 13 strikeouts in six innings.  Isaiah Magwood pitched 4 1/3 innings for Hazel Green, leaving in the fifth after the Huskies plated two more runs when Luke Stamba singled, moved to third on a single by Trevor Bell and scored on an infield error. Bell later scored on a balk before reliever Nathan Giles came in and pitched Hazel Green out of the jam.
   Magwood allowed four hits, walked one and struck out three in a solid performance. Giles allowed one hit in one inning of work and Hunter McGriff pitched the final 1 2/3 innings striking out two to get the save.
    Heacock and Stamba each had two hits for Coach P.J. Guy’s Huskies. Hulin and Tatum each had a hit and RBI for Hazel Green.
    The Class 7A championship series opens Friday at 6 p.m. at Paterson Field with Hewitt-Trussville (32-9) facing Auburn (35-7). The 7A series close the AHSAA Championships Saturday at Riverwalk Stadium with game two at 10 a.m.
    All championship series games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
The AHSAA Softball Championships is underway at Lagoon Park today through Saturday.

CLASS 7A STATE SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP Fairhope 8, Spain Park 6

Fairhope 8, Spain Park 6

MONTGOMERY – Fairhope lost its first game of the Class 7A State Softball Tournament to Prattville 4-0 on Wednesday, then stormed out of the loser’s bracket to win six games in a row to claim the Pirates’ first state title in school history.
    Coach Chuck Nelson’s team beat Spain Park (41-11), which came out of the winner’s bracket undefeated, 7-5 and 8-6 in two marathon games in the finals.  Fairhope (47-7) also beat Hewitt-Trussville, Buckhorn, Mary Montgomery and Smiths Station to make the unlikely climb to the state title Thursday at Lagoon Park.
    Winning pitcher Emma Kropp allowed eight hits and struck out eight in the final game. Annabelle Widra allowed 10 hits and struck out 10 in the setback for the Jaguars of Coach C.J. Hawkins.
   Jaden Morace had three hits, Bella Wiggins had a double and three RBIs, Alea Johnson had a double and single and one RBI and Madison Koger drove in two runs with one hit for Fairhope. Johnson was named the Class 7A state tourney MVP.
   Spain Park, also battling for its first state crown, got a double and two RBIs from Alexis Johnson, two hits from Caroline Wooley, and a single and RBI from Maddie Majors in the final game.
   The 24th AHSAA State Tourney continues Friday and will conclude Saturday.
CLASS 7A ALL STATE TOURNEY TEAM
Alea Johnson, Fairhope (MVP); Jaden Morace, Fairhope; Bella Wiggins, Fairhope; Samantha Yarbrough, Fairhope; Emma Knopp, Fairhope; Bailey Bowers, Spain Park; Maddie Majors, Spai Park; Alexis Johnson, Spain Park; Annabelle Widra, Spain Park.

CLASS 5A STATE SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP Springville 3, Moody 0

Springville 3, Moody 0

MONTGOMERY – Springville’s Lady Tigers came out of the loser’s bracket to beat St. Clair County rival Moody 8-4 and 3-0  in the finals Thursday night to capture the school’s fourth straight Class 5A state softball championship at Lagoon Park.
    It marked the third straight year the Lady Tigers have battled out of the loser’s bracket to win the 5A state title. The four straight is one shy of the state record set by Class 3A Pisgah from 2001-05 and ties the four won by Hatton from 2010-13.
    Springville 46-7-1), coached by Brandon Easterwood, opened the tourney beating Alexandria 3-0 but was sent to the loser’s bracket Moody in a 5-3 setback. That set the Tigers on a five-game comeback effort that included two straight one-run wins over Mortimer Jordan (4-3) and Alexandria (5-4), followed by an 11-7 victory over Rehobeth.
   Springville beat Moody 8-4 in the first game of the finals, then won the title with a 3-0 shutout win over the Blue Devils.
    Abby Swaney hurled a five-hit shutout in the final game, walking three and striking out four to get the win. She was named MVP of the 5A state tourney. Moody’s Madison Sanders yielded 11 hits over seven innings to get the loss.
    Makalyn Kyser slugged a solo homer and single, Kaylee Chapman and Heather Levan each had two hits and an RBI and Dakota Dorsett had three hits for the Tigers.
    Sidney Wagnon had two hits for Moody (36-19), coached by Becky Seymour.
    Upon completion of the game and trophy presentations, nine Moody seniors were awarded their high school diplomas in the infield at Lagoon Park by school administrators as both teams, their fans and parents looked on.
CLASS 5A ALL STATE TOURNEY TEAM
Abby Swaney, Springville (MVP); McKenzie Brown, Springville; Makalyn Kyser, Springville; McKenzie Spivey, Springville; Madison Sanders, Moody; Sidney Wagnon, Moody; Lilly Crowe, Moody; Sydney Pybus, Rehobeth.

CLASS 1A STATE SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP Brantley 5, Sumiton Christian 1

Brantley 5, Sumiton Christian 1

MONTGOMERY – Brantley senior pitcher Leanna Johnson hurled a two-hitter and struck out 10 in the championship game of the AHSAA’s 24th annual State Fast-Pitch Softball Championship’s Class 1A competition and the Lady Bulldogs beat defending state champion Sumiton Christian 5-1.
   The championship for Coach Cindy Hawthorne’s girls was the fourth in the last five years. Brantley won the 1A title in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Sumiton, which won the 2A championship in 2015 and 2016, won the 1A crown last year.
    Johnson earned MVP honors as Brantley (53-4) went 4-0 at Lagoon Park Wednesday and Thursday. The Bulldogs opened with a 10-0 win over Isabella, an 8-0 triumph over South Lamar and a 3-0 win the Sumiton in the winner’s bracket finals. The Eagles (39-22) beat Sweet Water (27-14) 12-1 in the consolation bracket finals to set up the championship game with the Bulldogs. The Eagles and Bulldogs met in the first round with Sumiton winning 5-4 innings.
    The Eagles scored in the top of the first inning in the finals – the only run allowed by Brantley all tourney, when Amber Hayes led off the game with a solo home run. Johnson only allowed on other hit, a single by Taylor Whisonant.
    Brantley took the lead with in the bottom of the fourth off Eagles hurler Anna Calloway with two runs. The Bulldogs added two more in the fifth and one in the sixth – all on home runs. Hannah Sims slugged a homer in the fourth, Kayden Dunn had two-run blast in the fifth and Olivia Jones had a solo homer in the sixth. Kassidy Wilcox finished with three hits for Brantley.

   CLASS 1A ALL-TOURNEY TEAM
  
Leanna Johnson, Brantley (MVP); Anna Katherine Kimbro, Brantley; Kassidy Wilcox, Brantley; Hannah Sims, Brantley; Taylor Whisonant, Sumiton Christian; Amber Hayes, Sumiton Christian; Anna Calloway, Sumiton Christian; Eve Myers, Sweet Water.



CLASS 5A STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES GAME 1: Faith Academy 5, Russellville 3

GAME 1: Faith Academy 5, Russellville 3

MONTGOMERY – Faith Academy scored five runs in the first three innings Thursday afternoon and then held on for a 5-3 win over three-time defending Class 5A state champion Russellville in game one of the AHSAA 2018 Class 5A State Baseball Championship Series at Paterson Field.
    The Rams (35-3) of Coach Matt Seymour were boosted the strong pitching performance of starter Reece Ewing (11-1), who went 6 1/3 innings. He scattered four hits, walked four and struck out 10 before getting last-inning help from closer Eli Giles, who notched his third save of the season. Ewing has struck out 117 in 70 innings this season.
    Ewing’s first-inning double provided the first run of the game for Faith Academy in the bottom of the first inning. Courtesy runner Giles then scored on John Bell’s single.
    Coach Chris Heaps’ Golden Tigers (30-15) cut the lead to 2-1 in the top of the third when Noah Gist walked, advanced to third on Rudy Fernandez’s double and scored on a wild pitch.  The Rams responded quickly in the bottom of the inning when Bell drove in his second run of the game on a single. Faith added two more runs on Parker Mills’ sacrifice fly and Michael Garcia’s base hit to right center field.
    Russellville hurler Caden Parker (8-3), a junior, settled down the rest of the way but got the complete game loss. He scattered seven hits but only two after the third inning and struck out three.
    Russellville rallied in the top of the seven to score two runs when catcher Hunter Briles singled, Gist walked and two runs then scored when Landon Ezzell reached on an error to cut the lead to two. The Rams snuffed the rally, however, when pinch runner Will Rogers, running for Ezzell, was thrown out at the plate by third baseman Bryant Andrews, who fielded a grounder off the bat of Houston Kitterman fired a strike to catcher Christopher Sargent, who made the tag four out two. Giles then got the last out on a fly out to center field to end the game.
     The series moves to Riverwalk Stadium Friday morning with the two teams squaring off in game two of the best 2-of-3 series at 10 a.m. Game three, if needed, will follow 30 minutes after completion of game two.
     The Class 6A series between Helena (26-14) and Hazel Green (30-12) played game one Thursday night. Both the 5A and 6A series shift to Riverwalk Stadium Friday with 5A at 10 a.m., and 6A at 4 p.m. The third game in each series will follow 30 minutes after completion of the first game if needed.
    The Class 7A championship series opens Friday at 6 p.m. at Paterson Field with Hewitt-Trussville (32-9) facing Auburn (35-7). The 7A series close the AHSAA Championships Saturday at Riverwalk Stadium with game two at 10 a.m.
    All championship series games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
The AHSAA Softball Championships is underway at Lagoon Park today through Saturday.

CLASS 3A STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES GAME 2: Mobile Christian 11, Lauderdale County 0

MONTGOMERY -- Mobile Christian scored nine runs in the first two innings Thursday to take a quick 9-0 lead en route to an 11-0 victory in game two complete a sweep of Lauderdale County in the AHSAA Class 3A State Baseball Championship Series.
    The Leopards (29-9) now have three state championships to their credit in the last four years -- winning in 2015 and 2016.
    Senior Sam Ladner, Coach Talley Haines’ lead-off hitter, had a triple, hit by pitch and walk and scored three runs in the win at Riverwalk Stadium to earn MVP honors. He also tripled in Wednesday’s game one win and scored five runs in the championship series,
     Ethan Hearn and Trent Avery also had two hits for Mobile Christian. Avery had two RBIs and scored three runs while Hearn stroked two doubles.
    Winning pitcher Jeffry Griffin (8-2) hurled the five-inning shutout allowing four hits and striking out two.
    Catcher Slade Brown stroked a double to pace the Tigers (22-16-1). Coach Corey Looney used four pitchers in the contest. They combined to give up eight hits but only six of the 11 runs were earned.
    Classes 5A and 6A opened their championship series at Paterson Field Thursday night with defending Class 5A state champion Russellville taking on Faith Academy at 4 p.m., and Helena meeting Hazel Green in the 6A opener at 7. The two series will move to Riverwalk Stadium Friday.
    Hoffman (8-2) faced only 26 batters in notching eighth win of the season. Catcher Ethan Hearn  slugged a homer and  single to plate two runs and Sam Ladner had a triple and single and    All championship series games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
The AHSAA Softball Championships will continue at Lagoon Park Thursday morning with first games set for 9 a.m. The 56-team, seven-classification state tourney will conclude Saturday.