Hale County 13, Wilson 2
MONTGOMERY – Hale County downed Wilson 13-2 in the 2018 AHSAA Class 4A State Softball Tournament at Lagoon Park Friday night to win its fourth state championship since 2014.
Coach Lori Wyatt’s team scored five runs in the second inning and four each in the third aknd fourth innings to beat the Warriors (49-5) of Coach Laura Jo McFall. Wilson forced the final game after emerging from the loser’s bracket to beat Hale County 10-7 to force the second game of the finals.
Freshman pitcher Emily LaFoy allowed five hits, walked one and struck out two in the final game to get the win for Hale County (37-18). She was named MVP of the Class 4A state tourney. Senior teammate Olivia McCray had a triple and double and drove in four runs for the Wildcats. Kayla Wyatt had a triple and single and scored twice, Savanna Holmes had one hit and three RBIs, LaFoy had one hit and three runs scored for the winners.
Johnna Staggs started and got the loss for Wilson. McKenzie Walker had a double and Staggs had an RBI to pace the Warriors.
Hale County, which won three state titles in a row from 2014-16, also downed Alabama Christian 1-0, Wilson 18-11 and North Jackson 15-9 in the winner’s bracket.
The Warriors opened with a 5-2 victory over Cherokee County, then moved to the loser’s bracket after the second-round loss to Hale County. Wilson then beat Cordova 10-2, Alabama Christian 7-3 and North Jackson 11-5 before beating the Wildcats 10-7 to force the final game.
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 4A ALL-TOURNEY TEAM
Emily LaFoy, Hale County (MVP); Savanna Holmes, Hale County; Madalynn Langham, Hale County; Olivia McCray, Hale County; Johnna Staggs, Wilson; Taylor Brown, Wilson; Karlee Liverett, Wilson; Sidney Bevis, Wilson; Josie Thompson, North Jackson.
GAME 1: Auburn 4, Hewitt-Trussville 1
MONTGOMERY – Senior Brooks Fuller pitched a four-hitter and struck out eight in the AHSAA Class 7A State Baseball Championship Series opener at Paterson Field Friday night as Auburn posted a 4-1 victory over Hewitt-Trussville to take a 1-0 edge into the best 2-of-3 series Saturday.
Prattville Christian 7, Geneva 1
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.
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.
GAME 1: Hazel Green 4, Helena 3
Fairhope 8, Spain Park 6
Springville 3, Moody 0
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.