CULLMAN – Eighteen teams made up the field for the annual Wallace State Community College softball invitational this weekend. The event, hosted by the Wallace State softball program, took place at Heritage Park and the Field of Miracles.
This event has been a regular for the junior college program with new coach A.J. Daugherty keeping it operating in early March, after it was hosted for many years by former coach Jayne Clem.
Daugherty had four local teams as part of the 2017 edition as Cold Springs, Fairview, Good Hope and West Point battled cool conditions Friday night in round-robin play and faced sunny skies when they took to the field Saturday morning.
Bringing in 14 other schools from different locations across north and central Alabama enabled Daugherty to use this as a recruiting tool for future talent. It also allowed schools such as Northside, Handley, Benjamin Russell, Pleasant Valley, Skyline and Mary Montgomery, that traveled a good distance, to play at one of the top recreational facilities in the state.
Each got two games in the round-robin format to determine where they would be seeded when the format shifted to single elimination tournament play Saturday. In all, each team received three games with those showing success, adding to their list in games played, by the time the tournament reached the championship round in the late afternoon.
The locals were unable to put together a solid winning formula. From Friday, Cold Springs beat Lynn 5-1 and played to a 2-2 tie with Skyline. The games were played under an hour, 15-minute time limit.
Good Hope lost to Rogers 11-1 then came back and edged Pleasant Valley 6-5.
West Point and Cordova finished a scoreless tie, then the Lady Warriors fell to Oak Grove 7-4.
Fairview was defeated by Northside 8-3 and Guntersville 11-2.
When tournament play started, the Lady Raiders got shut out by Cordova 2-0, Fairview lost to Handley 8-0 and Cold Springs was eliminated by a 10-5 decision to Oak Grove.
West Point played Northside close until the Lady Rams got three runs in their final at bat and eliminated the Lady Warriors 8-4.
The locals unfortunately went 0-4 in the tournament bracket with all going home before lunchtime.
West Point enters next week with a 4-2-1 record while Good Hope is 4-7, Cold Springs 1-2-1 and Fairview 2-4. All will resume their regular season schedules with all to play in the Cullman Umpires Association Tournament next weekend at the Vinemont Sports Complex.
Mary Montgomery and Buckhorn worked their way through the competition to face each other for the tournament championship.
Mary Montgomery defeated Handley 5-4, Oak Grove 5-2 and was a 5-4 winner in the semis against Cordova.
Buckhorn crushed Skyline 17-0, edged Corner 2-1 and posted a 5-2 victory in the semifinals vs. Northside.
Buckhorn was 13-1 while Mary Montgomery had a 6-1 record going to the championship game.
Mary Montgomery held on for a 3-2 victory, getting the final out with the tying run at third base.
Daugherty was pleased with the tournament in regards to good competition, hard work by his players in their role with adequate weather conditions for Saturday afternoon as the temperature reached the mid 60s.
The tournament wrapped up by 4:45 p.m.
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