Cullman County Softball Tournament starts with a bang

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Josh McBrayer

GOOD HOPE – It was a perfect 64 degrees Monday morning as the 2017 Cullman County Softball Tournament got underway on the campus of the host team, the Good Hope Lady Raiders, who took on the Lady Aggies from Fairview in the first game on day one.

GAME ONE- Good Hope 8, Fairview 4

Good Hope lost the pre-game coin toss for home field advantage, but that was the only thing they lost, as they sent Fairview to the loser’s bracket by a final of 8-4. The Lady Raiders went straight to work in the top of the first, putting up a crooked number.  Josie McDonald picked up the first RBI of the game with a sac fly to right.  Alex Stansell also notched an RBI to give Good Hope a 2-0 lead. Fairview struck back in their half of the inning when Daisy Manasco came home on a wild pitch that ended up at the backstop, making the score 2-1 after one.

Fairview took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the second thanks to a Jordan Moore double and another wild pitch, again scoring Manasco. 3-2 Fairview after two.

Stansell tied the game at 3-all in the top of the third with an RBI double to left center that scored Skylar Tucker, who  led off the inning with a double.

Moore took the lead back for the Lady Aggies in the bottom of the fourth with a solo shot over the centerfield fence for a home run. 4-3 Fairview after four.

Good Hope took the lead back for good in the fifth when Derekia Tankersley and McDonald both scored on two costly Fairview errors to make the score 5-4 in favor of Good Hope after five.

Haley Norris, Erika Woodall and McDonald all picked up RBIs in the top of the sixth, making the score 8-4 and putting the game out of reach for Fairview.

GAME TWO- Holly Pond 15, Vinemont 5

Holly Pond got the sticks going early and often against Vinemont in the second game of the tournament. Thanks to some great hitting and RBIs by Taylor Tankersley, Kolby Holcombe and Ciera James, as well as taking advantage of a passed ball and a huge error, the Lady Broncos hug six in the first to establish the tone of the game. However, Vinemont is not a team to go away. They got one of the runs back on an RBI single by Kanasta Daniel to make the score 6-1 in favor of the Lady Broncos after one.

Tankersley picked up another RBI in the top of the second with a scorching smash down the left field line that scored Riley Hooper. She also came home to score on a Holcombe double. The very next batter, Maddie Heatherly, traded places with Hooper as she doubled-in the Lady Bronco catcher. The last RBI of the inning came off the bat of Lexy Smith who blooped one into shallow center to score Heatherley and gave the Lady Broncos a 10-1 lead after two.

Vinemont scored a single run in the third, an RBI by Chyna Gable and two in the fourth, taking advantage of some sloppy defending by the Lady Broncos, but with Holly Pond adding three runs in the bottom of the third and two in the bottom of the fourth, the game ended via the run rule in five innings.

GAME THREE- Good Hope 9, Cold Springs 4

Good Hope looked great early in game three, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning, thanks to a pair of RBIs by Tankersley and a single RBI by Tucker to give the Lady Raiders a 3-0 lead after one.

Cold Springs got the sticks going in the top of the fourth with a lead-off home run by Katherine Sanders, her first of two. Taylor Sisco also crossed the plate in the inning, capitalizing on a Lady Raider error. After four, Cold Springs trailed 3-2.

Sanders blasted a two-run shot in the top of the fifth but Good Hope put the game away in the bottom of the inning, with RBIs from Stansell and Abigail Neighbors.  McDonald added a solo shot in the bottom of the sixth and Cold Springs went quietly in the seventh to give Good Hope the win, advancing the Lady Raiders to the winner’s bracket finals Tuesday at 1 p.m.

GAME FOUR- West Point 14, Holly Pond 3

Holly Pond jumped on the West Point Lady Warriors early in the fourth contest. Burnham and Heatherly each picked up RBIs in the bottom of the first, but it was all West Point moving forward.

In the top of the fifth, the Lady Warriors exploded for seven huge runs. Courtney Blackwood doubled in a pair, Makayla Brown crushed a two-run homer and Olivia Ball recorded a sac fly in the inning. West Point also took advantage of a pair of errors that resulted in runs. When the dust settled on the fifth the Lady Raiders had an unsurmountable 7-2 lead. Holly Pond added a single run in the bottom of the fifth on a James single to make the score 7-3.

West Point went right back to work in the top of the sixth, scoring another seven runs. Blackwood led off the inning with a home run, Brown was plunked with a pitch with the bases loaded, Ball came home on a wild pitch, Carlie Wilkins picked up a run-scoring RBI and came home to score, along with Avery McClure on an error, and Hope Shedd earned an RBI with a sac fly to make the score 14-3.  Holly Pond was out after the sixth. West Point moves on to face Good Hope in the winner’s bracket final Tuesday at 1 p.m.

GAME FIVE- Cold Springs 10, Hanceville 0

Over at Good Hope Municipal Park, Cold Springs opened with a 10-0 victory over Hanceville, breaking a scoreless tie with four runs in the fourth inning. The Lady Eagles added four to their side of the scoreboard in the fifth and picked up a pair during the sixth inning, ending the game in the bottom half of the inning via the run rule.

Shea Sellers and Madison Holmes both singled and drove in two runs. Crimson Gann had two runs batted in while Emily Williams accounted for a single. Anna Kaye Voce threw a two-hit shutout, allowing two singles to Cassidy Campbell. Voce struck out nine batters, sending the Lady Eagles to the semifinal round of the bracket, undefeated. Campbell was charged with the loss.

GAME SIX- Fairview 15, Hanceville 5

Also at the municipal park, Fairview eliminated Hanceville in the early afternoon 15-5. After falling behind 5-0 in the first, Fairview tied the score in the bottom of the first, sent six across during the second and four in the third. They were able to get the game over on the run rule in the fifth.

Fairview took advantage of Hanceville pitching, as eight Lady Aggies were hit by pitches. Jordan Moore and Katie Ball had the only hits of the game for the Lady Aggies.

Moore regained composure on the mound, not letting Hanceville score in the final four innings after they took the lead in their half of the first.

Cassidy Campbell's double was the lone hit of the game for the Lady Bulldogs.

GAME SEVEN- Holly Pond 4, Fairview 3

Back over at Good Hope High, Holly Pond stayed alive in the tournament Monday evening, coming from behind to edge Fairview 4-3.

Fairview led 3-1 heading to the bottom of the sixth when Holly Pond scored three runs, taking advantage of a Fairview error at first base.  The Lady Broncos moved in front on an infield single to first.

Maddie Folds retired Fairview in order in the seventh to complete the comeback victory. Folds had a single as did Kolby Holcombe with Ciera James getting two singles. 

Katie Ball, Jordan Moore and Anna Scott all singled for Fairview. Ally Hogeland was charged with the loss.

GAME EIGHT- Cold Springs 12, Vinemont 5

Cold Springs erased a 4-0 deficit after the first to stay in contention by knocking off Vinemont 12-5.

Cold Springs got the hitting attack going with a seven-run second inning and maintained momentum the rest of the way.

Cold Springs led 12-4 after the third before Vinemont pitcher Mackenzie Lawrence shut them out for the last three innings.

Vinemont was able to score a run in the seventh against Anna Kaye Voce.

Hayden Goodwin led Cold Springs with two singles and a double, Kylon Hamby belted two doubles,  Emily Williams two singles and singles from Madison Holmes,  Victoria Freeman, Voce and Crimson Gann.

Vinemont had singles by Kylie Williams, Kanasta Daniel, Andrea Diement and Kaylon Helton.
 


Good Hope and West Point resume the tournament Tuesday with the winners final at 1 p.m. followed by Holly Pond and Cold Springs playing at 2:30.

The winner of Holly Pond-Cold Springs meets the loser of Good Hope at 4 p.m. in the losers' bracket.

The championship is set for 5:30 p.m. with an if-needed game set for 7 p.m.

 

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