Wallace State softball clinches ACCC North Division championship with sweep

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 Sophomore Caroline Burns prepares for a pitch against Snead State.

HANCEVILLE – Wallace State’s softball team clinched the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) North Division regular season championship over the weekend with a road sweep at Shelton State.

The Lions, who have won 10 consecutive games, prevailed 4-0 and 8-4 over the Lady Bucs, a day after sweeping Snead State at home.

Wallace State (38-11, 23-1 ACCC) earned the North’s top seed at the ACCC Tournament, which begins April 27 in Alabaster. Wallace State softball is the three-time defending ACCC tournament champion and has won 11 conference championships overall. The program has also won two NJCAA Division I national championships.

The Lions haven’t missed a beat within the conference this season, despite featuring 16 new players on the roster.

“We intentionally played a difficult non-conference schedule because we had a lot of youth on the team. We faced a lot of adversity early and I think that’s helped us grow. I’m proud we’ve already been able to clinch a top seed for the postseason. That’s very important,” said Wallace State softball coach A.J. Daugherty. “We certainly still have a lot of room to grow up. I don’t believe we’ve played our best yet, and that’s exciting. I love that the team buys into what we are asking them to do on a consistent basis. We are watching them grow up in front of our eyes.”

In the 4-0 win over Shelton State, Alysia Anderson paced the way with a 3-for-4 performance. The freshman from Clements had a double, stolen base and a run scored. Anderson is second in the conference in triples.

Tanner Robertson finished 2-for-2 for Wallace State, Charlee West blasted her team-leading ninth home run, Keeli Bobbitt singled and scored two runs, Megan Hill had two RBIs and Sidney Edwards and Kalynn Holcomb each added a single.

Meagan Schwieterman continued to shine as Wallace State’s ace, tossing a five-hitter. The Guntersville native collected her eighth shutout of the season, walking two batters and striking out two.

Schwieterman has a 19-6 record this season with a 1.97 ERA in 160 innings pitched.

In the second game, Robertson and Caroline Burns each homered for Wallace State and Anderson added four more hits.

Robertson finished 2-for-3 with a solo homer, stolen base and three runs scored, while Burns connected on her third homer of the season and added three RBIs. Anderson went 4-for-5 with a double, stolen base and four RBIs.

Bobbitt finished 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, Sydney McKissick had a pair of singles and scored two runs and Kaley Anthony added a single.

Lauren Keplinger (16-2) was the winning pitcher for the Lions. She allowed three runs on five hits in six innings, striking out two.

Schwieterman and Keplinger have developed into a solid duo in Wallace State’s rotation.

“These two are becoming what we all envisioned. They came to us as throwers, but slowly and surely they are turning to pitchers. They are both learning how to pace themselves throughout the course of a game and they are great listeners. They know how to hit spots and trust what we are telling them,” Daugherty said.

Wallace State also swept Snead State last Thursday, winning 6-0 and 7-2.

Bobbitt had six hits combined in the doubleheader, including finishing 4-for-4 with a double, two RBIs, three runs scored and a stolen base. She’s in the top six in the ACCC in average (.432) and stolen bases (21).

Robertson homered in the first game; Megan Hill had two hits, including a double and triple combined; McKissick finished with a pair of hits and two RBIs; and Burns had two hits and scored a run in the second game. West finished 1-for-3 with a single, two RBIs and a stolen base in the second game, while Edwards added a RBI single, run and stolen base.

Schwieterman and Keplinger were the winning pitchers.

Wallace State hosts Southern Union during its home finale on Tuesday. The doubleheader begins at 2 p.m.


Wallace State Baseball

Wallace State’s 15th-ranked baseball team also continues to roll in ACCC action. The Lions swept Lawson State over the weekend, improving to 35-5 overall and 19-1 in the conference.

Wallace State, the defending ACCC North champion, has a three-game division lead over Shelton State with three conference series remaining.

The Lions opened the Lawson State series with a pair of wins (11-0, 6-1) in Birmingham and completed the sweep at home, prevailing 10-3 and 9-6.

Wallace State had plenty of offensive heroes during the four-game set.

Sophomore shortstop Kolby Robinson finished a combined 9-for-17 with two doubles, six RBIs and seven runs scored.

Dalton Sinquefield and Devin Brown finished with eight hits apiece in the series. Sinquefield hit his fifth home run and added a double among his five hits. He had six RBIs and scored three runs.

Brown, who is second in the ACCC with 55 hits, had at least one hit in all four games, including one double. He had four RBIs and scored five runs.

Heath Haskins finished the series with six hits, including a two-run homer. He added a pair of doubles and finished with five RBIs. He was also the winning pitcher in relief in the series finale.

Freshman Easton Kirk had five hits, six RBIs and scored five runs in the series, while Dalton Cobb had four hits, including his sixth homer of the season, two RBIs and four runs scored.

Noah Fondren finished the series with four hits, including two doubles. He scored five runs.

Brady Sherrill had three hits and three RBIs and Austin Triplett had three hits and a pair of RBIs.

On the mound, ace Blake Rivera moved to a perfect 7-0 with six strong innings in the series opener. He struck out nine batters and allowed only two hits. He leads the ACCC with 76 strikeouts.

Tanner Brown and Jordan Simpson also earned wins on the mound. Heath Olive notched his league-leading 10th save in the series opener.

Wallace State continues conference action at Bevill State on Thursday.

For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit www.athletics.wallacestate.edu.