PREP SOFTBALL: Lady Bearcats knock off Good Hope to open Cullman pre-state invitational

Cullman's Olivia Hudson slides safely into second base during the Lady Bearcats' 7-2 win over Good Hope on Friday. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman, Good Hope and Cold Springs participated in the Cullman Pre-State Softball Invitational. The Lady Bearcats defeated the Lady Raiders in the first game 7-2 and Good Hope dropped a tough game late to Fort Payne 6-5. Cullman dropped its night cap with Russellville 10-0 and at Heritage Park, Cold Springs split is games with West Morgan and New Hope.

Cullman 7 – Good Hope 2 

Cullman came out swinging the bats in their home half of the inning. McKenna Kline led off with a double on the first pitch, then after a Faith Guest single, Kline stole home to put the Lady Bearcats on the scoreboard. Savannah Davis made it 2-0 with an RBI double, then later on in the inning, Ashlen Heatherly hit an RBI single to make it 3-0.

Cullman started a two-out rally in their next at-bats. Back-to-back singles brought up Alex Stansell, who hit an RBI single, and Heatherly followed that up with a two-run double. Heatherly then scored on an RBI infield single by Olivia Hudson to make it 7-0.

Good Hope got something in the top of the third. An error, a single, and a one-out walk loaded up the bases for Bailey Swann, who hit a two-run double to make it a 7-2 ballgame. Neither team added any more runs after that, and the Lady Bearcats went on to take the game, 7-2. After the contest, seniors Sydney Holder and Alex Stansell got recognized for their accomplishments at Cullman, which was followed by speeches from their parents and gifts from their teammates. 

Heatherly (three RBIs, one run scored), Stansell (one RBI, one run scored), Davis (one RBI, two runs scored) and Guest (two runs scored) each finished with two hits in the game for the Lady Bearcats. Hudson added a hit and an RBI and Kline chipped in with a hit and a run scored. Holder went four innings, allowing just four hits and two runs, one unearned, walking one and striking out one. For Good Hope, Swann finished with a hit and two RBIs, while Morgan Goodwin (one run scored), Jacqueline Hays and Abby Hunt each added a hit of their own. 

Fort Payne 6 – Good Hope 5 

Fort Payne struck first in their opening at-bats. An error by Rebecca Norris with two outs proved to be costly for the Lady Raiders, as an RBI single by the Lady Wildcats put them on the scoreboard first, then another Good Hope error brought home the second Ft. Payne run of the inning.

Good Hope countered in their half. Morgan Goodwin hit a leadoff triple, then Hays hit an RBI groundout to make it a 2-1 game. The Lady Raiders tied it up in the bottom of the third with two outs. A single, a hit by pitch, and another single loaded up the bases for Swann, who hit an RBI infield single to tie it up at two.

Angelina Flanigan led off the Good Hope fourth with a single, then later scored on an RBI double by Rebecca Norris to give them a 3-2 lead. But the Lady Wildcats took the lead right back in the fifth on a three-run home run with two outs. The Lady Raiders had a counter in their half of the inning. Skylar Tucker and Swann hit back-to-back one-out singles, then Sidnie English hit an RBI single to make it a 5-4 game. Flanigan then tied it up at five with an RBI groundout. 

But an RBI double in the top of the sixth gave Fort Payne a 6-5 lead, and Good Hope couldn’t get anything going in their final at-bats, as they wound up falling, 6-5.

Swann finished with two hits, an RBI, and a run scored for the Lady Raiders. English, Flanigan (one run scored) and Norris each added a hit and an RBI. Hays finished with an RBI, while Goodwin (two runs scored) and Tucker (one run scored) each finished with three hits in the game.

Russellville 10 – Cullman 0

The Lady Bearcats fell behind 6-0 in the top of the first and were never able to muster a response offensively, being held to just one hit in the loss. Ashlen Heatherly picked up the only hit for Cullman in the loss but the Lady Bearcats will be back in action for bracket play on Saturday.

Cold Springs 4 – West Morgan 0

New Hope 4 – Cold Springs 3

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