PREP SOFTBALL: Regional Tournaments coming up this week for local teams

Holly Pond, Cullman, Good Hope, West Point and Meek are gearing up for regional softball tournaments. (Martha Needham for The Cullman Tribune.)

Five local squads are headed to regional tournaments this week after their strong showings in their area tournaments and each one is looking for a spot in Montgomery. Meek, Good Hope and Holly Pond will head to Tuscaloosa for the West-Central Regional Tournament while Cullman and West Point travel to Florence for the North Regional Tournament.

Class 1A

Meek (Area 12 Runner-Up) vs. Marion County (Area 9 Winner): Thursday, May 9th at noon.

The Lady Tigers finished as runners-up in the 1A Area 12 tournament last week and punched their ticket to the West Central Regional Tournament in Tuscaloosa with a walk-off win over Decatur Heritage. Meek has relied on a powerful offense all season to get to this point, but Marion County has won three straight and is averaging 15 runs per game in that stretch. It’ll take some strong defense and pitching for the Lady Tigers to take this one and advance, along with their high-powered offense.

Class 3A

Lexington (20-6) (Area 16 Winner) vs Holly Pond (9-14) (Area 13 Runner-Up)

The Holly Pond Lady Broncos rolled past Vinemont 13-6 in their Class 3A, Area 13 opening game but fell to New Hope 10-0, dropping them down to the loser’s bracket. Holly Pond then dominated Brindlee Mountain 17-8 before falling to the Lady Indians in the area championship game 11-1.

The Lady Broncos are bringing a deep lineup with them to the regional tournament, led by Madison Heatherly, Taylor Simmons, Madyson Rickman and Lexy Smith to name a few. They, along with some young talent on the roster, will look to make some noise in their opening round game against the Area 16 winner, Lexington, on Thursday at 9 a.m. at Coffee O’Neal Park in Florence. In order to pull off the upset, Holly Pond will look to get some solid at-bats from their whole lineup, and their pitching staff will have to keep a high-octane Lady Bear offense in check.

Class 4A

Talladega (Area 9 Runner-Up) vs. Good Hope (29-9) (Area 12 Winner): Friday May 10th at 3 p.m.

Good Hope dominated their Class 4A, Area 12 tournament, defeating Fairview, 5-1. They rolled past Ashville 16-0 in the next round before taking down the Lady Bulldogs once again 9-3 to clinch the area championship. The Lady Raiders have a stacked lineup full of veterans with some young talent mixed in there as well, and Sidnie English has helped lead the way on the mound, piling up wins throughout the season and she has a great defense to back her up as well.

They will take on the Area 9 runner-up, Talladega, in the West Central Regional next Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. at Bowers Park in Tuscaloosa. In order to move on to the next round, the Lady Raiders will just have to continue doing what they’ve been doing all season; play great defense, put runs on the scoreboard and be efficient on the mound.

Class 5A

Hamilton (10-17) (Area 15 Runner-Up) vs. West Point (22-17-1) (Area 14 Winner): Friday, May 10th at noon.

The West Point Lady Warriors took down the no. 2 seed, Guntersville, 17-7, in the opening round of its Class 5A, Area 14 tournament. They fell to Brewer in the next round, 5-4, dropping them down to the loser’s bracket. West Point rolled past Arab 13-3 and Brewer 11-1 before taking down the Lady Patriots in the championship game 11-8. They have a mixture of veterans and young talent on this team and are peaking at the right time, having won six of their last seven games.

They’ve gotten some clutch at-bats from Makayla Brown, Lexi Shadix, Molly Pendley and Gracie Abbott, to name a few, and they’ve also gotten some gutsy, clutch performances by freshman pitcher Carlie Wilkins. The Lady Warriors will take on the Area 15 runner-up, Hamilton, next Friday at noon in the North Regional at Coffee O’Neal Park in Florence, and will look to clean up their defense, continue their hot hitting, and Wilkins needs to continue to do her thing on the mound if they want to advance to the next round. 

Class 6A

Cullman (18-25) (Area 14 Runner-Up) vs Athens (25-14) (Area 15 Winner): Thursday, May 9th at 10:30 a.m.

The Cullman Lady Bearcats started out the Class 6A, Area 14 tournament by defeating Decatur, 4-2 but fell to Hartselle 15-5, dropping them into the loser’s bracket. The Lady Bearcats took down the Lady Red Raiders in a rematch 11-10 in a back-and-forth match-up, before dropping the area championship game to the Lady Tigers 9-5. Cullman has gotten some big performances from some great young talent this season like Carlie Burnham, Ashlen Heatherly, Savannah Davis and Faith Guest to name a few, and from their veteran players as well, like Alex Stansell and Sydney Holder. 

They will take on the Area 15 winner, Athens, next Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in the North Regional at Coffee O’Neal Park in Florence. The Lady Bearcats will look to get some quality at-bats from their young lineup and some more solid pitching performances from Holder and Olivia Hudson if they hope to move on to the next round. 

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