PREP SOFTBALL: Lady Raiders punch their ticket to State Tournament with walk-off win, Regional Tournament wrap-up

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Bailey Swann's walk-off RBI double in the North Regional Championship Game against White Plains secured a spot in the state tournament next week for Good Hope. (Photo courtesy of Bo Shirey)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – After battling through hours of rain delays and a lightning delay midway through the regional title game, the Good Hope Lady Raiders made their way through the West Central Regional Tournament unscathed to advance to the 4A State Tournament in Montgomery. After Sidnie English led Good Hope through a true pitcher’s duel for seven innings, Bailey Swann drilled an RBI double into center field in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Lady Raiders to a 2-1 win and a West Central Regional crown.

Good Hope 2 – White Plains 1 (West Central Regional Championship Game)

The Good Hope Lady Raiders took on White Plains in the West Central Regional championship game as a trip to Montgomery was on the line. After four scoreless innings, the Lady Wildcats struck first in the top of the fifth on an RBI double, but Good Hope countered in their half.

Morgan Goodwin and Jacqueline Hays led off the inning with back-to-back singles. After a sacrifice bunt moved them over to second and third, a sacrifice fly by Bailey Swann tied the game up at one. After 1.5 scoreless innings, the Lady Raiders had a chance to walk it off in their half. Hays and Skylar Tucker each hit one-out singles and Swann connected with a walk-off RBI double into center field to give Good Hope a 2-1 win a spot in the 4A State Tournament. The Lady Raiders will play their first game of the state tournament May 17th at 10:45 a.m. at Lagoon Park in Montgomery.

Swann finished with the game-winning hit and two RBIs for the Lady Raiders. Hays (run scored) and Tucker each added two hits. Abby Hunt collected a pair of hits as well. Goodwin finished with a hit and a run scored, while Angelina Flanigan, Rebecca Norris and Kailee Shikle each collected a hit in the contest. Sidnie English pitched a great game, allowing just six hits and one earned run and striking out one.

Appalachian 8 – Meek 2 (West Central Regional)

Meek faced off against Appalachian in the second round of the West Central Regional and looked to make some more noise in the postseason. The Lady Tigers struck first in their opening at-bats as Savannah Smith scored on a Lady Eagles error, but Appalachian quickly took over after that as they put up four runs in the bottom of the third and four more in the fourth. Meek couldn’t get anything going offensively and they wound up falling 8-2.

Abby Phillips led the way for the Lady Tigers with two hits, an RBI, and a run scored. Emma Fincher added three hits. Bailee Fincher collected two hits. Smith added a hit and a run scored while Madison Smith chipped in with a hit of her own.

Lynn 7 – Meek 0 (West Central Regional)

Meek looked to keep their season alive in its loser’s bracket game against Lynn. The Lady Bears held a 1-0 lead after two innings, but they pulled away in the seventh, putting up six more runs, and the Lady Tigers collected just four hits in the contest as their season ended with a 7-0 loss.

Emma Fincher finished with two hits for Meek, while Smith and Phillips each added a hit. They finished with a 17-20-1 record and will lose six seniors to graduation in May: Bailee Fincher, Kari Brannon, Emma Fincher, Esther Drake, Brooke Cleghorn and Autumn Peek. The Lady Tigers will have some great talent coming back as they will look to make another run at the postseason next year.

Hartselle 15 – Cullman 9 (North Regional)

Cullman took on Hartselle in a rematch of the Class 6A, Area 14 championship as they looked to keep their season alive once again. The Lady Bearcats quickly erased a 5-0 deficit in the bottom of the second as they put up five runs that inning. The Lady Tigers, though, used the long ball to take a 9-5 lead in the top of the fourth. They added four more in the sixth and two more in the seventh. Cullman started a big rally in their final at-bats, putting up four runs to make it 15-9, but they wouldn’t get any closer after that as the Lady Bearcats wound up falling 15-9.

Savannah Davis finished the game with two hits, two RBIs, and a run scored for Cullman. Mckenna Kline added a hit, an RBI and two runs scored. Faith Guest (two runs scored) and Carlie Burnham (one run scored) each collected a hit and an RBI in the contest. Alex Stansell and Taylor Au each added an RBI. The Lady Bearcats finished the season with a 19-26 record. Stansell and Sydney Holder will graduate in May, and Cullman will look to have even more success with some young talent coming back next season.

Hamilton 4 – West Point 2 (North Regional)

West Point looked to make a deep postseason in 2019 as they took on Hamilton in the North Regional in Florence. It was scoreless after four innings, with both pitchers getting out of some early jams, but the Lady Aggies got on the scoreboard first as they put up three runs in the top of the fifth. The Lady Warriors answered right back in their half as they cut the deficit to 3-2. Hamilton added another run in the sixth, and West Point didn’t get a rally started after that, as they wound up dropping the game 4-2.

Gracie Abbott (one run scored) and Carlie Wilkins each finished with a hit and an RBI for the Lady Warriors. Sydney Sellers added a pair of hits, while Molly Pendley and Gracie Thompson each chipped in with a hit. Kaci Minck scored the other run for West Point.

Scottsboro 8 – West Point 4 (North Regional)

West Point looked to keep their season alive in its loser’s bracket game against Scottsboro. The Lady Wildcats struck first on an RBI single in their opening at-bats, then they added three more in the bottom of the second to give them an early 4-0 lead.

After being kept scoreless for five innings, the Lady Warriors finally got something going in the top of the sixth. Molly Pendley drew a leadoff walk, then Carlie Wilkins got hit by a pitch. Makayla Brown made it 4-3 with a three-run home run, then later on in the inning, Braelee Quinn scored on a passed ball to tie the game up at four. But Scottsboro quickly had an answer in their half, putting up four runs, three of those runs coming with two outs, to grab an 8-4 lead and West Point didn’t have an answer in their final at-bats as they wound up falling 8-4. 

Brown finished the game with two hits and three RBIs for the Lady Warriors, while Quinn collected a hit and a run scored. West Point finished its season with a 22-19-1 record, won its sixth straight county championship and became Class 5A, Area 14 champions as well.

Four players will graduate in May for West Point; Gracie Abbott, Makayla Brown, Olivia Ball and Shelby Sellers. Those will be some huge shoes to fill, but they’ll have a lot of players coming back in hopes of another deep postseason run next year.

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