AREA SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT: Lady Broncos top J.B. Pennington 7-6 in opening round

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Holly Pond's Taylor Simmons finished with a hit and an RBI in the Lady Broncos' 7-6 opening-round win over J.B. Pennington Monday. (Sammy Confer/The Cullman Tribune)

HOLLY POND, Ala. – Holly Pond began its area tournament at home Monday, and they took on J.B. Pennington to kick things off. After falling behind early, a huge fifth inning helped propel the Lady Broncos to a 7-6 win over the Lady Tigers to keep Holly Pond in the winner’s bracket of the 3A, Area 13 Tournament.

After a scoreless first inning, both teams got a pair of runners on base in the second inning, but both pitchers got the final five outs to keep the game scoreless after two innings. The fourth inning saw J.B. Pennington strike first as they scored on a passed ball and a suicide squeeze play and the Lady Broncos found themselves down 2-0 after four innings.

Holly Pond quickly got something going in the bottom of the fifth. Rebecca Bell hit a leadoff single, then after a lineout, Samantha Giles reached on a bunt single. Back-to-back errors by the Lady Tigers allowed Bell and Giles to score, then another throwing error allowed Bai Widner to cross the plate and that gave the Lady Broncos a 3-2 lead. But they weren’t done just yet as Audrey Armstrong scored on a wild pitch, then back-to-back RBI doubles by Madyson Rickman and Taylor Simmons quickly stretched the Holly Pond lead to 6-2 going into the sixth inning.

But the Lady Tigers countered in the top of the sixth as they scored two runs on a pair of passed balls and they later made it 6-5 on an RBI single. The Lady Broncos added another run in their half of the sixth as Giles scored on another J.B. Pennington error. The Lady Tigers hit a leadoff home run in the top of the seventh, but starter Lexie Smith got the final three outs to end the game and Holly Pond moves on to the next round of the Class 3A, Area 13 tournament with a 7-6 win over the Lady Tigers.

Rickman and Simmons each finished with a hit and an RBI for the Lady Broncos. Giles added three hits and scored a pair of runs, while Brooke Hill and Bell (scored a run) each collected a hit of their own.

Holly Pond’s night on the diamond continued against Susan Moore after the Lady Bulldogs defeated Brindlee Mountain and the Lady Broncos collected a 10-8 win to earn a spot in the 3A, Area 13 Championship Game Thursday.

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