AREA SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT: West Point handles Russellville 14-2 to claim 5A, Area 15 crown

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The West Point Lady Warriors defeated Russellville 14-2 in Thursday night’s area tournament championship game. (Sammy Confer/The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT, Ala. – After defeating Russellville in the opening round of this year’s 5A, Area 15 Tournament Monday night, the Lady Warriors had to wait two days for the rain to pass to get back on the field and play for an area title Thursday night. West Point went back and forth with the Lady Tigers in a tight, low-scoring game until the Lady Warriors’ bats caught fire in the sixth inning and plated 11 runs to pull away and defeat Russellville 14-2 and win this year’s area tournament championship.

Russellville drew a pair of walks to lead off the bottom of the first, then a West Point error helped them push across the first two runs of the game. The score stayed the same until the top of the third inning. Ella Minck reached on an error to lead off the inning, then Lexi Kimbril lined an RBI double to left field and Bethany Minck added a sacrifice fly later that inning as the game was now tied at two after three innings. 

Kimbril led off the fifth inning with a single, then a sacrifice bunt by Minck moved her over to second. Lexi Shadix lined an RBI single to center field to give West Point a 3-2 lead. The Lady Warriors broke the game wide open in the sixth inning as they ended up sending 14 batters to the plate. Ella Minck and Kimbril hit back-to-back RBI singles, then Minck made it 6-2 on an RBI groundout.

Wilkins hit a bloop RBI single over the pitcher’s head to make it 7-2. One batter later, Braelee Quinn lined a three-run home run over the center field fence and the Lady Warriors loaded the bases with two outs for Kimbril, who quickly unloaded them on the first pitch as her grand slam quickly pushed the West Point lead to 14-2. Wilkins retired Russellville in order in their half as the Lady Warriors clinched the area title in dominating fashion, 14-2. 

Kimbril had a huge day at the plate for West Point as she finished with four hits and six RBIs. Braelee Quinn added a hit and three RBIs. Shadix, Wilkins, and Ella Minck each collected a pair of hits and an RBI in the game. Bethany Minck added a pair of RBIs, while Brindlee Phillips finished with a hit. Wilkins went the distance as she allowed just one hit and one earned run, walked three, and struck out eight.

West Point’s postseason run will continue at the North Regional in Florence next Wednesday at noon.

Other Area Tournament scores:

Sumiton Christian 10 – Cold Springs 0 (2A, Area 10)

The Lady Eagles fell to Sumiton Christian in Thursday’s 2A, Area 10 championship game but Cold Springs still managed to earn a spot at the Regional Tournament with a 12-4 win over Addison and a 16-6 victory over Winston County earlier this week.

Cold Springs will be in Tuscaloosa next Thursday morning to compete in the 2A Regional Tournament.

Brewer 12 – Fairview 2 (5A, Area 14)

The Lady Aggies faced Brewer in the opening round of their area tournament Thursday and after falling behind 2-1 to Fairview in the top of the second, the Lady Patriots plated 11 unanswered runs the rest of the way to take the game 12-2.

Brewer scored in the bottom of the first to take an early 1-0 lead, but the Lady Aggies answered in the top half of the second. Emma Roberts led off the inning with a single and after Ayda Payne was hit by a pitch, Emily Benson laced a single into right field to load the bases. A few pitches later, Isabella Lopez scored on a passed ball to tie the game and Kyleigh Aleman drove an RBI single down the third base line to give Fairview a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the inning.

Unfortunately, Brewer responded with three runs in its half of the second to retake the lead and limited the Lady Aggies to just two hits in the rest of the game to pull away and win it 12-2 and advance through the winner’s bracket. Aleman (one RBI) and Roberts each finished with a pair of hits in the loss and Kaitlyn and Emily Benson each posted a hit as well.

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