REGIONAL SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT: Cold Springs tops Isabella 9-5 to advance, Cullman’s run ends with 19-4 loss to Athens


TUSCLOOSA, Ala. — After falling to Lamar County in the opening round of the 2A West Regional Thursday morning, the Lady Eagles bounced back with a big win over Isabella to advance through the elimination bracket and stay alive. They did just that, taking an early lead over the Lady Mustangs and adding as the game went on to pull away and advance with a 9-5 win.

Cold Springs put up the first runs of the contest in the first inning. Kyla Aaron hit a leadoff single, then Anna Katherine Voce drew a four-pitch walk. An error by Isabella allowed Aaron to cross the plate for the first run of the game for the Lady Eagles. One out later, Shay Sellers hit an RBI single to make it 2-0. The Lady Mustangs quickly loaded the bases in its opening at-bats and a two-run double tied the game, then a sacrifice fly gave them a 3-2 lead after one.

Cold Springs’ Maddie Pearl led off the second inning with a single to right field, then Aaron lined a double to left field to quickly put runners on second and third with no outs. After a fly out, an RBI single by Emma Black tied the game at three, then Journee Swann drew a walk to load the bases for Sellers, who got hit by the pitch and that gave the Lady Eagles a 4-3 lead. Cold Springs added to their lead in the fourth. Voce hit a leadoff single, then after Black reached on a fielder’s choice, Swann hit an RBI double to left field to increase the Lady Eagle lead to 5-3.

Black retired the Lady Mustangs in order in the bottom of the fourth on just seven pitches, but Isabella trimmed the deficit to 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI groundout. Black and Swann led off the Cold Springs’ sixth inning with back-to-back singles, then one out later, Sadie Smith, the courtesy runner for Black, stole home. Later in the inning, a two-out, 2-run single by Heidi Nichols helped the Lady Eagles push their lead to 8-4.

Cold Springs made it 9-4 in the top of the seventh as Aaron scored on an Isabella error and the Lady Eagles were three outs away from keeping their season alive. The Lady Mustangs hit an RBI single with two outs to make it a 9-5 game, but they didn’t get any closer after that as Cold Springs kept their season alive with a 9-5 win over Isabella. 

Sellers and Nichols each finished with a hit and two RBIs for Cold Springs. Black and Swann each added two hits and an RBI in the contest. Aaron ended up with three hits. Voce, Toni West, and Pearl each collected a hit in the game. The Lady Eagles will take on Thorsby Friday morning at 10:45 looking to keep their season alive once again.

6A North Regional

Athens 19 – Cullman 4

After defeating Fort Payne 3-0 earlier, the Lady Bearcats hit the field for another elimination game Thursday afternoon. This time, they faced Athens and the Golden Eagles hung 12 runs on the board in the first two innings to take a big lead early and pulled away to eliminate Cullman 19-4 in the North Regional.

Athens plated six runs in the top of the first to put the Lady Bearcats in a deep hole right out of the gate and the Lady Eagles added six more in the second to make it a 12-0 game. A 2-run double stretched the lead to 14-0 in the top of the third but Cullman was able to get some runs on the board and cut into the lead in its half of the inning. Carlie Burnham drove in a pair of runs with an RBI double into left field and Shana Guest laced a 2-run single into left to cut the lead to 14-4 going into the fourth.

Unfortunately, Athens was able get those runs back in the top of the fourth, putting five more runs on the board to take a 19-4 lead. The Lady Bearcats were unable to cut into the lead in their half of the inning and the Lady Eagles took the win after four innings 19-4.

Shana Guest and Burnham each finished with a hit and drove in a pair of runs for Cullman. Faith Guest added a hit in the loss as well.

The loss brings an end to the Lady Bearcats’ stellar season with a record of 34-17-1 and with a lot of talent returning to next year’s squad, Cullman will be poised for another postseason run in 2022.

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