REGIONAL SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT: Lady Bearcats down Fort Payne 3-0 to advance

The Cullman Lady Bearcats defeated Fort Payne 3-0 Thursday to advance to the next loser’s bracket matchup. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

FLORENCE, Ala. – Cullman returned to Coffee O’Neal Park in Florence Thursday morning to continue competing at this year’s North Regional Tournament. After splitting their first two games with Jasper and Hazel Green Wednesday, the Lady Bearcats faced Fort Payne in an elimination game. A pair of home runs off the bats of Sarah Herfurth and Emma Claire Wilson put Cullman in front 2-0 midway through the game and Chalea Clemmons tossed another shutout, allowing the Lady Bearcats to pull away and win it 3-0.

After two scoreless innings to start the game, Cullman took its first lead in the bottom half of the third. Sarah Herfurth led off the inning with a solo shot over the left field fence to put the Lady Bearcats on top 1-0 going into the fourth.

Cullman added to its lead in the fourth when Emma Claire Wilson led off the bottom half of the inning with another solo homer to make it a 2-0 game and tacked on another run in the third. Haley Shannon and Chalea Clemmons both singled to put a pair of runners on the bases and an RBI groundout from Savannah Davis stretched the lead to 3-0 going into the sixth.

After a scoreless sixth inning, the Lady Bearcats were just three outs away from advancing and the Lady Wildcats put runners on the corners with the tying run at the plate in the top of the seventh, but a strikeout and a double play got Cullman out of the jam and secured a 3-0 win.

Clemmons tossed a complete game for the Lady Bearcats, allowing five hits, striking out seven and keeping Fort Payne off the scoreboard. Davis (one hit), Wilson (HR) and Herfurth (HR) each posted an RBI in the win and Clemmons added a pair of hits.

With the win, Cullman has secured a spot in the next loser’s bracket matchup this afternoon and will face either Scottsboro or Athens with a chance to advance to the loser’s bracket final.

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