PREP SOFTBALL: Burks blasts walk-off homerun to lead West Point past Lawrence County 6-5

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Sidney Burks’ walk-off homerun led West Point past Lawrence County 6-5 Thursday night. (Sammy Confer/The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT, Ala. – The West Point Lady Warriors were back on the field Thursday night after a rainy start to the week and thanks to some late heroics from Sidney Burks, they collected a 6-5 win over Lawrence County. With the score knotted at 5, Burks led off the bottom of the eighth and blasted the second pitch she saw over the center field wall to lift the Lady Warriors over Lawrence County 6-5.

The Lady Red Devils struck first in their opening inning as a leadoff single, later followed by a one-out RBI single, gave them a quick 1-0 lead. West Point answered right back in their half as Macayla Wilkins reached on a one-out error and Carlie Wilkins hit a two-run home run over the center field wall to give the Lady Warriors a 2-1 lead. Carlie Wilkins struck out the side in the top of the second and West Point couldn’t add to their lead as they went into the top of the third inning up, 2-1.

Lawrence County started out the third inning as a leadoff single, then a double, quickly put runners on second and third with no outs. A sacrifice fly tied the game up at two, then an RBI groundout made it 3-2. Bethany Minck reached on a dropped third strike to lead off the bottom of the third, then a Macayla Wilkins sacrifice bunt moved her over to second with one out. Carlie Wilkins played long ball for the second time in the game as her two-run blast over the center field wall gave West Point a 4-3 lead. 

The Lady Warriors continued to play long ball in the bottom of the fourth as Burks put one over the left field fence to push the Lady Warrior lead to 5-3. Carlie Wilkins struck out the first two Lawrence County batters in the top of the fifth inning as she looked to retire the side once again, but the Lady Red Devils had other ideas. Two straight singles and a walk loaded the bases, and a two-run single tied the game up at five. Lawrence County threatened to break the tie in the top of the sixth as two straight walks and a hit by pitch loaded the bases once again. 

Braelee Quinn came in as the new pitcher and two strike outs and a ground out later, she got the Lady Warriors out of the bases-loaded, no-out jam. The Lady Red Devils loaded the bases once again in the top of the seventh, and once again, Quinn got West Point out of the jam by inducing a ground ball. The Lady Warriors couldn’t break the tie in their half, so it was to be decided in extra innings. After keeping Lawrence County out of the run column, West Point looked to end the game quickly. Burks would happily oblige as she crushed the game-winning home run off the center field wall, her second of the night, and the Lady Warriors picked up a huge win at home over the Lady Red Devils, 6-5.

Carlie Wilkins finished with a pair of home runs and four RBIs in the game for West Point (11-3). Burks added a pair of solo shots, including the game-winning one. Kylee Quinn ended up with a pair of hits, while Macayla Wilkins and Braelee Quinn each chipped in with a hit of their own.

The Lady Warriors will look to improve to 12-3 on the season Tuesday when they host Jasper.

Baseball

Madison Academy 12 – West Point 1 (Game One)

Madison Academy struck first to start out the game as a leadoff single and a one-out walk had them in business early. West Point starter, Caiden Rodgers, looked to limit the damage early and he did just that as an RBI groundout would be the only run that he would allow that inning as the Mustangs took an early 1-0 lead. The score stayed the same until the top of the third inning as Madison Academy lit up the scoreboard for six runs, with four of those runs coming on RBI singles and a two-run single, and the Warriors found themselves down, 7-0. 

West Point got on the scoreboard in their half of the third as Andrew Putman hit a leadoff single and came around to score on a J.D. Cochran RBI double to left field as that made it 7-1. The Mustangs added a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth to increase their lead to 8-1 and pushed across four more runs in the fifth to make it 12-1. The Warriors went down in order in their final at-bats as they ended up dropping game one to Madison Academy, 12-1.

Cochran finished with a hit and an RBI for West Point. Eli Folds, Brody Freeman, and Putman each added a hit in the contest as well. 

Madison Academy 5 – West Point 4 (Game Two)

Cochran got the start for West Point in game two, but Madison Academy jumped on him to start out the game as an RBI double gave them a quick 1-0 lead. The Mustangs added to their lead in the top of the third inning as an RBI groundout and a suicide squeeze play pushed their lead to 3-0. After being held in check for the first three innings, the Warriors looked to get something going in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Caiden Rodgers led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a passed ball. He later scored on a Mustang error as that cut the Warrior deficit to two at 3-1. Madison Academy took advantage of a West Point error to lead off the sixth as an RBI groundout made it 4-1, but the Warriors came back in a big way in their half. Rodgers reached on a Mustang error with one out, then one out later, Colton McCoy and Isaac Hoffpauir each drew a walk to load the bases. Cade Simmons hit a two-run single to center field to cut it to 4-3, then an RBI infield single by Brody Freeman tied the game up at four.

Madison Academy, though, broke the tie in the top of the seventh as they scored on a passed ball to take a 5-4 lead. The Warriors looked to make yet another late comeback, but it didn’t happen as they went down in order and ended up falling in game two to the Mustangs, 5-4. Simmons finished with a pair of hits and two RBIs for West Point (5-4). Freeman added a hit and an RBI in the contest, while Rodgers and Bryson Phillips each ended up with a hit as well.

The Warriors will travel to take on Auburn Friday afternoon.

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