COUNTY TOURNAMENT: West Point, Holly Pond advance on day 1

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The West Point Lady Warriors advanced with a 12-1 win over Cold Springs Monday night. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT, Ala. – This year’s Cullman County Softball Tournament officially got underway Monday night and after the first six games of competition, we’re a few steps closer to crowning this year’s champion. West Point and Holly Pond each posted wins to advance in the winner’s bracket and after falling to the Lady Broncos in the opening round, Fairview bounced back with a win over Hanceville to stay alive. The Lady Bulldogs fell to Vinemont in the opening round, but the Lady Eagles dropped their next game to Holly Pond. Cold Springs defeated Good Hope in the opening round but was sent to the loser’s bracket by the Lady Warriors and will have to get by Fairview to survive and advance.

Weather permitting, the county tournament is scheduled to resume Tuesday afternoon but if teams are unable to play due to rain, the plan will be to get back on the field Wednesday or as soon as the fields are dry enough.

Cold Springs 6 – Good Hope 3 (Game One)

An RBI single from Brooklyn Ingram put the Lady Eagles in front 1-0 in the top of the first and they added to their lead in the second. Heidi Nichols drove a single up the middle and an error in the outfield allowed another run to score and make it 2-0. Adriana Young tacked on another run with an RBI single into right field and Cold Springs led the way 3-0 going into the bottom of the second.

After a scoreless third inning, a fielder’s choice and an error stretched the Lady Eagles’ lead to 5-0 in the top of the fourth. Good Hope was able to get on the board in the bottom half of the fourth when Carley Adams ripped an RBI single into right field, but the Lady Raiders still trailed 5-1 going into the fifth.

Nichols was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring another Cold Springs run across the plate in the top of the seventh. Good Hope didn’t go down quietly in the final frame, cutting into the lead with an RBI double from Natalie Miller and an RBI single by Lizzy Steed but it wasn’t enough to overcome the early lead and the Lady Eagles held on to win it 6-3.

Emma Black earned the win for Cold Springs, tossing a complete game, allowing three runs on seven hits and striking out nine batters. Nichols (one RBI) finished with three hits in the win and Young (two RBIs) and Black added a pair of hits as well.

Adams and Campbell Koch each posted a pair of hits for the Lady Raiders in the loss.

Holly Pond 6 – Fairview 4 (Game Two)

After a scoreless opening inning, the Lady Aggies took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second with a 2-run double off the bat of Allison Davis. Fairview added to its lead in the third when Emily Benson came home to score on a wild pitch but after a scoreless fourth frame, Holly Pond began to chip away.

Addison Armstrong scored on a passed ball to trim the lead to 3-1 but the Lady Aggies got the run back with an RBI single from Kaitlyn Benson in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 4-1 game. The Lady Broncos’ bats came alive in the top of the sixth, starting with an RBI double from Madyson Rickman that cut the lead to two runs. After a walk loaded the bases, Kaylee Stallings blasted a grand slam over the center field fence to put Holly Pond in front 6-4 going into the bottom half of the inning.

The Lady Aggies were only able to get one more runner on base in the final two innings and the Lady Broncos completed the comeback over Fairview 6-4.

Spitzer went the distance for Fairview, allowing just one earned run in seven innings on four hits and racking up 11 strikeouts. Stallings (grand slam) led the way with four RBIs in the win and Rickman (one hit) drove in a run as well.

Davis (two RBIs), Benson (one RBI) and Jaycee Aleman each posted a pair of hits for the Lady Aggies in the loss.

Vinemont 17 – Hanceville 2 (Game Three)

An RBI groundout from Faith Rusk gave the Lady Eagles an early, 1-0 lead over Hanceville and an error during the next at bat allowed another run to score and make it 2-0. The Lady Bulldogs were able to take advantage of an error and trim the lead to 2-1 in the top of the second, but Vinemont got that run back and then some in the bottom half of the second.

An error, followed by a 2-run double from Abigail Cody stretched the lead to 5-1. Back to back RBI singles by Emillie Hoffman and Angela Harris plated three more runs and the Lady Eagles went into the third with an 8-1 lead over the Lady Bulldogs. RBI singles by Reagan Robinson and Rusk added two more runs to the lead in the bottom of the third but the Lady Eagles weren’t done working in the inning. A 2-run double from Cody made it a 12-1 game and an RBI single by Harris stretched the lead to 13-1. Another error allowed another Vinemont run to cross the plate and the Lady Eagles led the way 14-1 going into the fourth.

A bases-loaded walk for Hanceville cut the lead to 14-2 in the top of the fourth but Vinemont put things away in the bottom half of the inning. Another RBI double off the bat of Cody, a passed ball and an RBI triple from Hoffman secured a 17-2 victory for the Lady Eagles in four innings.

Cody finished 4-for-4 at the plate and racked up five RBIs. Hoffman (three RBIs), Harris (two RBIs) and Berkley Gable each posted a pair of hits in the win.

West Point 12 – Cold Springs 1 (Game Four)

The Lady Warriors got off to a fast start in their opening round matchup against Cold Springs. Bethany Minck ripped a line drive down the third base line into the corner in left field and raced around the bags to score an inside the park homerun and put West Point in front 1-0 right out of the gate. An RBI single from Carlee Wilkins made it a 2-0 game a few pitches later and Braelee Quinn drove an RBI double into left field to make it 3-0. An error extended the lead to 4-0 and an RBI triple off the bat of Brindlee Phillips gave the Lady Warriors a 6-0 lead going into the second inning.

In the bottom of the second, Wilkins came just a few feet short of clearing the batter’s eye on a solo shot to center field and stretched the lead to 6-0 going into the third inning. After a scoreless third, an error allowed a run to score for the Lady Eagles in the top of the fourth and cut the lead to 6-1. However, West Point responded in a big way in the bottom half of the inning.

An RBI double by Macayla Wilkins made it a 7-1 game and an error allowed another run to score and make it 8-1. Sidney Burks blasted a 2-run bomb over the wall in left field to give the Lady Warriors a 10-1 advantage and a sacrifice fly by Phillips, followed by another error, made it a 12-1 game going into the fifth inning.

Quinn collected three strikeouts in the top of the fifth to put things away and West Point advanced in the winner’s bracket with a 12-1 win over Cold Springs.

Wilkins tossed three hitless innings, striking out seven of the 10 batters she faced. Quinn pitched the final two innings, allowed one run (unearned) on one hit and struck out five of the nine batters she faced. Phillips (two hits) and Wilkins (two hits) each posted a pair of RBIs in the win and Wilkins (one RBI) added a pair of hits as well.

The Lady Warriors will face Holly Pond next in the winner’s bracket.

Holly Pond 11 – Vinemont 0 (Game Five)

An error gave the Lady Broncos a 1-0 lead in the top of the first and in the top of the second, a bases-loaded walk and another error extended Holly Pond’s lead to 3-0. Kaylee Stallings scored on an error to make it a 4-0 game in the top of the third and in the fourth, a 2-run double by Mattie Earl stretched the lead to 6-0.

A 2-run bomb off the bat of Emmaray Spitzer gave the Lady Broncos an 8-0 advantage in the top of the fifth and Molly Neal kept the inning going with a 3-run homer of her own to make it 11-0. Earl struck out the final three batters in the bottom of the fifth to wrap up an 11-0 win for Holly Pond.

Earl was flawless in her five innings of work, allowing zero runs on zero hits and striking out six Vinemont batters. Neal (one hit) posted four RBIs in the win and Spitzer (one hit) and Earl (one hit) each finished with a pair of RBIs as well.

The Lady Broncos will advance to face West Point in the winner’s bracket.

Fairview 14 – Hanceville 2 (Game Six)

Emily Benson scored on a passed ball to put Fairview on top 1-0 in the top of the first and Kaitlyn Benson drove an RBI double down the first base line to make it 2-0. An error allowed the Lady Aggies to add another run to their lead, but Hanceville managed to limit the damage to 3-0 going into the bottom half of the first.

An error and a passed ball allowed the Lady Bulldogs to trim the lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the first, but Fairview responded right away in the top of the second. A passed ball and an error extended the Lady Aggies’ lead to 5-2 and an RBI double from Emma Roberts made it a 6-2 game. Two more runs scored on another Hanceville error put Fairview on top 8-2 going into the third inning.

A passed ball gave the Lady Aggies a 9-2 advantage in the top of the third and an RBI triple by Kaitlyn Benson made it 10-2. Another passed ball allowed an 11th run to score for Fairview and the Lady Bulldogs trailed 11-2 going into the bottom half of the inning. The Lady Aggies tacked on two more runs in the top of the fourth to stretch their lead to 13-2 and an RBI double by Roberts made it a 14-2 game in the fifth.

Fairview put away the final three outs in the bottom of the fifth to secure a 14-2 win over Hanceville.

Roberts tossed a complete game, not-hitter for Fairview, striking out six batters in the process. Roberts (two hits) also posted three RBIs in the win and Emily Benson (one hit) and Kaitlyn Benson (two hits) each drove in a pair of runs as well. The Lady Aggies will advance to play Cold Springs in the next round.

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