PREP SOFTBALL: Cullman collects 12-2 senior night win over Holly Pond

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Olivia Britton and Faith Guest (17) celebrate following Britton’s grand slam in the first inning of Cullman’s 12-2 win over Holly Pond Thursday night. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Lady Bearcats had won four straight games coming into Thursday night’s matchup with Holly Pond and Cullman extended its winning streak to five games with a 12-2, senior night win over the Lady Broncos. Before the first pitch, Bearcat seniors Faith Guest, Dayln Phillips, Savannah Davis and Carlie Burnham were honored for their years with and contributions to the program and they celebrated with a big win in front of their home crowd.

After a three-up, three-down top of the first for Haley Shannon on the mound, Cullman put some runs on the board in the bottom half of the inning. Shannon led off with a single to reach first and Davis and Burnham each followed with singles of their own to load up the bases. That’s when Olivia Britton barreled one up and drove a grand slam over the fence in left-center to put the Lady Bearcats on top 4-0 going into the second inning.

After a pair of quick and scoreless innings, the Lady Broncos got on the board in the top of the fourth. Maggie Nail drilled a solo homer over the left field fence to trim the lead to 4-1 but Cullman responded in its half of the inning. An RBI single off the bat of Kylie Stracener built the lead back up to 5-1 and later in the inning, Taylor Au drew a walk with the bases loaded to bring in another run and make it a 6-1 game. A few pitches later, Davis blew things open with a bases-clearing double deep into center field that stretched the lead to 9-1. Britton ripped an RBI single into left field to push another run across the plate and the Lady Bearcats led the way 10-1 going into the fifth.

Mattie Earl led off the top of the fifth with a solo homerun to cut the lead to 10-2 but that was all the offense Holly Pond could get going in the inning. Cullman couldn’t add to its lead in the fifth either but in the bottom of the sixth, Faith Guest drove an RBI double up the middle to bring Burnham home to score and Brooklyn Morton ended the game early with an RBI double into right field that wrapped up a 12-2 win for the Lady Bearcats.

Shannon earned the win on the mound for Cullman, tossing all six innings and allowing two earned runs on just three hits. She also struck out four batters. Britton (two hits) led the way at the plate with five RBIs in the win and Davis (two hits) finished just behind her with three. Guest (two hits), Au (one hit), Stracener (one hit) and Morton (one hit) each drove in a run as well.

Nail (two hits) and Earl each posted a homerun for Holly Pond in the loss.

With the regular season in the books, both the Lady Bearcats and Lady Broncos will turn their attention to their respective area tournaments.

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