STATE SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT: West Point’s postseason run ends with 9-4 loss to Hayden

The Lady Warriors fell to Hayden 9-4 in their final game Wednesday, ending their postseason run at the 5A State Tournament. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

OXFORD, Ala. – The West Point Lady Warriors spent their Wednesday competing in this year’s 5A State Softball Tournament at Oxford’s Choccolocco Park and after splitting their first two matchups with Alexandria and Elmore County, their postseason run ended with an 9-4 loss to Hayden in their final game of the day. West Point (31-16) fell to No. 1 Alexandria 5-0 in its opening-round matchup but bounced back to defeat Elmore County 6-0 and stay alive. The Lady Warriors rallied in the sixth to begin climbing back against Hayden but couldn’t overcome the early deficit.

Alexandria 5 – West Point 0

Hits were tough the come by in the Lady Warriors’ matchup with Alexandria. Both teams combined for just one hit in the first four innings, a single from Kyle Quinn in the second, but the Valley Cubs finally got their bats going in the bottom half of the fifth.

Alexandria strung together three hits and took advantage of a walk and an error to plate five runs and take a 5-0 lead into the sixth inning. West Point was unable to respond, and the Lady Warriors dropped their first matchup of the day to the top-ranked Valley Cubs 5-0.

Quinn posted the only hit for West Point in the loss.

West Point 6 – Elmore County 0 (Elimination Game)

West Point’s second game of the day started a lot like the first. Both the Lady Warriors and Elmore County combined to record just three hits in the first four frames but this time it was West Point that was able to break through for a big late inning.

The Lady Warriors reached base and threatened to score in the fifth and the sixth, but it wasn’t until the top of the seventh that they were able to finally put some runs on the board. Braelee Quinn and Macie Brown led off the inning with back to back singles and one pitch later, Sidney Burks drove an RBI single into center field to score Quinn and make it a 1-0 game. Kylee Quinn was intentionally walked and Brindlee Phillips made the Lady Panthers pay.

Phillips ripped a bases-clearing double into left-center to put the Lady Warriors in front 4-0, but they weren’t done adding to their lead. Following a sacrifice bunt from Alexis Kimbrill, Bethany Minck and Carlie Wilkins each squared up RBI singles to give West Point a commanding, 6-0 lead going into the bottom of the seventh.

Elmore County went down in order in the bottom half of the seventh and the Lady Warriors kept their postseason hopes alive with a 6-0 win.

Carlie Wilkins was dominant in the circle, tossing seven shutout innings, allowing just one hit and striking out nine batters. At the plate, Phillips finished with a pair of hits and three RBIs in the win. Minck (two hits) drove in an RBI and Burks (one hit) and Wilkins (one hit) each added an RBI as well.

Hayden 9 – West Point 4 (Elimination Game)

Their last matchup of the day was a tough one for the Lady Warriors. After a pair of scoreless innings, Hayden put together a big third inning, plating six runs to take a 6-0 lead into the fourth. The Lady Wildcats added three more runs in the fifth to pull ahead 9-0.

Singles by Macayla and Carlie Wilkins gave West Point a pair of runners in the bottom of the sixth and a Hayden error loaded the bases. An RBI single off the bat of Macie Brown brought Macayla Wilkins home to score and make it a 9-1 game and Nikki Tyree drew a bases-loaded walk to trim the lead to 9-2. Another error allowed Braelee Quinn to score and Brindlee Phillips drew another bases-loaded walk to push another across the plate and make it 9-4 going into the final frame.

However, the Lady Warriors couldn’t chip away any more in the seventh and the Lady Wildcats held on to win it 9-4.

Brown finished with a hit and an RBI in the loss. Macayla and Carlie Wilkins each added a hit as well and Tyree, Phillips and Braelee Quinn each posted an RBI.

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