PREP SOFTBALL: Cullman takes season-opener over Brewer 5-1

Cullman’s Emma Claire Wilson tossed a complete game in the Lady Bearcats’ 5-1 win over Brewer Tuesday night. (Sammy Confer/The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. — The Cullman Lady Bearcats got their season underway against Brewer Tuesday night and Emma Claire Wilson went the distance in her first start of the season to help secure a 5-1 win for the Lady Bearcats.

Wilson gave up a one-out double to start out the game, then quickly battled back to strike out the next two hitters to get out of the inning unscathed. Haley Shannon reached on a bunt single to lead off the bottom of the first, then she stole second and third base. Taylor Au hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Shannon as Cullman got on the scoreboard first. A leadoff double by the Lady Patriots quickly had them in business to start out the second, then a sacrifice bunt had them 90 feet away from tying the game. Four pitches later, Wilson got out of another jam without giving up a run.

Brewer got on the scoreboard in the top of the third as they took advantage of a Cullman error to tie the game up at one on a sacrifice fly. The Lady Bearcats, though, quickly broke the tie in their half. Abby Maples reached on an infield single to lead off the inning, then two outs later, Au crushed a two-run home run over the center field fence to give Cullman a 3-1 lead. Wilson retired the Lady Patriots in order in the fourth, then the Lady Bearcats put up another run in their half. Sadie Graham hit a leadoff single, then later came around to score on an RBI infield single by Kylie Stracener.

Wilson worked around a two-out walk and a single to record yet another inning-ending strikeout in the fifth inning. Au lined a leadoff double to center field, then Wilson would follow suit with one of her own to center field to bring home Au as Cullman pushed their lead to 5-1 in their half of the fifth. That would be more than enough run support for Wilson, who would retire the side in the final two innings and Cullman went on to knock off Brewer 5-1.

Au finished with two hits and three RBIs for Cullman. Wilson added a pair of hits and an RBI. Stracener ended up with a hit and an RBI, while Shannon, Graham, and Maples each collected a hit in the game. Wilson went the distance for the Lady Bearcats, giving up just four hits and an unearned run, and striking out 13. She struck out at least two batters in five of her seven innings that she pitched.

Cullman will host Arab Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

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