PREP SOFTBALL: Good Hope drops area opener to West Morgan 4-3

Good Hope's Bailey Keef finished with a hit and two RBIs in the Lady Raiders' 4-3 loss to West Morgan. (Sammy Confer/The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. — The Good Hope Lady Raiders started area play against the West Morgan Lady Rebels Monday night. The Lady Raiders fell behind early and looked to mount a comeback, but they fell just short in the end as they dropped their region opener to West Morgan 4-3.

West Morgan hit a leadoff single, then a stolen base and a pair of Good Hope errors gave the Lady Rebels the early 1-0 lead. Good Hope went down in order in their half, but Addyson Burgess retired West Morgan in order in the top of the second. Campbell Koch hit a one-out single off the shortstop’s glove, then Molly Benefield hit a double to right field as that put runners on second and third with only one out. Koch scored on a passed ball to tie the game up at one.

West Morgan added to their lead in the top of the third as an error and a single to center field put runners on second and third with no outs. A suicide squeeze play gave West Morgan a 2-1 lead, then an RBI single and an RBI double to center field pushed their lead to 4-1. Jolee McHan led off the Lady Raider third inning with an infield single, then Alexandria Steed reached on an infield single of her own. Bailey Keef ripped a two-run single to right field to cut it to 4-3, then she stole second and a groundout by Haley Lay moved Keef over to third with two outs. A strikeout, though, ended the inning for Good Hope.

Burgess quickly got out of a jam in the fourth inning and had no problems in the fifth inning. The Lady Raiders went down in order in the fifth inning and looked to keep it a one-run game in the sixth. It wasn’t easy, though, as a single and a pair of walks loaded the bases with two outs, but Burgess got a huge punchout to end the inning. A pair of Lady Rebel walks with one out ended Burgess’s night as Benefield came in to pitch. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners over to second and third with two outs, then Benefield induced a ground ball to get out of yet another jam. Good Hope looked to win the game in their final at-bats, but they went down in order and the Lady Raiders dropped their region opener to West Morgan 4-3.

Keef finished with a hit and two RBIs for Good Hope (0-2). Koch added a pair of hits, while Steed, Benefield, and McHan each collected a hit in the game.

Good Hope will travel to take on Boaz Tuesday.

Fairview 3 – Falkville 1 (Softball)

Fairview traveled to take on Falkville Monday. After held being scoreless through the first five innings, a late rally by the Lady Aggies helped them get a huge 3-1 win on the road.

Fairview looked to get their first run early as Emily Benson hit a two-run single, then Ayda Payne followed that up with a double to center field. A strikeout, though, ended the Lady Aggie top of the first. The Lady Blue Devils loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the second, then a hit by pitch forced home the first run of the game. It quickly turned into a pitcher’s duel after that as the scored stayed at 1-0 going into the sixth inning.

That’s when Fairview got something going offensively. Emily Benson reached on an error to lead off the inning, then Payne hit an RBI triple to center field as that tied the game up at one. Payne would later score on a passed ball to give the Lady Aggies a 2-1 lead, but the Lady Blue Devils looked to answer in their half as a leadoff walk, later followed by back-to-back two-out hit by pitches, loaded the bases. Payne, though, got a huge strikeout to end the inning.

Jordan Simmons reached on an error to lead off the seventh, then Jaycee Aleman hit a double to put runners on second and third with no outs. One out later, an RBI groundout by Benson brought home Simmons to give Fairview a 3-1 lead. Payne quickly worked around a one-out single to get a game-ending double play as the Lady Aggies picked up a huge 3-1 win over Falkville. Benson and Payne each finished with a pair of hits and two RBIs for Fairview (5-6) and Aleman added a hit of her own. Payne had a great performance on the mound as she went the distance, giving up just two hits and one run, walking three, and striking out nine.

The Lady Aggies have now won three straight games and will look to make it four in a row as they will host Springville Tuesday.

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