CULLMAN, Ala. – The Lady Bearcats returned home to host Mortimer Jordan on a chilly Tuesday night and Emma Claire Wilson collected 12 strikeouts over seven shutout innings to help lead the ‘Cats to a 5-0 win over the Lady Blue Devils.
Mortimer Jordan led off the top of the first with a double and a single to put some pressure on Wilson but a fielder’s choice and a pair of strikeouts got Cullman out of the early jam. After a scoreless second inning, the Lady Blue Devils put two more runners on the bases to start the top of the third. Haley Shannon ran down a fly ball in center field to collect the first out and the ‘Cats got the next two with a strikeout from Wilson and a ground ball to Olivia Britton at first base to strand two more runners and keep Mortimer Jordan off the board.
Cullman was able to pull ahead in the bottom half of the third. Shannon reached first base on an error and after stealing second, advanced to third on a wild pitch. Kylie Stracener drew a walk to put runners on the corners and Wilson brought Shannon home to score with a sacrifice fly into center field. One pitch later, an RBI double off the bat of Taylor Au plated Stracener to put the Lady Bearcats in front 2-0 going into the fourth inning.
Wilson picked up two more strikeouts in the top of the fourth and Britton led off the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run to put the ‘Cats on top 3-0. Cullman continued to pick up steam at the plate. Reese Hopper shot a double into center field and Hattie Graham drew a walk to give the Lady Bearcats a pair of runners and a sacrifice bunt by Shannon allowed Hopper to cross the plate later in the inning and make it a 4-0 game. Stracener squared up an RBI single a few pitches later to drive in Graham and Cullman went into the fifth leading 5-0.
Wilson retired the next six Lady Blue Devils she faced over the next two innings on just 17 pitches to maintain the lead going into the final frame. After running into some trouble in the top of the seventh, Wilson’s 12th strikeout of the night left the bases loaded and secured a 5-0 win for the Lady Bearcats.
Britton (HR) and Stracener (one RBI) each posted a pair of hits in the win and Au (one hit) and Shannon (one hit) each drove in a run as well.
Cullman will remain home to play Lawrence County Thursday night.
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