AREA SOFTBALL TOURNAMENTS: Lady Bearcats advance to Area Championship game with 13-1 win over Pinson Valley; Tuesday scoring recap

The Cullman Lady Bearcats split their Tuesday matchups with Mortimer Jordan and Pinson Valley to secure a spot in Thursday’s Area 13 Championship Game. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman Lady Bearcats returned home to host this year’s 6A, Area 13 Tournament Tuesday night and after dropping their first game with Mortimer Jordan, the ‘Cats bounced back to win their next matchup against Pinson Valley to advance to Thursday’s Area Championship Game.

Olivia Britton reached base in the top of the first with a single into left field and an error allowed her to come all the way around to score and give Cullman a 1-0 lead.

The Lady Bearcats added to their lead in the top of the second. An RBI double from Hattie Graham made it a 2-0 game and Abby Maples drew a walk with the bases loaded later in the inning to stretch the lead to 3-0. A sacrifice fly by Haley Shannon allowed Graham to score and make it 4-0 and Britton drew another bases-loaded walk to put Cullman on top 5-0. An RBI single off the bat of Taylor Au kept the inning going and extended the lead to 6-0 and Sadie Graham knocked an RBI single up the middle to make it 7-0. Hattie Graham drew another walk later in the inning to bring in Britton and give the ‘Cats an 8-0 advantage and just a few pitches later, Brooklyn Morton ripped an RBI single into left field to plate two more runs and make it a 10-0 game and an error from Pinson Valley allowed two more runs to cross the plate and gave Cullman a 12-0 lead. The inning finally ended after Britton drew a walk to bring Maples home from third, giving the Lady Bearcats a commanding, 13-0 lead going into the bottom half of the second.

Pinson Valley was able to get a run on the board in the bottom of the third and trim the lead to 13-1 but couldn’t get any closer with that and Cullman went on to win it 13-1.

Britton (two RBIs), Hattie Graham (two RBIs) and Sadie Graham (one RBI) each finished with a pair of hits in the win. Morton (one hit) added a pair of RBIs as well and Maples (one RBI) and Au (one RBI) each posted hits for the Lady Bearcats. Summer Story tossed one scoreless inning for the ‘Cats and Mattie Smith pitched the other four, allowing just one run on four hits and collecting five strikeouts.

Cullman will be back on the field Thursday at 4 p.m. for a rematch with Mortimer Jordan in the Area 13 Championship Game.

Fairview 12 – West Point 11 (5A, Area 12)

West Point got on the scoreboard first in their opening at-bats on a one-out solo home run by Brinlee Phillips; they later made it 2-0 as Bethany Minck scored on a Fairview error. The Lady Warriors added onto their lead in the top of the second as Cabri Blackwood hit an RBI groundout to make it 3-0, then back-to-back RBI singles by Macayla Wilkins and Phillips pushed their lead to 5-0. The Lady Aggies got in the run column in the bottom of the second on an RBI groundout by Ada Fales, but West Point continued to pad their lead in the top of the third. 

They had runners on the corners with one out and Blackwood ended up hitting an RBI single to right field, then Wilkins lined a two-run double to center field as the Lady Warrior lead quickly swelled to 8-1. All of a sudden, Fairview went on a huge rally to get back in the game in their half. Jaycee Aleman followed up Emily Benson’s leadoff triple with one of her own to make it 8-2, then Kylie Kovar added an RBI single and Allison Davis hit an RBI double to cut it to 8-4. Fales got hit by the pitch with the bases loaded to force home a run, then Jordan Simmons drew a bases-loaded walk to make it an 8-6 game. 

West Point put up a pair of runs in the top of the fourth as Bethany Minck and Lexi Kimbril each scored on a pair of Lady Aggie errors to push their lead to 10-6. Fairview countered in their half as Kovar hit an RBI single and Fales drove in a run on a fielder’s choice to cut it to 10-8. An RBI single by Kimbril in the top of the fifth made it an 11-8 game, but the Lady Aggies answered right back in a big way in their half.

Simmons scored a run on a Lady Warrior error, then Kovar added yet another RBI single to cut it to 11-10. Davis hit a two-run single up the middle to give Fairview their first lead of the game, 12-11. West Point looked to get the lead in their final at-bats, but Addison Phillips retired the Lady Warriors in order on just six pitches to seal the 12-11 comeback win for Fairview.

Kovar (three hits) and Davis (two hits) each posted three RBIs in the win for Fairview. Fales also finished with three RBIs as well. Aleman added a pair of hits and two RBIs. Simmons ended up with a hit and an RBI. Benson collected a pair of hits in the game and Ayda Payne chipped in with a hit of her own. For West Point, Wilkins finished with three hits and three RBIs. Phillips added a pair of hits and two RBIs. Blackwood ended up with a hit and two RBIs. Kimbril and Bailey Brock each collected a hit and an RBI in the contest. Liberty Shadix added a pair of hits, while Minck and Macie Brown each chipped in with a hit of their own. 

Fairview will take on the loser of Springville and Hayden Thursday at 2 p.m. for a chance to move on to the Class 5A, Area 12 championship game.

Other Tuesday scores:

Mortimer Jordan 15 – Cullman 0 (6A, Area 13)

Meek 13 – Decatur Heritage 12 (1A, Area 14)

Holly Pond 17 – Cleveland 4 (2A, Area 10)

West End 4 – Holly Pond 3 (2A, Area 10)

Susan Moore 16 – Vinemont 8 (3A, Area 13)

Good Hope 11 – East Lawrence 1 (4A, Area 13)

West End 4 – Hanceville 1 (4A, Area 13)

East Lawrence 9 – Hanceville 2 (4A, Area 13)

Springville 10 – Fairview 0 (5A, Area 12)

Hayden 14 – West Point 4 (5A, Area 12)

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