Prep Softball: Curry gets past Mortimer Jordan, heads to regional
by Johnathan Bentley
May 03, 2013 | 2200 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Curry pitcher Ashlee Swindle and teammate Holli McGinnis have pitched the Yellow Jackets to the State Softball Tournament.
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Mortimer Jordan had been to the State Softball Tournament 10 straight years.

That streak is over — thanks to Curry.

The Yellow Jackets ousted the Blue Devils from the Class 5A, Area 12 Tournament with a 2-0 win on Friday, earning a spot in next week’s North Central Regional Tournament in Tuscaloosa in the process.

No. 7 Curry will take on No. 10 Moody at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Sokol Field.

Ashlee Swindle picked up the win for Curry, tossing a four-hit shutout while striking out eight.

“The girls were ecstatic,” Curry coach Annah Cagle said of the win over Mortimer Jordan. “Ashlee threw an exceptional game. Early in the game we started to hit and you could tell that momentum was going in our direction. When we finally scored that first run, it broke the ice.” 

Hayden won the area tournament, beating Curry 3-0 in the championship game.

Against Mortimer Jordan, Curry (29-17) got all the offense it needed in the fourth inning.

Shannan Rowe reached on single and Haleigh Lane followed with a single. Shannon Rowe scored following back-to-back sacrifices from Ella Banks and Shauna Rowe for a 1-0 lead.

The Jackets added an insurance run in the sixth when Banks led off the inning with a triple and scored on Shauna Rowe’s sacrifice.

That was more than enough for Swindle, who allowed just two hits over the final six innings.

One of those hits, a lead-off triple in the sixth inning, was erased after Curry caught Mortimer Jordan’s Shelby Maze in a run-down between third base and home.

The Blue Devils opened the seventh inning with a single, but Swindle retired the side with a strikeout and two ground outs to eliminate the Blue Devils.

Mortimer Jordan had gone to the State Softball Tournament every year since 2003, winning three titles (2008-09 and 2011) and finishing runner up three times (2006, 2010 and 2012).

Curry had just four hits in the game. Banks was 1 for 2 with a triple and a run while Shannon Rowe, Sam Englebert and Haleigh Lane each finished 1 for 3.

In the championship game vs. Hayden, the Wildcats scored a pair of runs in the second inning and added a run in the fourth inning.

Holli McGinnis took the loss. She allowed three runs — two earned on five hits and a walk. She also struck out two. Curry made four errors in the game.

Taylor Black, Shauna Rowe and Englebert each finished 1 for 3 at the plate for Curry.

The Yellow Jackets defeated No. 6 Mortimer Jordan twice in the area tournament.

Curry won the area opener 4-0 over the Blue Devils on Thursday.

In that game, Curry scored two runs in both the third and sixth innings.

Swindle held the Devils to six hits and one walk while striking out seven.

At the plate, Shannon Rowe, Kaylee Horton and Swindle each finished 2 for 3 while Jordan McPherson and Black added hits.

Curry dropped a 2-1, 8-inning decision to Hayden in their winner’s bracket game on Thursday night, setting up Friday’s rematch with Mortimer Jordan.

Curry is in the regional tournament for the first time in school history. The regional format was adopted in 2009. The Yellow Jackets came within one series of the state tournament twice before, losing to Mortimer Jordan in the sub-state round in 2005 and 2006.

Cagle feels that Curry matches up with the other teams in the North Central Regional.

“I’ve tried to play a very tough schedule,” Cagle said. “If we can play the best in the state during the season, it will help us out in the area and the regional tournament. I think we are ready for it. We played teams like Sparkman and Pelham, and we beat (defending 5A champion) Chelsea twice.

“It’s a different environment at the regional. Once you get to a tournament like that, it could be anybody’s game.”