Walker County Softball Tournament: Curry gets three-peat
by W. Brian Hale and Johnathan Bentley
Apr 20, 2014 | 1832 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Curry's Shannan Rowe breaks her bat as she drives in a run with a fielder's choice in the championship game of the Walker County Softball Tournament at Oakman High School Saturday. Rowe had the only RBI in the game as Curry knocked off Cordova 1-0 to win its third straight county title. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
Curry's Shannan Rowe breaks her bat as she drives in a run with a fielder's choice in the championship game of the Walker County Softball Tournament at Oakman High School Saturday. Rowe had the only RBI in the game as Curry knocked off Cordova 1-0 to win its third straight county title. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
slideshow
OAKMAN — There is no MVP award at the Walker County Softball Tournament.

That’s a good thing, because determining which Curry player to give the hardware to would have been an impossible task.

Curry had timely hitting and outstanding performances on the mound and in the field as the Yellow Jackets earned their third straight Walker County title at Oakman High School Saturday.

Curry shut out Cordova twice, including 1-0 in the championship game, to finish off their county three-peat.

“This is definitely an accomplishment. We set (winning the county) as a goal at the beginning of the season,” Curry coach Annah Cagle said. “This should help us stay focused for our end goal, which would be state.”

The title game was a pitcher’s duel between Cordova’s Faith Sims and Curry’s Katie Justice.

The duo combined to give up just six hits while striking out 16 batters.

Curry pushed across the game’s only run in the first inning.

Kaylee Horton led off the bottom of the first with a single and moved to second on Ella Banks’ sacrifice. She took third on a passed ball and scored just ahead of the tag following a Shannan Rowe fielder’s choice.

From there, the Yellow Jackets relied on Justice.

The senior didn’t let them down.

Cordova (25-14-1) put together two-out rallies in both the fourth and fifth innings.

The Blue Devils had runners at first and second with two out in the fourth. Justice got out of the jam with a groundout to the shortstop.

An inning later, Cordova had runners at the corners following a pair of infield singles and an error. Justice got the third out with a flyout to right field.

She dominated the sixth and seventh innings, retiring the last six batters in order, striking out four of the final five batters she faced.

Justice allowed four hits, one walk and hit one batter while striking out nine.

Sims gave up just two hits and two walks. She hit two batters and struck out seven.

For Curry, Horton was 1 for 2 with a run, Banks was 1 for 2 with a stolen base and Shannan Rowe had an RBI.

Cordova’s Hanna McLemore was 2 for 3, Chasity Kilpatric was 1 for 2 and Ansley Ardoin was 1 for 3.

Cagle used three pitchers Saturday with Ashlee Swindle, Justice and Holli McGinnis each throwing key innings vs. Cordova.

Curry won the title despite injuries to both Swindle and Justice.

Swindle (elbow), threw five innings in Saturday’s opener against Cordova — a 2-0 Curry win — while Justice (knee) pitched a total of eight innings on the day. Holli McGinnis got the win over Oakman on Friday and threw an inning against Cordova on Saturday.

“We have some injuries right now so have to mix it up,” Cagle said. “They throw different speeds. Some of them throw curves and screwballs. Some throw off-speed pitches. They all three work well together.”

———

Winner’s bracket final

(1) Curry 2, (2) Cordova 0

The initial meeting between the tournament’s top-seeded teams belonged to the No. 1 Curry Yellow Jackets as they defeated the No. 2 Cordova Blue Devils 2-0.

Ashlee Swindle got the win in her only appearance of the tournament, allowing three hits, three walks and striking out two batters in five shutout innings. Holli McGinnis and Katie Justice both pitched an inning of relief, each allowing one hit and striking out one batter.

Offensively, Kaylee Horton went a perfect 3 for 3 with a run scored, while Haleigh Lane was 1 for 3 with an RBI. Ella Banks was 1 for 3 with a run scored, with Shannon and Shauna Rowe each producting hits.

Faith Sims gave up seven hits, no walks and struck out seven batters in the loss for Cordova.

At the plate, Sims was 1 for 3 with a double, while Hanna McLemore, Hannah Ingram and Ansley Ardoin each recorded hits.

The Yellow Jackets cracked the scoreboard in the first inning with Horton scoring on a passed ball for the 1-0 lead.

The final score of the game came for Curry in the third inning when Lane drove in Banks on an RBI single for the 2-0 victory.

———

Loser’s bracket

(4) Oakman 5, (3) Carbon Hill 3

The fourth-seed Oakman Wildcats advanced to the third round of the loser’s bracket with a 5-3 win over the third-seed Carbon Hill Bulldogs.

Kamree Lay gave up six hits and two walks and struck out 11 batters in the victory for Oakman.

At the plate, Madeline Custred went 2 for 3 with a run scored, a home run and three RBIs. Mallory Nunnelley and Peyton Willcutt had a hit, a run scored and had an RBI each, with Malori Cornwell scoring a run and recording a hit. Ashlee Morrow and Shelby Walton also had hits.

Tessa Ivey gave up six hits and one walk while striking out five batters in the loss for Carbon Hill.

Offensively, Kenna Alexander went 1 for 3 with an RBI, while Katie Moore was 1 for 2 with two runs scored. Jessica Hurst went 1 for 3 with a run scored and Korey Tidwell  was 1 for 2 with an RBI.

The Bulldogs scored two runs in the first inning after Moore scored on a passed ball and Hurst crossed the plate on an error, leading to the 2-0 advantage.

The Wildcats (19-15) took the lead in the third inning with a three-run performance, with RBI hits by Nunnelley, Willcutt and Custred for the 3-2 lead.

Carbon Hill tied the game at 3-3 in the fifth inning with Moore crossing the plate after being driven in by Korey Tidwell.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Custred sent the ball over the fence for a two-run home run to clinch the 5-3 final.

———

Loser’s bracket

(2) Cordova 4, (4) Oakman 0

The second-seed Cordova Blue Devils earned a spot in the championship title game with a 4-0 shutout win over the fourth-seed Oakman Wildcats in the third round of the loser’s bracket.

Faith Sims earned the win for Cordova, giving up two hits, one walk and striking out 12 batters in six shutout innings.

At the plate, Sims went 3 for 4 with an RBI and a double, while Hanna McLemore was 2 for 4 with a run scored. Kaitlyn Herron went 1 for 3 with an RBI, while Grayson Kilpatrick and Kristan Swindle recorded hits and each scored a run.

Kamree Lay gave up 10 hits and two walks while striking out four batters in the loss for Oakman.

Peyton Willcutt produced Oakman’s hits, going 2 for 3 for the game.

After two scoreless innings, Cordova broke the deadlock with an RBI hit by Herron for the 1-0 advantage. Sims drove in a run in the fifth inning to extend the Blue Devils’ lead to 2-0.

Cordova add its final two runs of the game in the sixth inning with an RBI by Ansley Ardoin, followed by a score on a passed ball by Kilpatrick for the 4-0 final.