TUSCLAOOSA — The Oakman Wildcats entered Day 2 of the Class 3A West Regional needing to win three games in order to advance to next week's AHSAA State Tournament in Oxford.
Mission accomplished. With an 11-1, six-inning victory over Montgomery Catholic, the Wildcats clinched the region's second-place spot and will vie for a state championship.
The Wildcats recorded wins over Excel and Hale County to earn the right to place in the second-place game.
“There are no words the describe what they did today. They came out and played three games in the heat with everything against us, and they came out on top. They dominated all three games they played today,” said Oakman coach Paten Williams, who is her first season as the varsity coach. “Getting to state is amazing — that’s what we’ve been working for all year. We’ve been telling them that if you buy into the process and buy into the program that’s what will happen.”
Oakman’s one loss at the regional came to top-ranked Prattville Christian, the No. 1 qualifier.
“We played well against the No. 1 team in the state. We just needed that one hit to bust it open and we couldn’t get it. We are looking for a rematch (at state) “ Williams said.
Oakman will open the state tournament on Friday against Plainview, the North region's top seed, at 10:45 a.m.
The Curry Yellow Jackets opened the day in the East Regional's top-seed game, but fell to Cleburne County and later lost to Etowah in the second-place game to see their season come to an end.
North Regional in Tuscaloosa
Oakman 13, Montgomery Catholic 3 (6 innings)
Jessy Aston pitched six innings for the win, giving up three hits with two strikeouts.
At the plate, Missy Odom went 4 for 4 with a run scored and three RBIs, Jade Bonner was 3 for 4 with three runs scored, an RBI and two doubles. Aston went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI, Bailey Webb was 2 for 4, both doubles, with two runs scored and two RBIs, Savannah Brown had a double with three runs scored and an RBI, Shalayiah Waid recorded a hit with two runs scored, Ashanti Stewart scored a run and Alysa Lawhorn scored a run.
Brown opened the scoring in the first inning, crossing the plate on an error to put Oakman on top, 1-0. Montgomery Catholic countered in the bottom of the inning with a pair of runs to take control, 2-1.
The Wildcats plated three runs in the top of the second thanks to RBI hits by Aston and Lawhorn, along with a score on an error by Stewart to resume command, 4-2.
In the top of the third, Odom drove in a run, with scores by Brown and Bonner to increase the Wildcat lead to 6-2.
An RBI by Webb and a hit by Odom in the top of the fifth inning pulled Oakman further away, 8-2.
Five runs scored in the top of the sixth on RBI hits by Brown, Bonner, Webb and Odom for the 13-3 final.
Oakman 13, Hale County 3
Odom got the seven-inning win, throwing seven strikeouts.
Offensively, Terrah Sherer went 5 for 5 with a double, three runs scored and three RBIs, Webb was 2 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs, Stewart went 2 for 4 with a run scored, Bonner was 2 for 5 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs, Lawhorn went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI and Izzie Burchfield, Isabella Burkett and Brown scored two runs each.
Oakman 5, Excel 2
Aston pitched seven innings in the win, giving up two hits with seven strikeouts.
At the plate, Sherer went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI, Waid and Webb both hit a double with an RBI, Odom recorded a hit and drove-in a run, Aston had a hit and Brown and Stewart scored a run each.
East Regional in Montgomery
Cleburne County 1, Curry 0
Alena Howse pitched seven innings in the loss, giving up six hits and no walks with seven strikeouts.
Offensively, Kylee Trotter went 2 for 3 and Alayna Key had a hit.
Etowah 3, Curry 2
Howse pitched seven innings in the loss, giving up eight hits and an earned run with four strikeouts.
At the plate, Trotter went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI, Jenna Madison hit a solo home run, Marissa Lawson, Key and Lanie West all recorded a hit and Linley Tubbs scored a run.