Sumiton Christian’s AK Tyree, left, takes a group shot of the team following the Eagles’ 13-3, six-inning victory over Sulligent at Bowers Park in Tuscaloosa on Monday. Sumiton Christian won three elimination games to earn their 11th straight trip to the State Softball Tournament in Montgomery.
Daily Mountain Eagle - Johnathan Bentley
Sumiton Christian's Mak Miller throws a pitch against Sulligent at the West Central Regional Tournament on Monday.
Daily Mountain Eagle - Johnathan Bentley
By W. BRIAN HALE, Eagle Sports Writer
TUSCALOOSA — The Sumiton Christian Eagles faced tough odds heading into the last day at the West Central Regional Tournament.
Following a loss to top qualifier Sand Rock on Friday, and a two-day wait before returning to action, a long road awaited the Eagles as they started play.
By the end of the day, however, Sumiton Christian would not be denied their 11th-consecutive trip to the state tournament — beating three teams that included area foe Sulligent 13-3 in the final contest to secure the runner-up plaque and the trip to Montgomery.
The Eagles will have a short turnaround — facing G.W. Long, the top seed from the South Region — at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.
“We got ourselves in a hole by losing that first ball game,” Sumiton Christian coach Jessica Aderholt said after her team closed out a 3-0 day. “We just needed to relax and play hard like we knew we could. I’m proud of what they accomplished. They could’ve shut down after losing (to Sand Rock), but they didn’t.
“They’ve been resilient all year long. We’ve had a tough season. We’ve lost some games that we shouldn’t have, but they never gave up. They kept on rolling and kept on working. Now we have a shot.”
Sumiton Christian 13, Sulligent 3
The Eagles crossed the plate four times in the first innings and never looked back, clinching the West Central Regional’s runner-up spot with a 13-3, six-inning victory over Sulligent.
Mak Miller got the win for Sumiton Christian, giving up four walks with four strikeouts in six innings.
Offensively, Kaley McCrary went a perfect 3 for 3 with three runs scored, a double and two RBIs, Anna Calloway was 3 for 4 with two runs scored, two doubles and three RBIs, Sarah Hadder went 2 for 3 with a run scored, a triple and an RBI, AK Tyree was 2 for 3 with two run scored, Angel Whitlow went 2 for 3 with a double, a triple and two RBIs, Amber Hayes was 2 for 3 with a run scored and a double, Kalista Cornelison went 1 for 2 with a run scored and an RBI, Taylor Whisonant was 1 for 3 with a run scored and two RBIs, Jessie Baughan had a hit with a run scored and Addy Russell scored a run.
Sumiton Christian 4, Ohatchee 1
The Eagles advanced to the runner-up final following a 4-1 win over Ohatchee.
Calloway pitched six innings in the win for Sumiton Christian, giving up three hits and a run, while striking out 10 batters.
Mak Miller pitched the final inning, giving up a walk.
At the plate, Whisonant went 2 for 3 with a run scored and a double, Tyree was 2 for 3 with a run scored, a double and an RBI, Calloway went 2 for 3 with two RBIs, Hayes was 1 for 2 with an RBI, Cornelison recorded a hit and Baughan and Whitlow scored a run each.
Sumiton Christian 6, Ranburne 5
Behind 5-3 in the sixth inning, Sumiton got a key two-run triple by Baughan and a sacrifice RBI by Tyree that helped secure a 6-5 win over Ranburne.
Miller pitched the first five innings, while Calloway finished the remaining two innings.
Offensively, Hayes went 3 for 4 with a run scored, Whitlow was 2 for 3 with two runs scored and a double, Baughan went 2 for 4 with a run scored, a triple and three RBIs, McCrary was 1 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI, Whisonant and Hadder both had a double, Calloway recorded a hit and Cornelison had an RBI.
Cordova eliminated by White Springs
The Cordova Blue Devils’ season came to an end in the Class 4A runner-up final to White Plains, 5-1.
Raven Clark pitched seven innings with seven strikeouts for the Blue Devils.
Offensively, Gracie Trotter went 2 for 2, Lillian Werling was 2 for 4, Emma Hyche went 1 for 3 with a double and a run scored, Kailey Johnson and Clark both recorded a hit and Anna Key drove in a run.