CORDOVA — The Curry Yellow Jackets claimed two hard-fought victories over the Oakman Wildcats on Saturday to win the 2021 Walker County Tournament championship — the program's first title since 2016.
The Yellow Jackets defeated the Wildcats 5-4 in the championship final and won 6-5 in the semifinal game to earn head coach Dave Lawson his first county title.
"Our hats are off to Oakman, they're a very good team who is well-coached — a rock-solid team. I've told our girls all year long our goal is to be in the state tournament and these are the type of games we're going to have to win," Lawson said. "This prepared us for that. "I'm extremely proud of them. We faced a lot of adversity and overcame it time and time again. It's been our motto for the year: face adversity and overcome it. I'm very happy for our team."
The Yellow Jackets (36-7), who entered the tournament as the top seed, opened with a win over Carbon Hill, 17-7 on Friday, followed by the two wins over Oakman on Saturday.
Curry's Alena Howse was named as the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Alayna Key, Linley Tubbs, Kylee Trotter and Ambrey Taylor also made the All-Tournament Team from Curry.
The entire All-Tournament Team will be announced in a future edition of the Eagle.
Curry 5, Oakman 4
Jenna Madison drove in Alayna Key in what proved to be the clutch play of the game, breaking a 4-4 tie and giving Curry the 5-4 victory and the tournament title.
Howse pitched seven innings for the win, giving up no earned runs and recording four strikeouts.
At the plate for Curry, Linley Tubbs hit a two-run home run, Key had a triple with two runs scored, Lanie West recorded a double with two RBIs, Madison had a double with an RBI, Kylee Trotter and Ambrey Taylor both had a hit with a run scored and Marissa Lawson recorded a hit.
For Oakman, Jessy Aston pitched five and two-thirds innings, giving up five hits with four strikeouts. Missy Odom pitched one-third inning with a strikeout.
Offensively for the Wildcats, Savannah Brown went 3 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI, McKenzie Brown was 2 for 3, Jade Bonner went 2 for 4, Terrah Sherer had a hit with a run scored, Ashanti Stewart and Aston both recorded a hit and Alysa Lawhorn and Isabella Burkett scored a run each.
Oakman opened the scoring in the top of the first inning when Savannah Brown crossed home on an error to go on top, 1-0.
Curry answered with a two-run home run by Tubbs in the bottom of the inning, followed by a two-run double by West to allow the Yellow Jackets to take command, 4-1.
In the top of the second inning, Burkett scored on an error, followed by a steal of home plate by Lawhorn and an RBI single by Savannah Brown, helping the Wildcats tie the contest at 4-4.
In the bottom of the second, Key tripled, leading to Madison's sacrifice hit a play later for the 5-4 win.
Oakman 5, Cordova 2
The Wildcats battled back into the championship final with two crucial sixth-inning runs in a 5-2 win over the Blue Devils.
Aston pitched seven innings for the win, giving up five hits with five strikeouts.
At the plate for Oakman, Sherer went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI, Stewart was 2 for 4 with a solo home run, Bonner went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI, McKenzie Brown had a hit with a run scored, Lawhorn drove-in a run on a hit and Odom had a hit.
For Cordova, Camden Johnson pitched six innings striking out one batter.
Offensively for Cordova, Camden Johnson had a double with a run scored, Kailey Johnson recorded a hit with a run scored, Gracie Trotter had a hit with an RBI, Lillie McGuff and Lillian Werling recorded a hit each and Shyla Armistad drove-in a run.
In the top of the first inning, Cordova went up 1-0 following an RBI single by Trotter.
In the bottom of the inning, Oakman responded with an RBI double from Bonner to deadlock the game at 1-1. Stewart broke the tie in the bottom of the fourth inning with a solo home run, give the Wildcats control, 2-1.
The Blue Devils tied the game in the top of the fifth inning when Camden Johnson scored on a bases loaded walk, 2-2.
Sherer scored on an error in the bottom of the inning to put Oakman ahead 3-2.
The Wildcats sealed the win in the bottom of the sixth inning with RBI singles by Lawhorn and Sherer for the 5-2 victory.
Curry 6, Oakman 5
A pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning for Curry put the Yellow Jackets into the championship final with a 6-5 win.
Ella Reese Wright pitched the first four innings, giving up two hits with three strikeouts. Howse pitched the final three shutout innings, giving up two hits with two strikeouts.
At the plate for the Yellow Jackets, Taylor went 2 for 2 with a run scored, two RBIs, and a double, Key recorded a hit with two runs scored, Allie Downs had a double and a run scored, Trotter recorded a hit with a run scored, Lawson had a hit with an RBI and Madison scored a run.
For Oakman, Odom pitched six innings, striking out six batters.
Offensively for the Wildcats, Lawhorn hit a home run with two runs scored and two RBIs, Savannah Brown had a solo home run, Burkett and Odom recorded a hit each and Sherer and Cheyanne Busby each scored a run.
Curry opened with a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Key scored on a passed ball.
A two-run home run by Lawhorn in the top of the second put Oakman on top, 2-1.
Savannah Brown's solo home run in the bottom of the third pushed the Wildcats further ahead, 3-1.
The Yellow Jackets took back the lead at 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning with Downs scoring on a passed ball, followed by a two-run single by Taylor.
Oakman regained control in the top of the fifth inning after Lawhorn scored on a passed ball and Waid drove in Sherer on a sacrifice fly, 5-4.
In the bottom of the sixth, Lawson drove in Trotter on a sacrifice hit and Taylor scored on a passed ball, locking up Curry's 6-5 win.
Cordova 8, Carbon Hill 5
The Blue Devils staved-off elimination thanks to an 8-5 victory over Carbon Hill.
Camden Johnson pitched seven innings in the win, striking out three batters.
At the plate for Cordova, McGuff went 2 for 4 with a run scored, two RBIs and a double, Armistad was 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI, Woods hit a triple with a run scored and an RBI, Trotter and Daisha Dove both had a hit with a run scored and an RBI, Werling and Trotter recorded a hit each with a run scored, Camden Johnson had a hit and Katie Dozier scored a run with an RBI.
Haleigh Lamon and Santana Clark both pitched three innings for Carbon Hill, with Clark striking out one batter.
Offensively for Carbon Hill, Lamon went 2 for 3 with two runs scored, an RBI and a home run, Clark was 2 for 4, Alleigh Keeton hit a double with a run scored and an RBI, Brittany Parker recorded a hit with a run scored and an RBI, Mahaley Pugh had a hit with an RBI, Ella Hyde drove in a run and Savanna Alexander scored a run.