34TH AHSAA STATE SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Lagoon Park G.W. Long’s Baker Sets National Record with 36th HR of Season as 2019
State Softball Championships Get Underway
By SHANE HERRMANN
MONTGOMERY — Senior OLIVIA BAKER hit her 36th home run this morning in G.W. Long’s first game of the 2019 AHSAA State Softball Championships at Lagoon Park Wednesday to set the NFHS National record for homers in a single season. The Rebels (53-3) of COACH NIKKI LONG, beat Sumiton Christian 4-2 to advance to the second round of the winner’s bracket. BAKER’S two-run blast and HANNA SEGARS’ highlighted a three-run first inning in the win. KATE CHAUNCEY had a solo blast for Long’s final run. JESSIE BAUGHN had a homer or Sumiton Christian in the first inning. SAVANNA WOOD (17-2) struck out 12 to get the pitching win.
The previous national record (35) was set by another Alabamian, Pisgah’s SHELBY HOLLEY in 2011. BAKER’S blast was the 86th of her storied career with the Lady Rebels – also the NFHS National record. HOLLEY held the state record coming into this season with 72 from 2008-11.
As a team, G.W. Long now owns the NFHS National Record for homers in a season with 86 in 2019. That total broke the previous NFHS National Record set by Canyon, Texas (82) in 2017. The state record (71) was set by Pisgah in 2011.
The 34th annual AHSAA State Softball Championships, which began in 1986 at Lagoon Park, got underway Wednesday morning with first-round games at 9 a.m. Classes 2A, 3A and 6A kicked off the 2019 Championships, which include eight teams in seven classification tournaments. Classes 5A and 7A commence Thursday while Classes 1A and 4A play first-round games Friday. All tourneys are double elimination.
The championship games of each division will be live-streamed by the NFHS Network over its subscriber-based platform. For more information, go to www.nfhsnetwork.com . Geneva and Central Phenix City high schools will also be live-streaming games involving their schools in Class 3A and 7A, respectively, over the NFHS Network’s School Broadcast Program platform.
Producers for those games are RICKY NICKOLSON (Geneva) and TIM LOREMAN (Central). G.W. Long (54-3) won its second game of the tourney beating Hatton 2-0 in the winner’s bracket to advance to the championship bracket third round Thursday. BAKER (19-1) put on her pitching hat in that win hurling a perfect game through six inning before finishing with a one-hitter.
SAVANNA WOOD had a double in the second inning as the Rebels scored two unearned
runs. Highlights from other games Wednesday:
GAME 1: SAND ROCK 10, LUVERNE 4
BRYLIE and KATELYN ST. CLAIR each went 3-for-4 for Sand Rock(31-1). Pitcher JADYN FOSTER stuck out 12 to get the win. KEYLA JOHNSON was 3-for-4 for Luverne. TRINITY FORTE’ was also 2-for-4 with a two-run homer.
GAME 3: HATTON 10, THORSBY 0 (6 INNINGS)
EMMA LATHAM led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a solo home run to evoke the mercy rule. She was 2-for-4 in the game. Hatton (41-15) scored 2 in the first, 5 in the second, 1 in the third, 1 in the fourth and one in the sixth. CLOEY LOVELADY hit a grand slam to spark the five-run second inning. BRADYN MITCHELL picked up the shutout win with six strikeouts. LINDSEY BURNETT was 2-for-3 to lead Thorsby.
Game 5: Leroy 10, Luverne 0 (5 innings)
Leroy (37-91) scored all 10 runs in the third and fourth innings to get the mercy-rule win. ALLIE SMITH was 3-for-3 with two doubles while ABIGAIL BEECH slugged a two-run homer and MARISA WEST hit a three-run blast for the Bears. REA JOHNSON also recorded the shutout win in the circle, allowing just one hit with four strikeouts.
Game 6: Sumiton Christian 9, Thorsby 0
Sumiton Christian pitchers MAKENZIE MILLER and ALI HOLLIS combined for the shutout. At the plate, the Eagles (39-22-1) scored four runs in the top of the first inning to take control in the consolation bracket elimination game. A four-run fourth inning and a single run in the fifth wrapped up the scoring. JESSIE BAUGHN was 5-for-5 with a double and four singles. TAYLOR WHISONANT was also 3-for-3 with a single, a double and a home run.
Game 7: Collinsville 8, Sand Rock 4
BRITTANY RIVERA-FREE was 4-for-4 with a pair of RBIs to lead Collinsville (34-15-1), which built a 7-2 lead and held off Sand Rock in the winner’s bracket. The Panthers won a first-round game over Leroy. AUTUMN BARKLEY and CAROLINE BRANNON also each homered and went 2-for-4 for Collinsville. LILY WILLIS pitched the win. HALEY GRACE LISNEBEE was 2-for-3 with one RBI and JADYN FOSTER had two hits and two RBIs for Sand Rock (31-11-1).
Game 1: Wicksburg 11, Oakman 1 (5 innings)
THERESA REYNOLDS and ROSIE ROBINSON each homered twice for Wicksburg (45-13), which finished five home runs in the game. A six-run second inning broke the game open, including back-to-back homers by REYNOLDS and ROBINSON. Teammate EMILY BOIN added a three-run blast in the same inning. REYNOLDS added her second two-run shot in the third inning while ROBINSON homered in the fourth. ASHTON WHITE was also 3-for-3 with a double. TORI HOBBS got the pitching win nine strikeouts.
GAME 2: PRATTVILLE CHRISTIAN 3, PLAINVIEW 1 (8 INNINGS)
Defending Class 3A state champion Prattville Christian (43-7-1) won the extra-inning game when CAROLYN CARTER hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth for the walk-off win. The homer also scored MADISON HANSON,
who singled to lead off the frame. Plainview scored first on a solo home run by KRIMSON KIDD in the top of the second. An RBI-single by PCA’s MCKENZIE MONTGOMERY tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth. LANDYN MCANNALLY recorded the pitching win. She struck out 10 and allowed two hits.
Game 3: Pisgah 8, Hale County 0
Pisgah (44-10) scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to break the game open. LEIGHA KIRBY pitched the one-hit shutout, striking out nine. KAYLEE VAUGHT was 4-for-4 and scored twice. KENNEDY BARRON added two hits for Pisgah. A single in the top of the second inning by REAGAN JOHNSON was the lone hit for Hale County (29-19).
Game 4: Geneva 8, Pleasant Valley 5
Trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the fifth, Geneva rallied for six runs to take the lead for good. ANSLEE FINCH, CHLOE NANCE and JOCELYN BOSWELL each had two hits for the Panthers (30-10). BOSWELL also had a sacrifice fly and finished the game with two doubles and three runs batted in. Winning pitcher LEAH PATTERSON struck out five in win.
Game 5: Oakman 8, Plainview 7
Plainview (39-15) scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning but left the tying run at the plate in the 3A elimination round game. Oakman (20-16) took the lead for good with four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. IYANA CANADA was 3-for-4 with an RBI to lead Oakman. SAMANTHA KELLY also drove in two runs and finished the game 2-for-4 at the plate. KENZI TAYLOR and CRIMSON WELLS each hit home runs for Plainview, which held a 12-9 advantage in hits.
Game 6: Pleasant Valley 7, Hale County 6
A two-run single by AVA BOOZER in the bottom of the seventh inning scored two runs to give Pleasant Valley (33-11) a 7-6 comeback win over Hale County (29-20) in the elimination bracket. Pleasant Valley took a 4-0 lead into the third inning when Hale County made its move. After a grand slam by MADALYNN LANGHAM tied the game, a two-run single by CHARLIE MAK LESTER gave the Wildcats a 6-4 lead. Pleasant Valley answered with a solo home run by BAILEY HARRIS in the bottom of the fifth to set up BOOZER’S walk-off hit.
Game 8: Pisgah 12, Geneva 2
Pisgah (45-10) scored in every inning, collecting 12 runs off 15 hits to advance to the third round of the Class 3A winner’s bracket. The Eagles plated single runs in the first three innings before scoring three in the fourth, five in the fifth and one in the sixth. KAYLEE VAUGHT and KENNEDY BARRON each went 3-for-4, while LILA WHEELER, MOLLY HEARD and JADEN BURGESS added two hits each. Winning pitcher BARRON added a triple.
Game 1: Gardendale 12, Baldwin County 6
Coach BARRY BRAKE’S Rockets (46-6-2) raced out to an 9-0 lead in the first three innings. SAVANNAH PENNINGTON was 4-for-4 and CARLEE MCCONDICHIE was 2-for-5 with a home run KAITLYN CLARK (31-3) got the pitching win. AVA WORTHY led Baldwin County (34-18), going 2-for-4 with a double.
Game 2: Brookwood 2, Hartselle 0
Brookwood’s KAMRYN MURDOCK pitched the complete-game shutout to get the win over the defending Class 6A state champion Tigers. The Panthers (36-11) scored a run in the bottom of the third on an RBI-single by BELLA FURGASON and in the fourth on an RBI-single by Felicity Frame. MACKENZIE JACKSON and LILLYANNA CARTEE each singled for the only hits for Hartselle (30-13).
Game 3: Buckhorn 7, Helena 3
Buckhorn (36-10) took a 7-0 lead into the top of the seventh. Helena (25-17) rallied for three runs but could get no closer. Seven different Buckhorn players had one hit each in the balanced attack. HANNAH CAREY had a solo home run while LAKELYN WILSON and NYAH BRACK each drove in two runs. KAYLEE HAWKINS struck out nine in 6 1/3 innings to get the pitching victory.
Game 4: Spanish Fort 4, Pell City 0
Spanish Fort ace AINSLEY LAMBERT struck out 17 in the two-hit shutout win. The Toros (27-17-1) scored single runs in the bottom of the first and second innings before adding two in the fifth. CAMERON COX was 3-for-4 with an RBI. LAMBERT was also 2-for-4 at the plate with and RBI.
Game 5: Hartselle 15, Baldwin County 4 (5 innings)
Hartselle (31-13) kept its hopes of repeating as Class 6A state champs alive with 10 runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to set up the mercy-rule victory in the elimination bracket win. Eight different players in the Tigers lineup combined for 14 hits. MACKENZIE JACKSON went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. KYLIE WINTON, EMILY COWART, CAROLINE HILL and LARISSA PREUITT added two hits each. JENNA LYNN SMITH struck out six batters and scattered five hits over five innings to get the pitching win.
Game 8: Buckhorn 3, Spanish Fort 0 Buckhorn’s ALIVIA WILKEN outdueled Spanish Fort’s AINSLEY LAMBERT as the Lady Bucks (37-10) advanced in the winner’s bracket. Both pitchers allowed five hits. Buckhorn, however, manufactured two runs in the bottom of the first inning and another in the sixth. MORGAN NOWAKOWSKI was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs batted in and two runs scored to lead Buckhorn. LAURA HARBIN also drove in a run for the Bucks. HANNA CARLTON was 2-for-3 to pace Spanish Fort (27-18-1).