MONTGOMERY – The Cherokee County Lady Warriors got some revenge against Class 4A, Area 9 rival White Plains on Saturday at the East Central Regional in Montgomery, but their softball season ended a game later against Etowah.
Behind freshman Raechel Russell’s three-run homer in the top of the fourth inning – her first of the season – the Lady Warriors were able to hold off a late Lady Wildcat rally for a 6-5 victory.
But the momentum the Lady Warriors seemingly had built against White Plains quickly disappeared against Etowah. The Lady Blue Devils scored three runs in the bottom of the first and two more in the fourth to take a 5-1 victory.
The culprit in the Lady Warriors’ season-ending loss to Etowah was the runners they left on base. They left two on in the second, the bases loaded with one out in the third, a runner in the fourth, two more in the fifth, and a pair in the top of the seventh with one out.
Cherokee County’s season ends at 22-18.
“We left 10 runners on that game,” head coach Brad Weaver said. “We fell down 3-0 in the first. We always have that one bad inning. You look back at our past seven or eight losses, it’s been one bad inning. We stressed that coming into these regionals. Against good teams like Etowah, like Cleburne County, like White Plains, all these teams we play, one bad inning will hurt you. It happened early in this game.”
In the win over White Plains, the Lady Wildcats held a 1-0 lead through three innings after a solo home run by Kaylee Johnson.
The Lady Warriors batted around in the top of the fourth and scored six runs. Cherokee County loaded the bases with one out and Grayson Tucker at the plate.
Tucker sent a shot to left field that was misplayed, allowing two runs to score. Russell sent her 3-run shot to left over the fence with two outs to give the Lady Warriors a 6-1 advantage.
“Raechel was due and it come at a great time. All the momentum was with us,” Weaver said.
But White Plains made Cherokee County sweat things out in the bottom of the seventh. The Lady Wildcats rallied for four runs on a RBI-double to left center from leadoff batter Adriana Sotelo, a two-run single to center from Callie Richardson, and a run-scoring infield single by Courtnee Masson.
The Lady Wildcats had the bases loaded with two outs, but Lady Warrior relief pitcher Alana Loyd struck out Reece Roberts looking to end the game.
Loyd came in the game for starter Abby Lea in the seventh with no outs and two runners on.
“I’ve got to give credit to White Plains for battling back. That was our (bad) inning again,” Weaver said. “We gave up a little bit, but luckily we were ahead enough it didn’t hurt us as bad.”
The Lady Warriors’ bad inning came in the top of the first against Etowah. But unlike the White Plains game, the Lady Warriors couldn’t string together many hits against Lady Blue Devil pitcher Sydney Simpson. She scattered five hits and with 10 strikeouts.
Simpson surrendered the Lady Warriors’ lone run in the top of the fifth. Loyd doubled to right field to score pinch runner Audrey Haygood. Haygood came in to run for Lanie Williams, who reached on an error at third with two outs.
“I was hoping a three-run inning (in the first), we could come back from that, but I think we left it all out on the field with White Plains,” Weaver said. “We went with emotions and we had a heck of a game against White Plains, but I felt like we never showed up in the Etowah game.”
“In these tournaments, you’re going to face good teams and you’ve got to overcome that and get ready for the next good team. We come in today looking to win three. That was our goal, to win three. It felt good to beat White Plains again after the area tournament. It’s always good to beat a rival and come back to win, but Etowah has a good pitcher and we just couldn’t string hits together.”
In her final game for Cherokee County, Loyd went 2-for-4. She also suffered the complete-game loss, finishing with seven strikeouts.
The Lady Warriors also lose seniors Karlee Perry and McKinley Rouss.
“These three seniors are going to be missed tremendously. They’re three great players and they contributed tremendously to this team,” an emotional Weaver said.
But Weaver did say the Lady Warriors’ future remains bright.
“We started five freshmen most of the year, sometimes six,” he said. “There’s only team in 4A who doesn’t have this feeling, so maybe next year we can go further and maybe not have this feeling.”
CLASS 3A EAST CENTRAL REGIONAL
Piedmont earns second qualifier, headed to state tournament
MONTGOMERY – The Piedmont Lady Bulldogs overcame a tough 1-0 loss to Beulah on Saturday morning in the Class 3A East Central Regional championship game by defeating Area 11 rival Pleasant Valley 4-3 in the second qualifier game.
The Lady Bulldogs will take on Mobile Christian in the state tournament at Oxford’s Choccolocco Park on Friday at 10:45 a.m.
- Today’s Info
- Listen Live
- About Us