Photo: The Sardis High School softball team gathers for a photo after finishing second at the Class 5A West Central Regional Tournament earlier his week in Tuscaloosa. Pictured, kneeling, from left: Pascalle Devreede, Lily Towns, Harlee Vincent, Sarah Beth Hallmark, Emily Cook, Hailey Hill, Jade Bonds, Lanese Edmondson, Jade Night. Standing, from left: assistant coach Matt Lofthus, head coach Richey Lee, Kytha Edwards, Valerie Owens, Jayda Lacks, Jaylyn Minshew, Adelyn Ellis, Linzey Hostutler, Annalee Dilbeck, Whitney Feemster, Mallory Wills, Kayden Tarvin, assistant coach Teri Owens. (Not pictured: assistant coach Amy Edwards)
For the first time since 2013, the Sardis High School softball team has the opportunity to compete for a state championship.
The Lady Lions finished runner-up at the Class 5A West Central Regionals in Tuscaloosa to qualify for the Class 5A state tournament this week at Montgomery’s Lagoon Park. Sardis faces John Carroll Catholic at 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 16.
The Lady Lions opened the regional tournament on May 10 with a 4-3 victory over Scottsboro and a 2-0 semifinal win over Hamilton. Rain postponed the championship game until last Monday (May 13), when Sardis lost to Ardmore, 4-0. The Lady Lions then posted a 13-0 shutout over Hamilton in six innings in the second-place game.
“It was difficult to play after [play] being suspended but it’s part of it and we just didn’t make any adjustments for [the Ardmore] game,” said Sardis head coach Richey Lee. “We definitely responded in the qualifying game against Hamilton. It’s really been since the county tournament where we just were putting up some runs offensively. We finally broke through [against Hamilton], and it obviously helped the moment to stay on our side. Hamilton had two really good games to get to [the second-place] game, and was very proud of my girls and how they responded from the Ardmore game.”
Against Hamilton, Sardis winning pitcher Sarah Beth Hallmark went the distance while scattering six hits and three walks. She had two strikeouts.
At the plate for the Lady Lions, Mallory Willis had a hit and five RBI; Hailey Hill went 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored; Whitney Feemster went 3-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored; Jaylyn Minshew went 2-for-2 with two runs scored; Analee Dilbeck went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored; Harlee Vincent went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored; Kytha Edwards and Lily Towns each had a hit and an RBI; and Jade Bonds had a hit and a run scored.
“This has been a great year for us, and it’s what we put all the hard work in for,” said Lee. “After winning the county and area tournaments, it’s a great feeling and a great accomplishment in itself to be able to go to state, especially with this team. We played a lot of good teams on our schedule to prepare us for regionals and state. Hopefully we can go down to Montgomery and compete with these other great teams from across the state.”