By Chris McCarthy/Editor
It’s one game down, three more to go for Southside High at the Class 6A state softball tournament in Montgomery.
After a loss to Chelsea on Thursday (May 19) dropped the Lady Panthers to the playback bracket, the team responded with an 8-4 victory over Saraland earlier today (May 20). Southside still must win two more games to reach the title contest later today. SHS plays Cullman at approximately 12 p.m.
With the game tied 4-4 against Saraland, the Lady Panthers scored four runs in the top of the eighth. Southside starter Savanna Yancey sent the Lady Spartans down in order in the bottom of the inning to secure the win.
The Lady Panthers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Emilee Coker scored on an RBI fielder’s choice by Mollie Free. Saraland went ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the second in the next inning Morgan Hollaway’s double plated Caroline Pope and Hunter Ashcraft for a 3-2 lead.
After the Lady Spartans tied the score in the fifth, Southside went up 4-4 when Brittany Kidd scored on an error. But Saraland again forced a tie in the bottom of the inning.
Neither team scored in the seventh, forcing the game into extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, Kidd scored on Olivia Burnell’s double. With two outs, Burnell scored on an error, Pope singled in Hunt and Pope came home on an Ashcraft base hit.
In eight innings, Yancey struck out three while allowing seven hits and two walks.
Ashcraft had two hits, an RBI and a run scored; Pope had a hit, an RBI and two runs scored; Hollaway had a hit and two RBI; Kidd had a hit and two runs scored; Burrel had a hit, an RBI and a run scored; Free had a hit and an RBI; Coker had a hit and a run scored; and Mallary Smith had a hit.
Southside High started off the tournament on Thursday (May 19) with a 1-1 split.
The Lady Panthers opened with a 7-2 win over Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa before losing to Chelsea, 6-3. That loss dropped Southside to the playback bracket.
Trailing 2-0 Against Hillcrest after the first inning, Southside tied the scored in the top of third when a sacrifice bunt by Hunt put runners on first and third. Free then doubled home Destinie Simpson (running for Yancey) and Coker.
In the fourth, Hollaway doubled and then scored on an error to make it a 3-1 advantage.
Hollaway’s two-run home run highlighted a four-run six inning, during which Coker bunted home Kidd. Coker later scored on an error.
In a complete-game effort, Yancey limited Hillcrest to four hits and two walks while striking out six. At the plate, Coker went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored; Hollaway went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored; Free went 2-for-4 with a run scored; and Kidd and Smith each had a hit and a run scored.
In the later game, Southside trailed 2-1 after one inning, then fell behind 4-1 after five. The Lady Panthers drew within 4-2 in the sixth but scored only once more in the bottom of the seventh.
Yancey took the loss in five innings, allowing six hits, four earned runs and two walks.
Coker went 2-for-3 with two runs scored; Yancey and Hunt each had two hits; Hollaway, Kidd and Becca Feazell each had a hit; and Ashcraft had an RBI and a run scored.