Photo: Sardis High’s Anna Beth Hallmark looks toward the plate during the Lady Lions’ 11-1 victory over Hokes Bluff in the Etowah County Schools Tournament championship game last Saturday (Apr. 6) in Sardis City. (Mike Goodson/Messenger)
By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
The Sardis High softball team outscored the opposition 25 to 2 on the way to its first Etowah County Schools Tournament championship since 2013 with an 11-1 five-inning victory over Hokes Bluff last Saturday (Apr. 6) in Sardis City.
As the tournament’s No. 5 seed, the Lady Lions (9-8), defeated Glencoe, 5-0, followed by a 9-1 victory over top-seeded Southside.
“All three teams were great opponents,” said Sardis head coach Richey Lee. “The girls played really well all the way around today and the effort was just great. Our pitchers threw great and the defense made some really good plays of tracking some balls down in the outfield and trying to lay out for balls. The infield overall played great as well, with some more great plays and attempts in the holes. Offensively, we swung it well all day long and were able to have success executing in all three games with bunting, drawing walks and driving runners in.”
The Lady Lions had 15 hits in the title game against the Lady Eagles, Sardis scored one run in the first inning and five more in the second. The Lady Lions tacked on a pair of runs in both the third and fourth innings and another in the fifth.
Tournament MVP Sarah Beth Hallmark earned the win for Sardis. She allowed two hits in three innings with two strikeouts. She helped her cause by going 2-for-3 with four RBI.
Also at the plate for the Lady Lions, Jade Bonds went 4-for-4 with a triple and three RBI; Jaylyn Minshew went 2-for-3 with a double; and Lily Towns went 2-for-2. Annalee Dilbeck pitched the final two innings in relief.
Madison Wolfe, Bailee Latronico, Taylor Horne and MacKenzie Coffelt each had a hit for Hokes Bluff (9-9-1).
In the quarterfinals against Glencoe, Hallmark and Kayden Tarvin combined for the shutout. Hallmark earned the win in five innings with four strikeouts, while Tarvin worked the final two innings in relief. Minshew went 3-for-3 with a double, while Towns went 2-for-2. Bonds contributed a double, while Harlee Vincent had a single.
Against Southside in the semifinals, Tarvin struck out five in six innings to earn the win. Hailey Hill went 3-for-4 with a double, Mallory Wills went 2-for-3 with a double and Adelyn Ellis and Emily Cook both went 2-for-4. Dilbeck had a double, while Vincent, Towns and Bonds each had a base hit.
Joining Hallmark on the all-tournament team were Jade Bond, Emily Cook and Kayden Tarvin from Sardis; Bailee Latronico, MacKenzie Coffelt and Madison Ingram from Hokes Bluff; Kaylee Brown and Lexi Rennhack from Southside; Jayleigh Kirby and Payton Canady from West End; Hylan Higdon from Glencoe; and Emily Browning from Gaston.
“I think it was a successful tournament, and all the help was greatly appreciated,” said Lee. “I would like to thank everyone that a hand in helping us prepare, from the administration and teachers that helped, Sergeant Yarbrough from the National Guard for providing the hospitality room and Chick-fil-A for the food, and businesses from Etowah and Marshall counties for their donations of drinks and money toward helping both of the county tournaments. I’d also like to thank the players’ parents for working the concession stand and hospitality room.
“I’m extremely proud of the girls and their effort they gave today,” he added. “All the players stepped up and contributed some way or another. We’re looking to take this momentum into area play that’s coming back up.”