Thursday roundup: White Plains freshman Arnold spins one-hit softball shutout with 12 strikeouts; grounds crew gets a save; Oxford spins a pair of run-rule baseball shutouts; soccer highlights included
|White Plains 7, Jacksonville 0||Oxford 14, Whitesburg 0|
|Springville 5, Oxford 0||Oxford 10, New Hope 0|
|Ragland 15, Faith Christian 0||Ragland 2-10, Faith Christian 1-9|
|Pleasant Valley 10, Glencoe 0||Munford 14, Lincoln 4|
|Piedmont 14, Weaver 7||Childersburg 7, Weaver 0|
|Randolph County 12, Wellborn 2||Alexandria 16, Sardis 5|
|Childersburg 3, Saks 1||Westbrook 9-14, Spring Garden 2-7|
|Moody 13, Lincoln 3||Ohatchee 9, Glencoe 2|
|Cleburne County 5, Munford 0||Hokes Bluff 7, Geraldine 6|
|Geraldine 2, Hokes Bluff 1||Piedmont 6, Handley 5|
|Spring Garden 2, Sand Rock 1|
By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
Leighton Arnold really wanted to pitch Thursday. Her White Plains softball team hadn’t played since last Friday because of the weather, she had an important area game on the schedule and the freshman pitcher wanted to play.
But less than 18 hours before first pitch things didn’t look good. The infield was covered with water and even if it could be cleared off in time there was no guarantee the playing surface would be dry and firm enough for a game.
Give an assist to the group of parents and players who worked tirelessly into the night and throughout the day to prep Rachel Ford Field for Arnold and the Lady Wildcats’ 7-0 shutout of Jacksonville. They should get a save if not a game ball for their effort.
“I knew that we needed a game and I prayed and prayed about it,” Arnold said. “It looked a little iffy, but we worked on it all day.”
The infield was flooded from first base to shortstop and from the pitching circle back to the outfield grass. They estimated pumping 300 gallons of water off the infield and using some 30 bags of diamond-dry to soak up the excess.
“Our field was a lake yesterday,” Ford said. “I told the girls they need to be super appreciative of the people who worked really hard to make sure we got this game in today, and it’s people who don’t want credit, they want to be behind the scenes. I’m just very appreciative of the work they put in. “
Arnold rewarded their effort with a big effort of her own, spinning a one-hitter with a career-tying 12 strikeouts.
She retired the first 11 batters she faced before giving up an opposite-field single to Jacksonville catcher Keelie Leech in the fourth inning. She then retired the last 10 in a row, improving to 10-1 in the circle with 79 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings.
She has given up only four earned runs in her last eight appearances (29 1/3 innings). She struck out 12 in a 4 2/3 inning relief appearance against Hokes Bluff.
She called it “definitely one of my better (games),” but thought there were things she could have done better.
“She has worked really hard since the end of last season,” Ford said. “She put in tons of hours of work to get where she is right now and her hard work di lei is paying off. She’s throwing very well and our defense is very confident with her on the mound.
“I felt like they play well behind her when the ball is put in play, but she’s put in a lot of work and we’re very proud of what she’s accomplished so far to be so young.”
The defense preserved her gem in the seventh. Second baseman Cooper Martin went to her backhand side and threw out Leech from her knees for the inning’s second out and right-fielder Hallie Williams covered a lot of ground in making a nice running catch for the final out of the game. The seventh was the only inning Arnold didn’t have a strikeout.
Her offense supported her with 10 hits. Adriana Sotelo, Callie Richardson, Callyn Martin and Cooper Martin had two hits apiece.
Cleburne County 5, Munford 0: Jayci Boozer pitched a complete-game one-hitter with nine strikeouts and homered among her two hits as the Lady Tigers won their area opener. Boozer lost her no-hit bid on a bloop single in the fifth. Carlee Hiett drove in a pair of runs for Cleburne County. Karley Boyd had three stolen bases.
Piedmont 14, Weaver 7: Cacey Brothers went 4-for-4 with four RBIs, Z’Hayla Walker broke a 6-6 tie in the fourth with a two-run homer and the Lady Bulldogs pulled away from a one-run game with a six-run sixth inning .
TiAna Lawrence gave Weaver aa 6-5 lead in the top of the fourth with a grand slam. Taylor Lawrence went 4-for-4.
Pleasant Valley 10, Glencoe 0: Lily Henry and Haylie Lee both homered and Henry pitched a four-hit shutout. Henry hit a leadoff homer in fourth to give the Lady Raiders a 2-0 lead and Lee hit a three-run shot in the fifth. In the circle, Henry retired the first 10 batters she faced.
Macey Roper had three hits for the Lady Raiders (11-5-1), who were 4-4 at one point in the season and are now now off until they enter pool play in the Gulf Coast Classic II against two teams from Alabama, one from Arkansas and one from Chicagoland.
Springville 5, Oxford 0: Makalyn Kyser hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Isabella Bullington made it stand by pitching a four-hit complete-game shutout. Sprawberry Matti hit a fifth-inning double for the Lady Jackets and was the only Oxford player to reach scoring position, getting as far as third.
Ragland 15, Faith Christian 0: The Lady Purple Devils batted around twice in the first inning and scored 13 runs and Jess Carlisle gave up one hit in three innings .. The first 11 Ragland hitters reached safely and scored.
Addie Campbell had two hits and two RBIs, Sammie Day-Jones had three RBIs and Beverly Alexander drove in two runs.
Randolph County 12, Wellborn 2: Talee Sims hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to walk it off for the Lady Tigers. Wellborn scored a run in the first on a passed ball, but Randolph County got a pair of RBI doubles from Brantlee Wortham and Laura Fendley and Sims’ steal of home in the bottom of the inning to take the lead.
Destiny Benefield and Autumn Parsons had two hits apiece for Wellborn.
Oxford pitched two shutouts and picked up two more run-rule victories in the Choccolocco Park Spring Break Experience.
Peyton Watts and Hayden Gallahar combined on a five-inning no-hitter, allowed only two bases runners and faced the minimum as the Yellow Jackets blanked Whitesburg Christian 14-0.
Then, Hayes Harrison and RJ Brooks combined on a five-inning two-hitter, allowed only four base runners and faced two batters over the minimum in a 10-0 shutout of New Hope. Two of the runners were erased on double plays.
The only runners Whitesburg managed came in the second inning off Watts on an error and a walk, but one was caught stealing and Watts picked off the other. Both Watts and Gallahar struck out four.
Watts hit a solo homer in the first inning to the Jackets’ offense started. RJ Brooks had a two-run double later in the inning and the Jackets led 3-0.
The Jackets delivered four straight run-scoring hits in the second to make it a 7-0 game. Chance Griner and Forrest Heacock had two-run singles in the fourth. Carter Johnson and Heacock both went 3-for-3.
Harrison went the first three against New Hope, giving up two hits and striking out four. Brooks worked the final two and struck out two. Carter Johnson hit a two-run homer in the first after Sam Robertson and Peyton Watts opened the game with back-to-back triples.
Ohatchee 9, Glencoe 2: The Indians scored five runs in the first inning and Bryce Noah made it stand by scattering six hits in a complete-game victory. Carson Tittle and Jesse Baswell both had three hits for Ohatchee. Noah and Devin Howell both drove in a pair of runs.
Piedmont 6, Handley 5: McClane Mohon’s RBI single in the sixth inning gave Piedmont a 6-4 lead and the Bulldogs fought off some late-inning adversity to win the last-minute pickup.
The Tigers got a run in the sixth and had the tying run in scoring position with one out in the seventh, but Austin Estes turned back the threat to save it for starter Jack Hayes.
Mohon went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs. Estes went 2-for-4. Hayes pitched the first six innings and gave up three hits and two earned runs.
Ragland 2-10, Faith Christian 1-9: The Purple Devils scored five runs in the final two innings of the nightcap, then turned back a Faith threat in the bottom of the eighth to complete the series sweep.
Faith led 7-5 after six innings but needed Brady Whitworth’s bases-loaded walk with two outs in the seventh to force extra innings. Ragland took a 10-8 lead with two in the top of the eighth.
The Lions staged a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning that just come up short. Vinson Montgomery’s RBI single made it 10-9 and the Lions had the tying and winning runs in scoring position, but couldn’t get them home.
Faith’s Colton Pahman and Ragland’s Owen Schall went the distance in an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel in the first game. Schall gave up two hits – retiring 17 of 18 batters between them – and an unearned run to get the win. Pahman gave up two runs in the first two innings and four hits
Munford 14, Lincoln 4: The Lions walked it off with an 11-run fifth inning. Tyler Stephens went 3-for-3 with four RBIs; he had two doubles in the big fifth inning. Mason Brewer pitched the first three innings and gave up only one hit; he also went 4-for-4 with two RBIs at the plate. Connor Morgan homered.
Childersburg 7, Weaver 0: The Tigers scored three in the first inning and then kept the Bearcats at bay.
Weaver threatened in the fourth, putting runners at second and third with none out, but Childersburg starter Lane Dennis got out of the jam without incident.
Donoho pulled off a shutout sweep of Saks while Faith Christian split with Weaver.
Eight different players scored for the Donoho girls in an 8-0 victory. The boys won 4-0.
Sarah Waggoner scored her first goal of the season and Morgan Perry recorded her first career assist in the game. Erin Turley scored the Lady Falcons’ final goal.
An early goal from Samuel Johnson got the boys going. Grant Steed scored twice and Drew Williamson had one.
The Falcons ‘defenders did a good job containing the Wildcats’ potent and speedy counterattack. Richard Goad made a big save on the six after misplayed goal kick late in the first half and combined with Ben Yingling to post the shutout.
It’s the second time this week the Falcons scored a shutout sweep, having blanked Faith Christian 5-0 (girls) and 4-0 (boys) Monday night.
Faith’s boys bounced back to beat Weaver 5-1 after its girls lost in the opener 2-0.
Nic Goodgame scored two goals for the Faith boys, while Levi Garrett, Dristin Wright and Daniel Blackstone had one apiece.