Lady Dogs win three straight

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Special to the Reporter

Coming off a semifinal loss to Oak Mountain in the county tournament, the Montevallo Lady Bulldogs softball squad bounced back with three big wins last week, improving to 18-4 on the season. MHS took road decisions over Holt and Vincent, then returned home for a thrilling 1-0 victory over Shelby County.

Montevallo 10,

Holt 4

The Lady Bulldogs jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the opening two innings, only to see Holt cut the lead to 5-4 in the bottom of the third. Montevallo answered right back, however, scoring two in the fourth and three in the fifth to put the game away.

Katie Jones was steady on the mound, scattering three hits and striking out five, as only one of Holt’s four runs were earned. Melissa Staffney led the offense with three hits in four trips to the plate, while six other MHS players had two hits apiece. Jones, Haley Dennis and Rebbie Taylor all doubled for the Lady ‘Dogs, who pounded out seventeen hits in the game.

Montevallo 13,

Vincent 2

The Lady Yellowjackets gave MHS all it wanted for the first couple of innings, as the game went to the third frame a scoreless tie. The Lady Bulldog bats finally awoke, however, and MHS cruised to the victory. Staffney once again led the charge with a single, a triple and a home run, while Dennis and Corbin Walker added two hits each.

Lauren Stephens gave up just three hits in her first career start on the mound, striking out three and surrendering just two unearned runs.

Montevallo 1, Shelby County 0

In the latest of what has become a series of close games between the cross-county rivals, the Lady Bulldogs escaped with another victory in a battle between two outstanding pitchers.

Montevallo’s Katie Jones (17-4) and Shelby County’s Kassady Jones locked up in a pitchers’ duel for six innings before Haley Dennis ripped a two-out double to score Lauren Stephens with the winning run. Stephens had led off the inning with a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and then took third on a ground ball back to the pitcher.

Jones made three outstanding defensive plays for the Lady Bulldogs in the top of the seventh to retire the Lady Wildcats in order. Dennis bounced from behind the plate on a bunt to retire the leadoff hitter in the inning, then center fielder Twillie Cottingham hauled in a fly ball in the gap for the second out. Senior first baseman Ashley Lightfoot then made a great play on a short popup in foul territory to end the game.

Both teams wasted scoring opportunities early to set up the exciting finish.

Shelby County had runners on first and third with no outs in the opening inning, but failed to push across a run. The Lady Bulldogs, on the other hand, had the leadoff batter on base in the first and second innings, but could not get a runner as far as third base until the sixth.

Montevallo’s Jones surrendered just two hits, walked one and struck out eight, while her SCHS counterpart gave up two hits, walked two and struck out five.

The Lady Bulldogs are looking for revenge this week, as they host Bibb County and Thorsby, teams which are responsible for two of Montevallo’s four losses this season. Bibb County visits Orr Park at 4:30 today, with the Thorsby game slated for the same time on Thursday