Pelham wins pitchers duel: Panthers claim area title

Kelsey Dennis

and the No. 9 Pelham Lady Panthers didn&8217;t let the fact that No. 4 Hueytown had only lost two games all year bother them. Nor did it matter that the Golden Gophers&8217; last loss was on March 10.

Dennis, who lived in Hueytown until the seventh grade, struck out 14 and drove in a pair of insurance runs in a 5-2 win to clinch the regular season title for Class 6A, Area 10 Thursday.

&8220;It was definitely a big win for me. It was good to be able to get into a pitching battle,&8221; Dennis said. &8220;We&8217;ve been working towards this game for Area all year and this is what we are here for.&8221;

Dennis allowed just one hit through four innings before giving up a single to start the fifth, followed by a two-run home run by Joanna Jones to tie the game. She responded by striking out the next two batters before getting a fly ball to end the inning.

Christin Crocker collected two RBIs, including one in the third inning to help Pelham build a 2-0 lead, and the game-winning run in the fifth with a sacrifice fly to centerfield.

Trish Zettler was 2-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt to lead Pelham in hits. Brittany Odom and Jones each had two hits for Hueytown (31-3).

Dennis allowed two earned runs off five hits over seven innings, while Hueytown&8217;s Lindsay Dunlap had four earned runs off four hits. She struck out nine.

Crocker scored the game-winning run last Tuesday off a Sarah Casey single to lift Pelham to a 5-2 win over Thompson. Lindsay Price added two RBIs.

The Lady Panthers (26-7) defeated Minor 12-0 on Monday and hosts the Panther Classic this weekend. They travel to the Gulf Shores Tournament over spring break next week