Shelby County falls short at state

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It just wasn&8217;t their year.

The Shelby County Lady Wildcats advanced to the Alabama High School Athletic Association state tournament in Montgomery for the first time ever on Friday. However after a hand full of errors and two games, the 22-10 season was over.

&8220;I wanted to win one or two, but that&8217;s the way it goes,&8221; said head coach Ashley Phillips, who only has four seniors on his Shelby County team. &8220;Maybe this will make the girls hungry that are coming back next year.&8221;

After shutting out McAdory 2-0 and 10-0 on May 12, the young Lady Wildcats drew Mortimer-Jordan, last year&8217;s Class 5A runner-up, for Friday&8217;s first-round game.

Jordan rode the arm of pitcher Michelle Cheatwood on their way to a 10-1 victory, allowing just one run off a Jessica Pennington RBI-double in the sixth inning.

&8220;We didn’t compete offensively like we should have,&8221; Phillips said. &8220;Down there everybody can play. If you have a bad game, it can kill you.&8221;

Luck did not improve in the second game as the loss dropped the Lady Wildcats into the losers&8217; bracket to face St. Paul&8217;s Episcopal out of Mobile.

Eighth-ranekd St. Paul&8217;s scored off Brooklyn Phillips in similar fashion as seventh-ranked Mortimer-Jordan scored off Kassadie Jones in game one with an array of hits and Wildcat errors on its way to a 12-1 win.

&8220;I didn’t think we played that bad in the second game, but in the first inning, we made some errors, and it snowballed from there. We’re usually pretty sound defensively. We usually don’t score 10 runs a game, so if we have a bad game defensively we look bad,&8221; Phillips said.

St. Paul&8217;s took advantage of the early errors to take a 4-0 lead after the first inning and continued to roll.

Jones collected an RBI with a bloop single over second base in the third inning to drive in Meagan Billingsley for the Lady Wildcats&8217; only run.