Kingwood, CCS advance at state

Published 9:30 pm Friday, May 1, 2009

Kingwood Christian and Cornerstone Christian both went to extra innings Friday to advance to Saturday’s final day of the AISA state softball tournament at Montgomery’s Lagoon Park.

Kingwood dropped its first game of the day in the Class 3A tournament to Lee-Scott, 2-1, but bounced back to down the top two teams from the West, No. 1 Tuscaloosa Academy, 4-2, and No 2 Clarke Prep, 5-2.

“They just don’t know how to quit. They just keep coming and keep coming. A team has to beat them to win. I ain’t never seen anything like it,” Kingwood head coach Jeff Gillespie said.

The Lions (16-5) rallied from a 2-0 deficit to Clarke Prep in the losers’ bracket to force extra innings. With Whitney Gillespie starting the eighth inning on second base because of the international tiebreaker, Kaylyn Ingram drove her in to give the Lions the lead. Kaylee Morris followed in the inning with a two-run hit to give the Lions a cushion, before Gillespie closed out the game in the circle for the win.

Gillespie was 1-1 on the day, while Ingram collected the win against TA.

In Class 1A, two-time defending champion Cornerstone also had to rally to force a tie Friday, beating Abbeville, 2-1, in the second round of the winners’ bracket. Brittney Calma scored in the sixth inning on a bad throw to tie the game for the Chargers, while her sister Brooke started the eighth inning on second base and scored on a two-out hit by Nichole Davis.

Cornerstone (33-2) beat Jackson Academy 18-0 to start the day.

Both teams will play at 10 a.m. Saturday, as Cornerstone will meet Ashford Academy in the winners’ bracket and Kingwood will play either Macon-East or Hooper in the losers’ bracket. Championship games are at 2 p.m.

Ashford is the only 1A team to beat CCS this season.

“We’ve just got to hit the ball,” CCS head coach Mark Armstrong said. “We average eight runs a game, and they’re the only ones we put up a goose egg against.”