Chelsea eliminated from state softball tournament

Chelsea High School softball coach Russell McCartey and his Hornets entered the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A state tournament May 13 at Lagoon Park in Montgomery with dreams of a state championship.

The Hornets came up short of a first title, but McCartey was pleased with a return trip to softball’s Elite Eight. McCartey said Chelsea has cemented its status as one of the best teams in the state with a second trip to the state tournament in the past three seasons.

“Anytime you make the Elite Eight, it’s a big accomplishment,” McCartey said. “The girls really worked hard all year to achieve that. Our program is definitely one of the top eight programs in the state.”

Carley Toretta, Allie Luster, Johnna Marie Barnes, Tori Hollis and Caitlin Bice led the Hornets (34-16-1) with one hit each in a 3-0 loss to Eufaula in an elimination game.

Hollis took the loss after giving up two earned runs on eight hits in six innings.

Eufaula scored one run in the bottom of the fifth inning and two runs in the sixth to seal the win.

McCartey credited Chelsea’s senior class for taking the program to a new level.

“I can’t say enough about them,” McCartey said. “They have a lot to do with our program being where it is. I think they’ve set a precedent and have been an example for our younger girls. They’ve been really good leaders.”

Chelsea dropped its opening game to Athens, 11-3.

Athens jumped out to an early 9-0 lead after scoring one run in the bottom of the first inning, two runs in the second and six runs in the third. The Hornets responded with one run in the top of the fourth inning and two runs in the fifth. Athens scored its final two runs in the sixth inning.

Barnes led Chelsea at the plate as she went 2-for-3 and scored a run.

Morgan Pence also finished 2-for-3 at the plate. Toretta and Alex Osborn went 1-for-3 each.

Bice and Hollis each finished 1-for-4. Bice and Hollis also scored one run each.

Barnes reached base with a single and scored following back-to-back singles by Pence and Osborn in the fourth inning.

Bice and Hollis each singled and scored a run in the fifth inning.

The Hornets gave up 11 runs on 10 hits with eight walks and three strikeouts. Bice (16-7) took the loss in the circle.