Hornets finish third in softball tourney

Chelsea High School junior Caitlin Bice helped the Hornets at the plate and in the circle in the Nike Gulf Coast Classic tournament March 14-17 in Gulf Shores. (File)

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

The Chelsea High School softball team finished third in the Nike Gulf Coast Classic tournament March 14-17 in Gulf Shores.

The Hornets, who finished 2-3 in pool play, strung together four wins in a row to reach the tournament semifinals before falling to Tuscaloosa County 7-2. Chelsea was one of only four teams remaining in the semifinals out of a field of 40 teams.

“I was proud of our team,” said Chelsea coach Russell McCartey. “We’ve been coming to this tournament for eight years and this is the best we’ve ever done. We hit the ball well. We played really well and beat some very good teams.”

Chelsea opened the tournament with a 7-6 win over Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa. Allie Luster led the Hornets at the plate as she finished 3-for-3 and scored two runs. Caitlin Bice earned the win in the circle after giving up three earned runs with a strikeout in five innings.

The Hornets fell to Montgomery-Catholic 6-0 in pool play. Alex Osborn led Chelsea at the plate as she went 2-for-3. Osborn took the loss in the circle after giving up five earned runs with a strikeout and a walk in six innings.

Chelsea defeated Madison Central (Miss.) 8-0 in pool play. Bice finished 2-for-3 at the plate and scored a run. Morgan Pence earned the win in the circle after striking out three batters in a five-inning shutout.

The Hornets dropped a pool game to Prattville 5-0. Chelsea didn’t record a hit in the loss. Bice took the loss in the circle after giving up three earned runs with seven strikeouts and a walk in four innings.

Chelsea wrapped up pool play with an 8-7 loss to Springville. Luster led the Hornets at the plate as she went 2-for-2 with a double. Luster drove in three runs and scored a run in the loss. Pence gave up five earned runs with two strikeouts and a walk in four innings.

The Hornets topped Gadsden City 8-0 in their first tournament game. Osborn led Chelsea at the plate as she went 1-for-1 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Osborn earned the win in the circle after pitching a four-inning no-hitter with five strikeouts and two walks.

Chelsea defeated Sumiton Christian 8-4 in tournament play. Joslyn Johnston led the Hornets at the plate as she went 2-for-3 and scored two runs. Pence gave up three earned runs with a strikeout and three walks in 3 1/3 innings. Bice recorded a save after striking out one batter in 2/3 of an inning.

The Hornets took down Goodpasture (Tenn.) 6-5 in extra innings in a tournament game. Amber McCartney blasted a two-run homer to tie the game at 5-5 and send it into extra innings.

Johnston led Chelsea at the plate as she finished 2-for-3 with a double and scored a run. Pence earned the win in the circle after giving up one earned run with four strikeouts and two walks in six innings.

Chelsea defeated Trinity in the quarterfinals. Bice led the Hornets at the plate as she went 2-for-3 and scored two runs. Pence walked two batters and didn’t allow an earned run in two innings. Osborn pitched four shutout innings with two strikeouts and three walks.

The Hornets’ tournament run ended with a 7-2 loss to Tuscaloosa County. Bice finished 2-for-3 at the plate and drove in a run. Pence struck out two batters in two innings. Osborn took the loss after giving up one earned run with three strikeouts and a walk in four innings.