Chargers win fifth consecutive title

Published 10:20 pm Saturday, May 7, 2011

Members of the Cornerstone Christian School softball team hold up five fingers May 7 to mark the Chargers' fifth consecutive Alabama Independent Schools Association Class 1A championship. Team members include (Back, L-R) head coach Mark Armstrong, Hollie Odgers, Jana Kelbie Armstrong, Kailey Goodwin, Destiny Dillard, Lyric Peete, Karah Goodwin and assistant coach Joey Miller; (Front, L-R) Hope Finley, Lorin Rodgers, Ashley Carden, Allie Toney, Addie Smith, and Laura Beth Franklin. (Contributed)

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

The Cornerstone Christian School softball team had its share of doubters when the 2011 season began.

The Chargers, coming off a run of four consecutive Alabama Independent Schools Association Class 1A championships, had lost their ace Chelsey Dunnaway to graduation.

Without her arm, opponents figured, Cornerstone Christian’s run of state titles would come to an end.

Guess again.

The Chargers (22-11) captured an AISA record fifth consecutive Class 1A title following a 4-1 win over Ashford Academy in the championship game May 7.

“The girls really wanted it,” said Cornerstone Christian coach Mark Armstrong. “They dug deep down and gave it all they had. I’m extremely proud of them.”

The fifth championship didn’t come as easy as the first four.

Cornerstone Christian fell into the elimination bracket following a loss to Ashford Academy earlier in the day. The Chargers responded with a 14-0 win over Chambers Academy to reach the championship game.

Jana Kelbie Armstrong led the Chargers in the title game with a game-clinching three-run homer.

Armstrong and teammate Destiny Dillard helped Cornerstone Christian take care of business in the circle in the state tournament. Armstrong, Dillard, Kailey Goodwin and Allie Toney were named to the AISA Class 1A all-tournament team.

Following a school-record fifth championship, Armstrong quickly turned his attention toward next season.

“(The championship) is huge,” Armstrong said. “We had a young team.”