Lady Wildcats advance to next round

By DREW GRANTHUM / Sports writer

MONTGOMERY —For the Shelby County Lady Wildcats, the AHSAA Class 5A State Championships have been spent at two different ends of the spectrum. In their first game, they were beaten by Hayden High, 10-0, in a game filled with missed opportunities and errors.

The second saw them on the giving end of a blowout, handing Southside-Gadsden a 11-1 loss, as well as a trip home.

Head Coach Ashley Phillips said he felt the first game was a case of mistakes piling up on each other.

“When you make a couple of errors and don’t swing the bat well, it can get out of hand,” he said.

As tough as the first game may have been, the Lady Wildcats came out swinging against the Panthers, opening up the bottom of the first with a two-run Kaitlyn Paschall home run to take a 2-0 lead.

Southside managed to make the score 2-1 in the top of the fourth, but that would be as close as the Panthers would get.

The scoring really opened up in the bottom of the inning, as SCHS had a monster fourth. Taryn Green and Sara Nash both scored on a Karlee Cardwell double, to make it 4-0, as Lauren Reynolds and Cardwell followed in crossing the plate, extending the Wildcat lead to six.

They repeated the success in the fifth as well, as Jessica Carden and Ashlyn Blackerby scored on a Brianna Buie double. Later, Buie and Cardwell both scored on a Brittany Landsford single, making the score 10-0 in favor of the Lady Wildcats.

The game came to an end when Southside walked the bases loaded to bring in Cardwell for the tenth-run mercy rule to take effect, ending the game at 11-1.

Phillips said he believed the earlier loss, while tough, helped give his team incentive headed forward.

“I think they’ll play well,” he said. “(It’s) desperation time, and I think they realize it. You play a lot differently with your back against the wall