Bulldogs come up short in area battle

Montevallo's Destiny Upton delivers a pitch in an April 10 matchup with Leeds. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

Montevallo’s Destiny Upton delivers a pitch in an April 10 matchup with Leeds. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer

MONTEVALLO—The April 10 matchup between the top-two teams in AHSAA Class 3A, Area 6 had all the makings for an epic battle: timely hitting, great defense and strong pitching. Unfortunately for the host Bulldogs, the Green Wave took home the 5-4 win.

Montevallo ace Destiny Upton took to the mound for the contest, and proceeded to keep the Green Wave scoreless in the top of the first. Upton then helped her own cause when she blasted a two-run home run off the left field scoreboard in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead.

The Green Wave answered back in the top of the second by taking a 3-2 lead. With the bases loaded, Upton managed to tightrope out of danger by striking out the last two batters in the second.

The Bulldogs had runners in scoring position in the bottom of the second after Meredith Goggins and McKenzie Hamby reached via singles. The two advanced to third and second,  but were unable to cross the plate.

Leeds tacked on two runs in the top of the third to go up, 5-2. In the bottom half, Montevallo answered when Erin Draper and Jessie Harbuck (running for Megan Dockery) both scored to bring the score to 4-2. Katelynn Hamrick reached base on a fielder’s choice, making it all the way to third after an Emri Hannah single.

The Bulldogs left the duo stranded, however, trailing by one after the third.

Both squads’ defenses then took center stage, as neither team managed a run through the remaining four innings. Harbuck and Goggins both made it to third in the fifth and sixth inning, respectively, but each time the Bulldogs could not bring them across the plate.

With one last chance to tie the game, Montevallo went down in order in the bottom of the seventh to fall, 5-4.

The loss was the first in area for the Bulldogs, moving them into a tie with Leeds. Both squads have one area contest left, with Leeds having only Tarrant to face April 21. Montevallo has to face Indian Springs on April 14.

Should both teams win, Leeds would capture the area due to the head-to-head season record of the two teams.