Wildcats softball rolls past West Blocton

By TREY HICKMAN/For the Reporter

WEST BLOCTON — Clutch Shelby County hitting and a stout pitching performance by Kaitlyn Paschall characterized the visiting Wildcats’ 4-2 extra-inning comeback win over Class 4A No. 7-ranked West Blocton in varsity softball April 17.

With West Blocton up 2-1 after six innings, Shelby County’s Kayle Cardwell singled to lead off the top of the seventh. Two outs later and with Cardwell standing on second following a sacrifice bunt by Jordan McKoy, Paschall helped her cause with an RBI double that drove in Cardwell to knot the score at two.

Paschall kept the Tigers scoreless in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings. In the top of the eighth, Cat Nash singled with one out, immediately followed by a double from Karlee Cardwell. Two batters later Kayle Cardwell came through again, this time via a two-out, two-RBI double that plated Nash and Karlee Cardwell to put Shelby County on top 4-2.

Paschall then made quick work of the West Blocton bats, recording a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth to cement the Wildcats’ win.

Jessica Carden put the Wildcats on the board first by driving in Paschall with a single in the opening inning. However, Kaci Champion and Crislyn Graham knocked in a Tiger apiece in West Blocton’s turn at the plate, and the home team carried a 2-1 advantage into the second.

That’s when the contest turned into a pitchers’ duel as Paschall and West Blocton’s Sarah Lippeatt each tossed a shutout over the next five innings. During that span Paschall no-hit the Tiger bats while Lippeatt allowed only a pair of hits, and the seventh kicked off with West Blocton still holding the one-run edge.

Shelby County’s sticks then came up big while Paschall iced her complete-game victory.

“They (the Tigers) are a very good (Class) 4A school,” head coach Ashley Phillips said. “I like playing them because it’s always a good game. Their girls play hard. The pitcher (for them) pitched a good game. We just got a couple of hits when we needed it and that’s how we took the lead.”

Paschall surrendered two runs (both earned) and yielded four hits while walking none.

Kayle Cardwell led the Wildcat bats, going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Paschall finished 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and an RBI. Jessica Carden drove in a run while Karlee Cardwell collected a double as part of her 2-for-4 performance.

Karlee Cardwell, Kayle Cardwell, Nash and Paschall each scored a run in the win.