PLAYOFF UPDATE: Shelby County High softball takes Area 8

Shelby County pitcher Kaitlyn Paschall swings at what became a lead-off home run in the AHSAA Class 5A Area 8 tournament May 2. (Contributed/Stephen Dawkins)

Shelby County pitcher Kaitlyn Paschall swings at what became a lead-off home run in the AHSAA Class 5A Area 8 tournament May 2. (Contributed/Stephen Dawkins)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor

Shelby County High School’s softball team is on a roll, going undefeated in the AHSAA Class 5A, Area 8 tournament to capture the area title.

The Wildcats opened with a 3-0 win over Sylacauga. Kaitlyn Paschall set the tone early in the game, blasting a lead-off homer to take a 1-0 lead. Paschall also took control pitching, tossing a one-hitter with six strikeouts. Karlee Cardwell posted an RBI in the win, as did Megan Garst.

In round two, the Wildcats took on the tournament host Chilton County Tigers. The Wildcats again relied on Pascall pitching to bring home the 8-5 win. Paschall went all seven innings, surrendering seven hits and recording nine strikeouts. She also went 3-for-4 at the plate, as did Jessica Carden. Carden posted two RBIs in her effort, and the Wildcats moved to the finals to take on Sylacauga once more.

A come-from-behind effort was needed in game three, as the Wildcats found themselves down 5-0 in the fifth inning. Shelby County tied the Aggies in the sixth inning, taking a 5-3 lead in the seventh to seal the win and the area title.

It was Paschall again pitching for Shelby County, giving up just three hits and posting seven strikeouts. Paschall was also walked four times at the plate.

Cardwell went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Harley Chapin also went 2-for 4.

The Wildcats now move on to Troy for the regional tournament, and will open up by playing Ben Russell May 9 at 8 a.m.