Spain Park clinches region bid, awaits area title game

By Chris Megginson | Special to the Reporter

HOOVER – Temperatures cooled to a record low in Central Alabama on May 5, but Spain Park’s bats remained hot. The Jaguars pounded out a 14-2 win over Oak Mountain to clinch an automatic berth to next week’s North Central Regional and advance to the Class 7A, Area 6 Softball Tournament championship.

Spain Park (42-7) will host either Oak Mountain or Mountain Brook in the area final at 1 p.m. May 6, with an “if necessary” game to follow. Oak Mountain will meet Mountain Brook at 11 a.m. in an elimination game. The Spartans defeated Huffman 19-6 in five innings Friday afternoon.

The Jaguars followed their 14-hit, 17-1 win over Huffman on May 3 with 16 hits Friday.

After two scoreless innings, Maddie Majors delivered a one-out single to spark a seven-run third inning for Spain Park. After Julianna Cross flew out to right, Mary Katherine Tedder also singled. Jenna Olszewski cleared the bases with a three-run homer. The flood gates were open, as Caroline Parker doubled, Bailey Bowers singled to set up a two-RBI double by Mary Kate Teague and a 5-0 lead. The Jaguars added two more runs in the inning on an error that scored Teague’s courtesy runner, Caroline Kendrick, and a RBI single by Taylor Harrington.

After stranding two Oak Mountain runners in the bottom of the third, Spain Park added four more runs in the fourth. Cross doubled with one out and scored on a two-run homer by Tedder. After Olzewski was hit by a pitch and Bowers drew a two-out walk, Teague delivered another two-run double to make it 11-0.

Oak Mountain’s first run came in the bottom of the fourth on a RBI double by Riley Sullivan to score Abbi Brown.

Spain Park tacked on three more runs in the top of the fifth after a Cross walk, Tedder single and Olszewski hit by pitch loaded the bases. Parker singled in a pair of runs, followed by an RBI single by Bowers.

The Eagles plated one more run in the bottom of the fifth after Jenna Galloway reached base with a one-out single and scored on an error two batters later. Galloway led Oak Mountain with two hits in the game.

Annabelle Widra pitched the complete-game win for Spain Park, allowing one earned run off five hits and two walks in five innings. She struck out six. Clara Fuller had the loss for Oak Mountain, allowing 12 earned runs off 16 hits, two walks and she hit two in five innings of work.

So far in the tournament, Cross, Bowers and Majors are leading Spain Park with four hits each. Parker has six RBI in two games, Teague has four, Olszewski and Cross each have driven in three.