Helena softball scores late, picks up third win over Hoover

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HOOVER–For the third time this season, the Helena Huskies softball team defeated the Hoover Buccaneers as a late inning rally was needed on Wednesday, March 21, to pull off the 9-3 win.

In the three wins, Helena outscored the Bucs 34-9 but on March 21, the Huskies scored the majority of their runs in the final two innings.

Helena would take an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning on back-to-back RBI singles by Megan Kallaher and Jamie Gregg but the bats would go quiet in the middle innings.

One area Helena struggled with was errors defensively, as the Huskies had five errors in the game and Hoover took advantage of a few in the bottom of the fifth inning.

After an error and a single, Hoover had runners on first and second with one out. Caroline Nichols was the next batter and hit a hard ground ball that got through after an error by Helena shortstop Grace Robertson that scored Mallory Mus to cut Helena’s lead to 2-1. Harper Niblett then hit a two-RBI single to give the Bucs a 3-2 lead.

Trailing 3-2, Helena found some offense in the top of the sixth inning. Tori White got the inning going with a leadoff single followed by an RBI triple by Peyton Wilkins to tie the game 3-3. Megan Fortson then grounded out to score Wilkins to give the Huskies the 4-3 lead.

Heading to the final inning with just a one run lead, Helena was searching for some insurance runs and found some. An RBI single by Robertson stretched the lead to 5-3 followed by another RBI single by KK Wilson to score Robertson making it 6-3.

The final three runs of the game came after a Hoover error and an RBI single by Gregg as Helena scored seven of its nine runs in the final two innings.

Another key for Helena was solid pitching by Avery Barnett. Barnett pitched a complete game on 98 pitches and struck out five Hoover batters to earn the win.

Eight Helena players recorded at least one hit at the plate as Gregg, Kelsi Bargman, Robertson and White finished with multi-hit games.

With the win, Helena improved to 15-4 on the season.