Shelby County rebounds from Moody losses

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

SYLACAUGA – After losing two straight area games to the Moody Blue Devils April 10-12, the Shelby County Wildcats returned to action on Monday, April 16, with a bitter taste in their mouths looking to make a statement.

The Wildcats used that to their advantage and went on to dominate the Fayetteville Wolves for a 19-1 road win to improve to 14-4 overall this season.

It was a game that didn’t count towards area play as Shelby County finished 4-2 in area play, which has guaranteed them the two seed in the area tournament, which will be hosted by the Blue Devils.

The game did, however, serve as a chance for the Wildcats to show they are still a contender to win the area tournament title and make a deep playoff run as their attention has officially turned to battling for a spot in the playoffs and proving they are better than the team that lost two straight to Moody.

Shelby County showed its hunger early in the game, as the Wildcats scored five first-inning runs to storm in front.

After a leadoff walk, Maggie West drove in the game’s first run very quickly with an RBI-double to center field. That was followed by a single from Lauren Carter and another walk to Katelyn Lucas to load the bases.

Ashlyn Blankenship then drove in two of those runs when she hit a single to center field to put the Wildcats up 3-0. A fielder’s choice and a sac fly followed to bring in the final two runs of the inning.

That was all Shelby County’s pitching and defense needed as only three hits and one run were allowed by the Wildcats. They also didn’t commit a single error, while the Wolves committed five throughout the game.

Shelby County went on to add three more combined runs between the fourth and the fifth innings thanks to RBI-singles from Blankenship and Carter in the fourth and an RBI-walk from Blankenship in the fifth.

The Wildcats, already leading 8-0, busted the game open and put it out of reach in the top of the sixth thanks to an 11-run outburst.

A leadoff home run from Nataley Whitner was the story of the inning as all five errors in the game were committed in the inning by the Wolves, who also gave up four walks, three singles and a double in the inning.

Blankenship led the way at the plate with a 4-for-4 performance that included a game-high five RBIs. West ended the game with three RBIs with three runs scored after going 3-for-6 at the plate.

Summer Knight, Haley Horton and Carter each had two hits in the win, while Carter added two RBIs.