Oak Mountain runs away from Hoover for area win

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor 

HOOVER – The Oak Mountain Eagles’ softball team scored at least two runs in the first four innings of an area contest with No. 6 Hoover on Tuesday, March 19, and overcame giving up six unanswered runs late for a dominant 12-6 road win.

The win marked the second in a row and fourth in six games after a slow start to the 2019 season due to weather not allowing them to get in a rhythm.

While the Eagles were still just 5-6 overall at the end of the night, the game marked their first area contest of the season, as they started with a win and seem to be trending in the right direction.

In the opening inning, Oak Mountain started with a bang behind a lead-off single from Dawn Autry. That was followed by an error, a walk and another error to bring home Autry for the first run of the game.

A fielder’s choice on a ground ball by Grace Hummel then brought in another run, before an RBI-single from Hannah Atwood drive in the third and final run of the inning for the Eagles.

An inning later, the Eagles continued the strong start behind two more runs, both of which were walked in. Autry led the inning off with another single, before a walk and an error shortly after loaded the bases.

That was followed by two walks in the next three at bats to Hummel and Julia Tucker to bring in both runs for a 5-0 advantage.

With their confidence fully built now, Oak Mountain came back to the plate in the bottom of the third and put together its best inning of the game.

Two walks in the first three at bats put two base runners aboard with one out.

Abi Brown and M’Kiyah Mitchell then came through with big doubles. Brown’s double drove in Autry, while Mitchell’s double brought home Sullivan to put the Eagls on top 7-0.

An error on a ground ball from Hummel and a single from Atwood then drove in two more runs for, before a fielder’s choice on a ground ball from Tucker led to the final run of the inning crossing the plate for a 10-0 advantage through three innings.

The Eagles continued hammering away in the bottom of the fourth. Autry again reached base to start the inning thanks to a lead-off single. That was followed by an error to allow Sullivan to reach safely.

Brown then stepped to the plate and cracked another double to center field to drive in Autry. Mitchell then grounded out to first base, but the ground ball allowed Sullivan to score to put Oak Mountain on top 12-0 through four innings.

To that point, starting pitcher Lacy Marty hadn’t given up a run yet, but Hoover then tried to pull off a huge comeback.

The Buccaneers scored five runs on six hits, including four doubles, in the bottom of the fifth to cut the deficit to 12-5. Hoover, however, was only able to tack on one more in the top of the seventh to fall by a final of 12-6.

Marty finished the game allowing 14 hits and six runs, but struck out four and picked up the complete-game win.

At the plate, Autry went 4-for-5 with four runs scored, while Brown went 2-for-4 with three runs scored, two RBIs and two walks. Mitchell and Atwood both went 2-for-5 with two RBIs, while Tucker went 3-for-4 with two RBIs as well. Hummel went 1-for-4 with three RBIs.