Vincent’s impressive 2021 season ends with two one-run losses

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

MONTGOMERY – The Vincent Yellow Jackets saw a historic season come to an end in heartbreaking fashion at the 2021 East Regional tournament May 13-14.

The Yellow Jackets, who won the regular-season area title and the area tournament championship this season, entered the regional tournament with confidence and it showed in an opening win.

Coming off an area tournament championship run that saw Vincent win three games by a combined 36-1, the Jackets put together another shutout performance against Horseshoe bend in the opening game.

They took a scoreless game through three innings and scored three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to make the difference in a 4-0 victory.

Lela beck had an RBI single to drive home one run in the bottom of the fourth, while a passed ball and an RBI single from Takyla Smoot drove home the other two runs for a 3-0 lead.

An inning later, Vincent put together three consecutive singles with the final being an RBI single from Maddy Walker to drive home the fourth and final run of the game.

Walker finished 3-for-3 at the plate with an RBI to lead the Jackets in the win. Jaci Wallace added two hits, while Beck and Smoot finished with one hit and one RBI. Molly Reynolds also had a hit in the loss.

Walker got a complete-game shutout tin the circle, allowing five hits and striking out seven.

With that win, Vincent was two wins away from clinching a spot at the state tournament and set for a matchup with Sand Rock.

A win would have put the Jackets one win away from advancing with two chances to pick that win up in the double-elimination tournament.

Sand Rock took the early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but Vincent responded with two runs in the top of the third on a two-RBI single from Kayla Maxwell.

From there, the game became a battle for who could score next. That, however, took seven more innings to figure out.

Neither team scored a run through seven, which led to extra innings. Then, in the bottom of the 10th, Sand Rock was able to pull off the walk-off victory with an RBI single to win the game 3-2.

With that loss, Vincent fell into the loser’s bracket and had to win three games in a row the next day to advance.

Despite an exhausting opening day, the Jackets again put together a strong run against Cleveland in the must-win.

Again, Vincent fell behind early after Cleveland scored one run in the bottom of the first.

The Jackets, however, bounced back in the top of the fourth to even the score with an RBI single from Beck.

But Vincent again ended up on the wrong side of a walk-off. After the two teams battled into the seventh still tied 1-1, Cleveland was able to pick up the 3-2 win on an RBI single to end the Jackets’ season with another one-run loss.

Walker pitched all 16 innings in the final two games, doing everything she could to give Vincent a chance in the circle. She allowed five total runs, three of which were earned, and 14 hits. She struck out 12 against Cleveland to go out with a strong performance and five against Sand Rock.

Maxwell led the team with two hits and two RBIs against Sand Rock, while Beck’s one hit and one RBI led the way against Cleveland.

Vincent finished the season with a 25-14 record.