Spain Park finishes Thompson Presidents Day Invitational with 3-1 record

Published 8:54 am Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

ALABASTER – The Spain Park Jaguars bounced back from a season-opening loss to the Helena Huskies in the Thompson Presidents Day Invitational to win three straight games against the Moody Blue Devils, Oxford Yellow Jackets and Huntsville Panthers to close out the weekend.

After losing 4-1 to the Huskies, the Jaguars got right back to it with a matchup against Moody on Friday, Feb. 16.

Spain Park opened up the game with a one-out RBI double by Maggie Daniel to score the first run of the night.

The Jags held on to that lead from there and added to it in the top of the fourth thanks to a solo home run by Allie Whitaker on the second pitch of the inning, making the score 2-0.

Then, in the top of the fifth, Charlee Bennett made it two straight innings with a lead-off home run as she hit a solo shot to center to increase the lead to three.

While Spain Park surrendered a run in the bottom of the frame to an RBI double after a lead-off triple, it secured three straight outs to close out the 3-1 victory.

Jaley Young earned the win with four innings of shutout softball against four hits and two walks. Ella Ussery came in for the fifth inning to earn the save.

The next day on Saturday, Feb. 17, the Jags took another victory over Oxford by a score of 5-1.

The first inning didn’t bring any runs for either team. However, after a lead-off single in the top of the second by Ussery, Caroline Charles overcame the pressure with two outs to hit an RBI double and score the courtesy runner Hailey Nichols.

That put Spain Park in front and made the score 1-0.

The score-line held until the top of the fourth when a walk and a single with two outs set up Bennett for a two-run double to take the lead to 3-0 on the final play of the inning.

The Jags added a pair of runs to their total with a run off an Oxford error and an RBI sacrifice fly by the pinch hitter Ruth Cherry, which increased the lead to 5-0.

An error in the bottom of the frame put the Jackets on the scoreboard, but it wouldn’t count for much as Spain Park saw out the 5-1 win.

Reagan Stewart earned the win behind three scoreless innings and four strikeouts. Young took home the save with two innings where she didn’t allow an earned run.

Finally, the Jags defeated Huntsville 5-1 in the final game of the tournament.

The first two innings came and went without any runs, but after two singles and a walk loaded up the bases in the top of the third with one out, Spain Park made its move.

Klara Thompson secured the first two runs of the game with a two-run single that left herself and Charles on base, and Daniel hit a three-run home run to left field to clear the bases and make the score 5-0.

Huntsville got a run back with a one-out RBI single in the bottom of the third, but the Jags got out of the inning and held the Panthers scoreless the rest of the way to take the four-run win.

Ussery pitched a complete game of five innings, earning the win while earning two strikeouts and allowing just one earned run, four hits and four walks.

While Spain Park fell on Presidents Day to Central-Phenix City in a 6-1 defeat, it has a chance to earn a rebound win against Mortiner Jordan at home on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 5 p.m.