Chelsea’s offensive force enough to take down Oak Mountain

Published 9:16 am Thursday, March 14, 2024

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By TYLER RALEY | Special to the Reporter

CHELSEA – When these two county rivals met on the diamond on Tuesday, March 12, the Chelsea Hornets bested the Oak Mountain Eagles with a 6-2 win at Chelsea High School.

The four-run win puts Chelsea in a great position to build some momentum, as it is now 1-0 in area play. This helps the Hornets to build their record back up, as they improve to 6-7-3 on the year.

Nobody scored a run until the fourth inning, but both teams threatened to score early on. The Eagles had the first of those, loading the bases up with one out in the top of the first. That is when Carolyn Graham hit into a double play to get the Hornets off the field unfazed.

Oak Mountain had another scoring opportunity with a runner on third with two outs in the third inning. On a 2-2 count, Alea Rye flew out to shortstop Madeline Epperson, keeping the game scoreless.

Chelsea then made its own push to put some runs on the board in the bottom half of the inning. Following back-to-back singles by Makenna Harper and Kaitlin Hopson with two outs, Baylor McCluney popped out to end the third. It seemed like the game was going to be a full defensive battle.

After multiple close calls for the Eagles, they finally broke the barrier in the fourth. Anna DuBose led off the inning with a single to center field. After a sacrifice bunt from Graham, Bella Williams reached on a single.

This set up Ella Carrillo, who got sat down on a fly out, but scored Oak Mountain’s first run, putting her team up 1-0.

The Hornets saw the scoreless tie be broken and made their own move. After drawing a walk and getting on base via an error, Caroline Brown got hit by a pitch to load up the bases.

This put a massive opportunity in front of Claire Purkey, who took advantage and hit a two-RBI double, putting Chelsea up 2-1.

Epperson then continued the action, reaching on an error made by the Eagles and scoring another run, ending the third inning with the Hornets up 3-1.

Chelsea made another move in the fifth inning. After a double and a sacrifice bunt, Sydney Carroll put a single into center field, extending the lead to three runs and putting major pressure on Oak Mountain.

The Eagles attempted to cut the lead down in the sixth inning. Rye singled with a line drive into right field, leading to DuBose hitting a double into left field that scored her teammate from first.

The Hornets put the nail in the coffin in the bottom of the sixth. Brown led off the inning with a single before Purkey sacrificed and reached on an error. Epperson then singled on a line drive to third base, scoring Brown and putting Chelsea up 5-2.

After another single off the bat of Emma Parmley, Hopson grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring the Hornets’ sixth run of the game in the process. They now had a four-run lead heading into the final inning.

Oak Mountain never made any real progress after that, as Chelsea shut the Eagles down and secured the victory

Alaysha Crews pitched a complete game and picked up the win, giving up the two runs on seven hits. She also struck out three and walked two.

Sophia Williams got the loss, pitching five innings and giving up all six runs on eight hits. She struck out three batters as well, but walked only one.

The Hornets look to improve off of this win when they host another area opponent in Hewitt Trussville on Thursday, March 14, at 4:30 p.m.

Oak Mountain, meanwhile, will also play on Thursday, looking to get its first area win when it hosts Spain Park. First pitch in that game is also set for 4:30 p.m.