Helena defeats Curry, Alexandria, Liberty Creek in 3-1 weekend at Hoover Classic

Published 3:12 pm Monday, April 22, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

HOOVER – The Helena Huskies kept rolling ahead of the final week of the regular season as they defeated the Curry Yellow Jackets, Alexandria Valley Cubs and Liberty Creek Wolves in the first three games of the Hoover Classic at the Hoover Met Complex.

Helena came out victorious against Curry 4-1 and Alexandria 10-2 on Friday, April 19 and beat Liberty Creek 8-6 on Saturday, April 20 before losing a difficult final game of the tournament to Orange Beach.

With the 3-1 weekend in Hoover, the Huskies enter the home stretch of the season 34-5 ahead of three games in three days before the area tournament.

In the opening game of the tournament against Curry, Helena had to overcome an early one-run deficit after the Yellow Jackets hit an RBI single on the second at-bat of the game.

The Huskies had a chance to respond to that in the bottom of the second after an Emma Olive single was followed up by a walk and an error to load up the bases.

Addison Draiss hit an RBI single to tie the game up at 1-1 and Gracie Storey drew a bases-loaded walk to put Helena up 2-1.

Helena didn’t look back from there and added to its advantage in the fourth inning after a scoreless third.

After Hayden Traywick hit a lead-off double, her sister Henley Traywick brought her home two pitches later with an RBI single to make the lead 3-1.

Draiss then doubled to put a runner in scoring position, but the next two batters struck out. However, an error during Presley Lively’s at-bat allowed another run to come home to increase the lead to 4-1, and that lead held through the next two innings to seal the win.

That gave way to an even larger victory over Alexandria in the second and last game of the day.

After a walk and error to start the game, Olive scored a run off a sacrifice fly two batters later to open up a 1-0 lead for the Huskies.

Helena held onto that lead through the first three innings before pulling away for the win with a big fourth inning.

While the first two Huskies batters of the top of the fourth got out, an error, hit batsman and walk loaded up the bases to put them back in business. A bases-loaded walk doubled up the lead and kicked off six straight scoring plays.

Hannah Steele hit an RBI single for the third run of the game, and Molly Rollan plated another pair of runs with an RBI single of her own right after that. An error scored both base runners and put Olive on second for Henley Traywick to get an RBI single.

Draiss then drove her home from first with an RBI triple to cap off the scoring run and put Helena up 9-0.

The Valley Cubs got a run back in the bottom of the frame off an RBI ground-out, but the Huskies hit double digits in the ensuing inning off a Destiny Brashears RBI single.

While Alexandria scored off an error in the bottom of the fifth, Helena secured the final out of the game to seal the 10-2 win in five innings.

Harley Morrison pitched three shutout innings to take the win and got three strikeouts in the process.

The next day, the Huskies survived a late rally from Liberty Creek to keep their winning ways going.

Lively walked to start the bottom of the first, and after a stolen base and a sacrifice bunt, she sat at third base with nobody out. A hit by pitch and a walk loaded up the bases for Brashears, and she delivered in the big spot.

Brashears hit a grand slam to right to clear the bases and give Helena a 4-0 lead.

The second inning started similarly to the first with Lively reaching first base to start, this time off a single, and then stealing a base.

While the next two batters got out, Olive made sure Lively came home with an RBI single to make the lead 5-0.

A pair of passed balls and a walk then put runners on the corners for Draiss, and she doubled to bring Olive home for the sixth run of the game.

Hayden Traywick was then hit by a pitch to load up the bases, and Gracie Storey finished off the inning with a two-run single to increase the lead to 8-0.

However, the Wolves saved their offense for last and made a big rally in the top of the fifth.

A one-out RBI double and two-out RBI single gave way to a grand slam later in the inning that made the score 8-6. After a walk and a double put a pair of runners in scoring position, the Huskies got out of the jam with a pop out to end the game.

Helena will finish the regular season with a busy final stretch as it faces Chelsea on the road on Monday, April 22 at 4:30 p.m., travels to Thompson on Tuesday, April 23 at 5 p.m. and hosts Mountain Brook back at Helena High School on Wednesday, April 24 at 5 p.m.