Briarwood outlasts Vincent in high-scoring county battle

Published 4:28 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

VINCENT – The Briarwood Christian Lions secured a season-series sweep of the Vincent Yellow Jackets, but not before their county foes from Class 2A took the fight to the 6A Lions over the course of a 10-7 Briarwood win on Monday, April 22 at Vincent Middle High School.

After a scoreless first inning, the Lions put a pair of runners on with one out thanks to a single and hit-by-pitch. On the next pitch, Reese Collier reached first on a bunt after Vincent couldn’t get the ball to first base, and Macie Johnson scored a run to make the lead 1-0.

Kate Atkinson then singled and brought up Scout Staggs who grounded into a fielder’s choice that allowed another run to score.

That lead became 3-0 on a steal of home, and while an error on Larsen Cummings’ fly ball took the lead to four, Vincent got the trailing runner out at home to end the inning.

The Jackets then took advantage of a lead-off single by Harley King to get on the scoreboard off a one-out RBI triple by Chloe Mims. A Jacy Willis single kept the offense rolling, and an error off a fly out made the score 4-2 Lions.

Neither team could get on the scoreboard in the third inning, but Staggs’ lead-off double generated some offense for Briarwood in the fourth. A sacrifice bunt sent her to third and a Cummings RBI single took the lead to 5-2.

Merideth Kellum then doubled to put two runners in scoring position, and the Lions then scored off the next two at-bats to put them up 7-2.

Vincent answered with a three-run inning of its own in the bottom of the fourth. Faced with a two-out hole, Maggie Walker hit an RBI single, a run scored off an error and another run scored during Kylie Newton’s at-bat to leave Vincent down just 7-5 at the end of the fourth.

The two-out offense continued for Briarwood in the top of the fifth when Kellum launched a three-run home run to put the Lions up 10-5.

The Jackets chipped away at Briarwood’s lead with a Grace Quinn RBI single in the bottom of the fifth and a Walker RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, but in the end, Briarwood survived Vincent’s challenge to take the 10-7 win.

Kellum led the team by going 2-for-4 with three RBI, two runs and a walk. Cummings went 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI and Johnson finished 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

As for Vincent, King, Quinn, Wallis and Waker all finished 2-for-4. Walker had two RBI and a run, King and Wallis each had two runs and Quinn had an RBI.

Briarwood will travel to Homewood for its next game on Tuesday, April 23 at 5 p.m. and Vincent will have another county matchup on its hands when it faces Oak Mountain on the road at the same time.