Spain Park headed to regionals after 2 wins in area tournament

Published 11:28 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2024

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Publisher 

TRUSSVILLE – The Spain Park Jaguars have cemented their spot at this year’s regional tournament after taking down 280-area rival Chelsea twice in this year’s area tournament April 27-30.

The Jaguars did ultimately lose twice to Class 7A No. 1 Hewitt-Trussville by scores of 16-6 and 14-0, but they took care of business against the Hornets with wins of 6-1 and 11-8 to earn the second regional qualifying spot out of the area.

The first of those wins came on Saturday, April 27 in the opening game of the area tournament, as the Jags overcame a 1-0 deficit with six unanswered runs in a 6-1 victory.

Spain Park fell behind 1-0 through three innings after Chelsea scored a run in the top of the third.

With the offense struggling to bring home a run, they used small ball to even the score with two walks, a sac bunt, a single and a hit batter bringing home one run in the bottom of the fourth.

That also left the bases loaded for Reagan Roberts, who capitalized with a bases-clearing double to right field. All of a sudden, the Jags went from down one to in front 4-1.

That was all of the damage in the fourth, but an inning later, they added two more to extend the lead to 6-1, an advantage they didn’t relinquish en route to the five-run win.

Roberts’ lone hit was key, as she finished the game 1-for-3 with three RBIs, while Chloe Wade added two RBIs on a single in the fifth. Tatum Lasseter and Klara Thompson each finished with two hits in the winning effort.

Ella Ussery got the complete-game win in the circle, striking out six and getting out of jams by allowing just one run despite eight walks and eight hits.

A few days later, after falling to Hewit to fall into the loser’s bracket, the Jags were able to stave off elimination in an 11-8 victory against the Hornets on Tuesday, April 30.

This time around, however, it took more than a one-run comeback to pick up the victory as Chelsea stormed out of the gate.

The Hornets scored three in the first and three more in the second for a 6-0 advantage early in the elimination game.

Spain Park, however, responded in a huge way in the top of the third with seven runs.

That gave the Jags a one-run advantage and the momentum.

They capitalized on the shift with one more run in the top of the fifth, but it was a three-run top of the seventh that ultimately sealed the win.

Those insurance runs were key, as Chelsea scored two in the bottom of the seventh to create the final score of 3-2.

Jaley Young, Maggie Daniel and Allie Whitaker were all crucial for Spain Park at the plate in the win. Young finished an impressive 3-for-3 with two RBIs, while Daniel and Whitaker each added two hits and three RBIs in the win.

Charlee Bennett and Thompson each added two hits and an RBI, while Roberts finished with one hit and an RBI.

Ussery, Young and Stewart combined for the winning effort in the circle, with Young earning the victory thanks to allowing just two runs on three hits and striking out two. Stewart finished off the final two outs, striking out one in her time in the circle.

Spain Park will now head to Florence to compete in the Regional tournament on Monday, May 6.