Cullman County Softball Championship
At Jack Howell Field - Hanceville:
West Point 1 3 1 0 0 4 4 - 13
Good Hope 3 0 2 0 0 0 1 - 6
WP: Carlie Wilkins
LP: Skylar Tucker
TIME OF GAME: 2:09
FLASH NOTES: Late inning extra base hits became the story line for the Lady Warriors to claim their fifth consecutive Cullman County tournament championship.
Good Hope, coming off a 13-7 victory over Fairview in the loser's bracket final, still had plenty of pep left in them to challenge the No. 1 seed with the contest even at 5-5 after five innings.
Then West Point used its power to move back in front. It began with Olivia Ball slugging a two-run homer, scoring Molly Pendley in front of her to make it 7-5. Hope Shedd walked then Wilkins got a single as both came home on walks to Chasilyn Morrow and Avery McClure. Morrow and McClure were credited with runs driven in and the lead was now 9-5.
In the seventh, Four extra base hits proved value to the Lady Warriors in getting control of the game.
With one out, Pendley doubled then Good Hope decided to pitch to Ball with first base open. Ball drove it over the center field fence, an estimated 240 foot blast. Makayla Brown cracked a home run next with Shedd getting a double to move into scoring position. Shedd came in on McClure's grounder to second to complete the scoring.
In the final two innings, the Lady Warriors slugged seven hits, producing eight runs, three on homers and had scored double figures vs. the Lady Raiders for the second consecutive game in the tournament.
Ball hit three homes in tournament play and has 13 on the season, a career best. Ball was named the tournament's offensive player while Bailey Swann of Good Hope claimed best defensive honors.
Ball was joined on the all-tournament team by Shedd, McClure and Brown. Swann, Erika Woodall and Tucker represented Good Hope while selected from Fairview were infielder Katie Ball and pitcher Ally Hogeland.
Wilkins was effective as the pitcher for West Point, throwing scoreless innings between the fourth and sixth. In that span, she gave up four hits with Good Hope leaving three runners on base.
Good Hope got a run in the seventh as Swann walked, got a stolen base, moved to third on a groundout and headed home on a wild pitch by Wilkins.
"I felt good about it. I have a good team behind me," Wilkins said when Good Hope came back and tied the game in the third inning. "I was relaxed when we went back in front."
A 4-3-2 double play from Braelee Quinn to Brown to Shedd ended the contest at 8:01 p.m.
Wilkins, an eighth grader, considered that play to be amazing.
SPORTSPAGE'S PLAYER OF THE GAME: Olivia Ball of West Point, 3-4, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, .750 batting average.
Photo 1: Cullman County softball champion 2018, West Point Lady Warriors.
Photo 2: (L-R), All-Tournament, Avery McClure, Hope Shedd, Olivia Ball, Makayla Brown of West Point, Bailey Swann, Erika Woodall, Skylar Tucker of Good Hope. Not pictured are Katie Ball and Ally Hogeland of Fairview.
Photo 3: Tournament Offensive MVP Olivia Ball, Tournament Defensive MVP Bailey Swann.
Photo 4: West Point's Avery McClure takes a ball from Good Hope's Skylar Tucker in Top of 3rd in county championship game at Hanceville.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton.