MONTGOMERY — Bailey Murphy ran into trouble midway through the game and was pulled out for the first time in the tournament, but by that time Mortimer Jordan had built an 8-0 lead that stood up, as the Devils defeated Spanish Fort 10-6 to move on to the loser's bracket finals of the AHSAA Class 5A State Softball Championship at Lagoon Park.
Murphy worked 3-1/3 innings, striking out four but walking five, including three in the fourth. Coach Shawn Maze decided that Murphy needed to rest with an 8-run lead, and brought in reliever Natalie Johnsey.
Johnsey struck out two but allowed five hits, but was betrayed by some defensive miscues as only two of the four runs she gave up were earned.
After threatening with runners in scoring position in the first two innings, the Blue Devils scored four in the third on three straight hits plus an error. They got four more in the fourth when the Toros comitted four errors (out of six total for the game). Jordan padded its lead with two more in the sixth on an error and a Brittany Collier RBI single.
Spanish Fort scored two runs each in the fourth, sixth and seventh. Two came in on bases-loaded walks when Johnsey came in. Wild pitches and errors led to two of the others.
Haylie McCleney and Alyson Linn each went 3-for-5 at the plate, with Linn driving in two runs. Nikki Chafin was 2-for-4 with an RBI. All 10 of Jordan's hits were singles.
Jordan faces St. Paul's Episcopal in the loser's bracket semifinal, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. but likely getting under way at about 2:30. The winner will play No. 4 Chelsea in the finals.