North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Local Sports

April 16, 2014

Softball: No. 2 Hayden 4, No. 1 Curry 1

Pitcher Sharley Miller shuts down Yellow Jacket bats

CURRY — Hayden wants the top spot.

The Wildcats made their case Wednesday.

Hayden, the defending Class 5A state champion, knocked off Curry 4-1 in a battle between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the state. It was the first matchup of the season between the state contenders.

The game was Curry's second area game of the day. The top-ranked Yellow Jackets routed Walker 15-0 in three innings to start Wednesday's doubleheader.

In the second game, top-ranked Curry and No. 2 Hayden were locked in a 1-1 tie going into the sixth inning.

The Wildcats finally got to Curry pitcher Katie Justice in the sixth inning, getting three doubles during a four at-bat stretch to push across two runs and take the lead for good.

Wildcats' pitcher Sharley Miller did the rest, holding the Yellow Jackets' potent offense to seven hits, including six singles. She walked two and struck out four.

Miller had an answer for every threat. Curry was just 1-for-6 at the plate with runners in scoring position.

Hayden struck first with two outs in the third inning, as Kayla Byrd reached on an infield single. After a stolen base, she scored on Katie Parr's bloop single to center field.

Curry evened the score an inning later with Shannan Rowe reaching on a single and scoring on Courtney Howze's single to left field.

In the sixth inning, Brooke Meadows started the Wildcats' rally with a one-out double. Chloe Kirkland followed with a double of her own to drive in Meadows, and Kaitlin Kelley added the third double of the inning to put Hayden up 3-1.

The Wildcats scored their last run in the seventh when Kirkland was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Justice suffered the lossCurry. She allowed four runs, three earned, on four hits, two walks and two hit batters while striking out five.

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