Corner took the express lane, while Hayden took the back roads with lots of twists and turns.
In the end, both teams will arrive at their destination later this week, as both teams advanced to the AHSAA State Softball Championships at Montgomery.
The Yellow Jackets made short work of the Class 4A field at the South Central Regional Qualifying Tournament in Troy, winning three straight games.
Not so for the Wildcats at the North Central Regional in Tuscaloosa. They lost a game to McAdory that started late on Friday night, and was suspended and restarted at 7 Saturday morning. Hayden stormed back to shut out three straight opponents in the loser’s bracket and take the second qualifying spot from the region. (Curry, whom the Wildcats defeated in the Area 12 tournament, went 3-0 to win the other state berth.)
Corner and Hayden were two of five local teams to compete at the regional level. Gardendale came up one game short in Class 6A with a loss to Hueytown; Locust Fork staged a last-inning comeback Friday night to stay alive, only to be eliminated the next morning; and Fultondale went two games and out on Friday.
Corner: The fifth-ranked Yellow Jackets were “three and won” after a 10-1 victory over No. 6 Holtville.
Jordan Entrekin had the big bat out against the Bulldogs, hitting a two-run homer that knocked out Holtville starting pitcher Lori Beth Garrner, plus a run-scoring double.
The two teams stayed scoreless until the fourth inning, when Morgan Daniel drove in the first run on a single to left, followed by a Baylee McCormack RBI double.
Madison McCormack pitched all seven innings, striking out 10 Bulldog batters while allowing three hits and two walks.
The Jackets started the day with a win over 10th-ranked Calera, but it took a big effort in the bottom of the sixth inning to make it happen.