By Robert Carter
The North Jefferson News
Hayden coach John Simmons was surely holding his breath, as he watched his team hang on by its collective fingernails to post a 6-5 win over visiting Curry on Monday.
A couple of homers by Yellow Jackets catcher Makenzie Burgett and a slew of Wildcat baserunning mistakes kept the game closer than Simmons would have liked.
“Baserunning faults hurt us pretty bad,” Simmons said. “They killed a couple of innings for us. Hanging two curve balls to the same batter hurt, too.”
Despite those curves that didn’t, Hayden starter Mara Conner came away with her fourth win in six decisions. She gave up six hits and five walks while striking out five as she went the distance.
The Wildcats jumped out quickly with five straight hits in the first inning, including a double by Madison Durham. But errors on the base paths held them to just two runs.
Hayden scored three more in the second, but two more running flubs cost the Cats.
Kris Quick sent home what proved to be the winning run with a double in the third.
In other games:
Tabernacle Christian 12, Tuscaloosa Christian 2
Three different Torches batters got three hits each in Monday’s win. Meredith White was 3-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs, Candace Coleman went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI, and Geena Evans was 3-for-4 and drove in a run.
Savannah Harper also drove home four runs with two hits.
Lauren Crocker (2-3) struck out four and walked four in five innings.
Hayden 3, Cleveland 0
Hannah Butts gave up four hits in the complete-game victory Tuesday. Mara Conner was 2-for-3 on two doubles. Madison Durham and Emilly Scheetz had RBIs for the Wildcats.
Tabernacle Christian at Bessemer Academy Tourney
The Torches’ record took a beating, as did their pitchers’ earned-run averages, but coach Paul Dubose said the team saw stiffer competition than they will ever see in their ACEA schedule.
Tabernacle was no-hit by AISA Class 1A champion Cornerstone Christian 17-0 in three innings, fell to Bessemer Academy 6-0, then to Morgan Academy 10-0 in five innings and finally to Pickens Academy 14-5 in pool play.
In the elimination rounds, the Torches defeated Morgan 14-2 in five innings, but lost to Cornerstone 14-9 in the semis.
Mortimer Jordan at Jaguar Classic, Spain Park
The Blue Devils faced some of their stiffest competition of the season, notching an 11-0 win over St. Clair County, a 3-0 decision over Hewitt-Trussville and an 8-7 come-from-behind win over Tuscaloosa County, avenging a loss last week that broke Jordan’s 35-game winning streak.
In bracket play, the Devils lost 2-1 to 6A power Bob Jones, then blasted former Class 3A state champ Pisgah 11-0.
“This tournament was all about us getting used to each other,” Devils coach Laura Rickman said. “We’re working on our team chemistry.”
By Robert Carter