Preslie Cruce

Corner head softball coach Preslie Cruce looks down the third-base line during a game at Gardendale on Feb. 25, 2020. 

Time on the field has been hard to come by for NJN-area baseball and softball teams, due to rainy conditions this season. 

A few teams have, however, squeezed in seven innings lately. Below is a summary of those contests.

The Corner softball team has earned consecutive mercy-rule wins under head head coach Preslie Cruce. 

An explosion of seven runs in the fourth and five more in the fifth gave the Jackets (5-2) the double-digit lead they needed last Friday in a 13-3 victory over Hueytown. 

Olivia Cummings did not get the start, but checked in in the first frame and went on to record all 15 outs. Following a three-run home run from Hueytown’s Courtney McGraw, Cummings took over in the circle where she delivered a one-hit shutout to go with four strikeouts. 

Offensively, Laurin Dill provided a pair of doubles and three RBIs. Jade Goodwin, Anna Hinkle and Mackenzie Self went home with two RBIs apiece. 

Corner jumped out to a great start on Tuesday in a 12-2 home win over Dora. The Yellow Jackets shoved eight runs across in the first, three more in the second and another in the third on their way to a fifth-inning victory. 

Payton Cox finished with two hits and three RBIs, Cummings went for two hits and a pair of RBIs, and Lauren Higginbotham went home with three hits and two RBIs for the home team. 

Cox, Cummings, Goodwin and Shauna Kelley all doubled in the win. 

The Corner baseball team got back on track Saturday with a stop in Springville. In a two-game sweep, the Yellow Jackets (8-1) started with a 13-2 victory over the Tigers in six innings and followed with a 6-3 final over Westbrook Christian. 

Catcher Cole Burkett ripped home six runs on four hits, including two doubles in the opener against Springville. Corner steadily pushed two runs across in the second, one in the third, two in the fourth, three in the fifth and five more in the sixth and final inning. 

With plenty of run support, Colin Daniel pitched six complete with one earned run, one hit and six strikeouts. 

In a 6-3 win over Westbrook Christian, Ethan Muncher struck out 10 batters in five frames. The Yellow Jackets broke things open in the fifth with four runs. 

Andrew Baker drove in two more runs while Tyler McNiese singled and doubled with an RBI. 

On Saturday, Mortimer Jordan and Gardendale baseball squared off for their first meeting of the year. 

The Blue Devils (7-2) loaded the basses in the bottom of the 11th inning for Garrett Pannell, who grounded into an error that scored the game-winning run. Mortimer Jordan senior Tripp Horton singled home Griffin Busby to tie the game at 2-2 in the fourth. That score held until Horton singled and scored the game-winner in extras for a 3-2 victory. 

Mortimer Jordan preserved the 2-2 tie in the top of the 10th with a well-executed relay from right fielder Austin Morris to second baseman Horton to catcher Brady Benefield. Gardendale’s Colby Tittle doubled into right-center field, but Horton’s cut-off throw beat David Harris to the plate. 

The Gardendale softball team suffered a 13-3 home loss to Hartselle in five innings on Tuesday night. Gardendale (7-3) allowed 12 runs to score in the fifth, enacting the mercy rule. 

Jada Handerson posted two hits and six RBIs for the Tigers. Jenna Smith pitched a complete game for Hartselle, striking out five batters and allowing six hits, including Preslie Ross' home run. 

The Gardendale baseball team improved to 4-3 with a home win over Pinson Valley on Tuesday.

Erik Harris is the sports editor for The North Jefferson News. He can be reached at sports@njeffersonnews.com

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