KIMBERLY—It was the last time the Mortimer Jordan softball team would convene before its spring break tournament in Gulf Shores next week, and head coach Shawn Maze’s final message revolved around trust. “You can be as good as you want to be, but you have to trust us [coaches],” said Maze to his team following a 9-4 Class 5A, Area 11 win over No. 1 Hayden (13-2, 2-1) Thursday night.
After dropping an area game to Corner last week, the fourth-ranked Blue Devils (12-4, 3-1) have rebounded with back-to-back league victories this week. They went to Corner for a 10-1 win on Tuesday and followed up with another decisive Area 11 win on Thursday.
Mortimer Jordan tore things open on Thursday with a monster two-out rally in the second that sent seven runs in and chased starting pitcher Savannah Painter. With two outs recorded, Mortimer Jordan strung seven hits together and reached eight straight batters to put the game out of reach.
Mortimer Jordan leadoff Mia Townsend started things with a two-out line drive into left field, breaking a 1-all tie. Pitcher Madison Maze then burnt the left fielder with a two-run double down the left side, bumping the lead to 4-1. Following Dallas Brewer’s run-scoring skip through the five-six hole, center fielder Danilyn Moore bounced a two-run shot off the Coca-Cola sign in right centerfield. Moore doubled in the first run of the game with a rocket to the center-field wall.
Sela Stone rounded out the devastating second with another RBI single through the five-six for an 8-1 advantage.
“I thought we did a good job in the second inning when we kind of broke out, hit the ball solid and made them make plays,” said Maze. “We preach put the ball in play. As long as there’s a pitch to be had, we can score runs.”
Mortimer Jordan went scoreless through the next three frames, but added some insurance in the home-half of the sixth. Ainsley Grimes found her third hit of the day with an RBI single for the final run.
Righty Madison Maze allowed four Hayden runs on five hits in six innings of work. She worked her way to five strikeouts before handing the ball to senior Katelyn Holcombe in the seventh. Holcombe pitched a 1-2-3 inning to preserve the area win.
Hayden's Brenna Hayes sent two runs around with a double in the sixth to cut the deficit to 8-4. Junior Hannah Cox found an RBI in the fourth and lined into a run-scoring error in the second, which locked the score up at 1-1.
Mortimer Jordan (3-1):
▪ 17-2 win vs. Dora
▪ 4-1 loss vs. Corner
▪ 10-1 win at Corner
▪ 9-4 win vs. Hayden
▪ 10-0 win at Dora
▪ 18-0 win at Jasper
▪ 9-4 loss at Mortimer Jordan