Junior Madi Maze pitched six shutout innings for the Mortimer Jordan softball team (32-13) on Tuesday in the Class 5A, Area 11 Tournament opener. Maze tossed eight strikeouts and surrendered three hits as the fifth-ranked Blue Devils beat No. 8 Corner by a count of 6-1.

The Yellow Jackets (25-12) failed to score on Maze, but managed one lap around the basepaths in the top of the seventh when Jiselle Woodson lined a two-out RBI single to right field off Katelyn Holcombe.

No. 5 Mortimer Jordan got to work early. Freshman Ainsley Grimes sent two runs in with a first-inning single to right, putting the Blue Devils out front 2-0. After a scoreless second and a scoreless third, Maze lined into an error at third base to plate another run and extend the lead to 3-0 through four innings.

A three-run Mortimer Jordan fifth put the game out of reach and sent Corner into the losers’ bracket, opposite Jasper. Sela Stone, Mikayla McCain and Sarah Marlow took turns driving in Blue Devil runs in the home-half of the fifth.

Mortimer Jordan lost a late lead against tournament host Hayden Tuesday night to finish the day with a record of 1-1. Top-ranked Hayden scored five runs in the top of the ninth to beat the Blue Devils 11-6 in extra innings.

The win guarantees Hayden a spot in the West-Central Regional bracket and a shot at the Area 11 tournament championship. Mortimer Jordan will need a win over the winner of Jasper-Dora on Thursday to advance into regional play and earn another shot at the Wildcats in the Area 11 finals. 

Corner (25-12) saw its season come to an end with a 6-2 loss against Jasper on Tuesday evening.

The Yellow Jackets outhit Jasper 7-6, but could not find a timely swing against Ashton Prescott. The eighth-grader tossed a complete game for the Vikings, allowing one run on seven hits.

Corner entered tournament play as the 3-seed in Area 11.

The Gardendale softball team (42-6-2) dominated the Class 6A, Area 11 Tournament on Tuesday, winning three straight games by a combined score of 45-0.

Gardendale 15, Carver 0

▪ Savannah Pennington: two hits, four RBIs, three runs

▪ Riley Phillips: one hit, three RBIs

▪ Sarah Beth Brake: one hit, two RBIs

▪ Preslie Ross: three innings pitched, seven strikeouts

Gardendale 15, Minor 0

▪ Abbie Waters: three hits, three runs scored

▪ Carlee McCondichie: two hits, two RBIs

▪ Savannah Pennington: two hits, three RBIs

▪ Kylee Franklin: two hits, two RBIs

▪ Sarah Beth Brake: two hits, three RBIs

▪ Kailey Vaughn: two RBIs

▪ Kaitlyn Clark: two innings pitched, four strikeouts

▪ Haley Horton: two innings pitched, three strikeouts

Gardendale 15, Minor 0

Gardendale senior Riley Phillips homered twice, pitcher Kaitlyn Clark cried her way through a fourth-inning standing ovation and center fielder Savannah Pennington earned tournament MVP honors on Tuesday in the Area 11 finals.

Clark—the winningest pitcher in program history, according to a press box announcement in the top of the fourth inning—handed the ball to Haley Horton with an 11-0 lead, wiped a few tears from her eyes and hugged every person she could find on her way back to the first-base dugout in her final home game as a Gardendale Rocket.

“It’s like calling a timeout in basketball, so you can send your seniors off one last time,” said Gardendale head coach Barry Brake following his team’s third straight 15-0 win of the day. “And Kaitlyn’s not the only one.”

Six Rocket seniors landed all-tournament honors: Pennington (MVP), Phillips, Clark, Jaycee Dill, Kylee Franklin and Carlee McCondichie.

No. 3 Gardendale will travel to Tuscaloosa for West-Central Regional play starting next Thursday.

The Pinson Valley softball team (19-27) split its first two games of the Class 6A, Area 12 Tournament. Pinson will return to Pell City Thursday for a rematch against 3-seed Clay-Chalkville in the semifinals. A win would put the Indians through to West-Central Regional play and lock them up with Pell City in the Area 12 finals.

Pinson Valley 16, Clay-Chalkville 4

▪ Ka’Mya Hampton: four hits, four RBIs

▪ Mollie Peoples: three hits

▪ Shauna Clevenger: three hits, four RBIs

▪ Hope Cole: five innings pitched, five strikeouts

Pell City 3, Pinson Valley 2

▪ Jordan Walker: six innings pitched, five strikeouts

The Fultondale softball team (6-17) shares Class 3A, Area 9 with only one opponent—tournament host Locust Fork.

Fultondale dropped Game 1 on Monday by a score of 7-6 and returns to Locust Fork for another game on Wednesday. Back-to-back wins would earn the Wildcats an area championship. Either way, they will be at play next week in the West-Central Regional Tournament in Tuscaloosa.

Locust Fork 7, Fultondale 6

▪ Madison Tucker: two hits, three RBIs

▪ Morgan Rascoe: two hits, six innings pitched, three strikeouts

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

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