THS wins area softball titlePublished 4:17pm Tuesday, May 6, 2014
By Bart Moss
For the FCT
The Tharptown Lady Wildcats outscored their three area tournament opponents 32-2 in route to a fifth straight area title last week.
The Wildcats (27-17-1) topped Phillips 10-0 in their first game of the tournament, defeated Hackleburg 11-1 in the semi-finals, and cruised past Belgreen 10-1 in the finals.
Both Tharptown and Belgreen will advance to the regionals at Tuscaloosa this weekend.
Tharptown will open play in the regionals against the Lynn Bears Friday at 3 p.m.
Belgreen will open play against Sumiton Christian.
Tharptown led Belgreen 2-1 through two innings in the finals despite being outhit early by the Bulldogs. Base running mistakes by Belgreen would prove costly later in the game.
The Wildcats unloaded on the Bulldogs in the bottom of third inning scoring four runs. Autumn Sutter started off the inning with a leadoff walk. Sutter advanced to second on a wild pitch. Savannah Hamilton hit a rope up the middle to center field moving Sutter to third. Shelby Palmer punched a two-RBI triple into the outfield giving the Wildcats a 4-1 lead.
Tharptown would go on to score six more unanswered runs in the game for the area title.
Palmer was a workhorse in the circle for the Wildcats pitching seven innings, allowing no earned runs, while giving up only five hits.
Tharptown was led at the plate by leadoff batter Kaylee Bain’s three hits. The Wildcats also got multiple hits from Savannah Hamilton (2), Shelby Palmer (2) and Haley Malone (2). One of Malone’s hits was a double. Kaitlyn Vandiver also doubled in the game.
The Wildcats had to overcome four errors in the game to get the win.
In the previous games, Tharptown scored five runs in the first two innings and cruised past the Hackleburg Panthers 11-1. The Wildcats were powered behind three multi-hit players in the game – Savannah Hamilton (3), Morgan George (2), and Autumn Sutter (2).
Shelby Palmer threw nine strikeouts in a no-hitter against Phillips in the first game of the tournament. Palmer also had three hits, including one double, and scored two runs in the game.
Other multi-hit performers were Morgan George, Savannah Hamilton, and Kaitlyn Vandiver.