The top-ranked Lady Tigers softball team powered past their 6A Area opponents in winning the 2022 area championship. They outscored Decatur, Muscle Shoals, and Cullman 44-1 in three games.
The Lady Tigers hit multiple home runs and had multiple stolen bases in each game for their best three-game stretch of the season. But it wasn’t just the offense that shined. The Hartselle pitchers dominated as they allowed only one run in 15 innings.
Game 1: Hartselle 17, Decatur 0
The Lady Tigers opened the game with two runs in the bottom of the first, which proved to be enough to get the win. They tacked on 15 more in the bottom of the second as they batted around twice.
Karsi Lentz and Katie Gillott hit back-to-back home runs in the second to power the 15-run inning. Gillott’s home run was the first of her career.
The first four batters in the Hartselle lineup combined to go 9-of-10 with 13 RBIs, 10 runs scored, two home runs, two doubles, and two stolen bases.
Kaelyn Jones finished 3-of-3 with four RBIs, three runs scored, two doubles, and a steal to lead the Lady Tigers. Lentz was 2-of-2 with four RBIs, two runs scored, and a home run. Gillott was 2-of-3 with three RBIs, a home run, and a stolen base. Larissa Preuitt was 2-of-2 with three runs scored and two RBIs.
Mary Elizabeth Booth and Brooklyn Stiles scored two runs, while Brantley Drake, Emily Hall, and Riley Cate Wolf scored one run.
Blayne Godfrey got the start and pitched two scoreless innings to get the win. She struck out five and allowed one hit. Zoey Crawford pitched one inning in relief and struck out one.
Game 2: Hartselle 14, Muscle Shoals 0
The Hartselle power surge continued in game two of the area tournament as the Lady Tigers defeated Muscle Shoals 14-0 to punch their ticket to the North Regional. Hartselle hit home runs in every inning of the victory.
The Lady Tigers scored four runs in the first inning and tacked on three more in the second, four in the third, and three in the fourth.
Preuitt led Hartselle at the plate, going 3-of-3 with five stolen bases, four RBIs, four runs scored, and a home run. She set the Hartselle single-season hit record following her first hit of the game giving her 92 for the season.
Lentz was 2-for-2 with three RBIs, three runs scored, two stolen bases, and a home run. Jones was 1-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs, and a run scored, while Brityan Godfrey was 1-of-3 with two RBIs, a run scored, and a home run.
Stiles was 2-of-3 with two runs scored, an RBI, and a stolen base, while Drake added an RBI, a run scored, and two stolen bases.
Blayne Godfrey picked up her second tournament win after pitching three scoreless and hitless innings while striking out six. Sarah Bowling pitched two innings in relief and allowed two hits.
Championship: Hartselle 13, Cullman 1
The Lady Tigers continued their tournament domination in a 13-1 victory over Cullman to win the 6A Area 14 championship.
Hartselle scored two in the top of the first and added three in the second and fourth innings, one in the fifth and four in the sixth to close out the game.
Jones was 3-of-4 with three RBIs, three runs scored, a stolen base, and her second home run of the tournament to lead the Lady Tigers. Lentz was 1-of-3 with three RBIs, two runs, and her third home run of the tournament. Preuitt finished 3-of-3 with four runs scored and two stolen bases. Drake added a hit and two RBIs.
Blayne Godfrey picked up her third tournament win by pitching four scoreless innings with six strikeouts. Crawford pitched two innings in relief, allowing one run and striking out one.
“I am extremely proud of the way the team played this week,” said Hartselle coach Chris Reeves. “Everyone in the lineup contributed in a big way this week, but it was great to see the top of the order come out and get runs on the board early to set the tone for the games. They’ve done a great job all year, and being led by seniors Larissa Preuitt and Karsi Lentz is even more special.”
North Regional Tournament
The top-ranked Lady Tigers head to Florence looking for a trip to the state tournament. They will be one of four ranked teams competing for one of two berths in the state tournament. Joining the Lady Tigers will be #2 Athens, #4 Hazel Green, and #6 Mortimer Jordan. Hartselle opens with Minor, the runner-up of Area 10.