- Cullman, Alabama

April 9, 2013

ROUNDUP: Three local baseball squads earn critical area victories

Staff Reports
The Cullman Times

WEST POINT — Wesley Waters struck out nine, and West Point scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to complete a 6-4 comeback win at home over area-rival East Limestone in the opening game of a series on Tuesday.

In other baseball news from Cullman County, Good Hope defeated Vinemont in both area matchups on Tuesday to take a commanding series lead.

No other information or statistics were made available to The Times from West Point, Good Hope or Vinemont by presstime on Tuesday night.

% Fairview 15, St. Clair County 4: Four different players collected three RBIs, and Luke Bailey allowed just one earned run over six innings, as the Aggies hammered the Saints 15-4 in the first game of a critical area series on Monday night.

Lane Denny and Bryant Powers paced the Purple and Gold at the plate with three base knocks apiece. Powers joined Trent Shoemaker, Bailey and Devon Parker with three runs driven in.

Mason Smith (two hits), Cody Edge (two hits) and Dexton Gregory (one hit) rounded out the offense for the Purple and Gold.

Bailey allowed five hits, while striking out five and walking five to pick up the win.

% Fairview 11, St. Clair County 0: The Aggies kept their playoff hopes alive with a lopsided shutout in the rematch at home on Tuesday.

Powers was exceptional with a four-hit, four-strikeout complete-game (five innings) outing on the mound, and Parker roped two doubles for four RBIs to lead the Purple and Gold at the plate.

Edge and Bailey also produced two hits, while Edge, Gregory, Jake Chandler and Smith accounted for one RBI apiece. Shoemaker, Gregory, Denny and Chandler were responsible for hits, and Powers (two), Gregory (two), Denny (two), Parker (two), Shoemaker, Bailey and Chandler accounted for Fairview’s runs. Bailey also swiped a stolen base.  

Local Sports

Two Cullman residents muscled up recently at the Alabama State USA Powerlifting Championships in Mobile.

Williard Johnson won the state championship — his second in a row — for the raw 220-pound class of the 40-year-old and over group. He broke four state records that he previously set in last year’s meet. He also placed third in the raw 220-pound open division.

Tom Kalen broke four state record as well en route to a state-winning performance in the raw 198-pound class of the 70-year-old and over division. It marks his fifth state championship, in addition to one he won in Colorado.

Kalen advances to compete in the National Championship meet in May.

Wallace State Softball

Wallace State sophomore pitchers Lindsey DeFee and BreeAnna Blevins are on quite a roll. Each continued their impressive work Tuesday, combining to allow only four hits in a doubleheader sweep over Gadsden State in the Lady Lions’ conference home-opener.

DeFee improved to 15-3 on the season, tossing a two-hit shutout in the opener, a 2-0 victory. She struck out four and faced only one batter over the minimum, winning her seventh consecutive start.  

Blevins (14-3) was equally as dominant in the nightcap and has won four of her last five starts. She struck out five and yielded only two hits in a five-inning, 9-1 victory for the defending state champions.  

“We know both Lindsey and BreeAnna aren’t going to give up many runs. They’re both maturing and gaining more and more confidence with each outing,” Wallace State coach Jayne Clem said. “The offense has got to make sure to carry its weight  and provide the run support both pitchers need. We’ve struggled recently with pitchers who are slowing things down on us, so we’ve got to quit thinking and just relax.”

In the second game, Wallace State’s offense exploded for a seven-run fifth inning, highlighted by back-to-back homers from Katie Gentle and Paige Rowland. Gentle slugged a three-run shot, her eighth of the year, and Rowland followed with a solo shot, her seventh, to turn a close game into a blowout. The Lady Lions added three more runs in the inning, capping the win by the mercy rule.

Gentle finished 3 for 3 with the homer and a double, Rowland was 2 for 3 and Annie Holcomb had a pair of hits, including her first collegiate home run. Elizabeth Jordan and Madeline Lee each had a single and scored a run, and Hali Presley contributed an RBI single.

Wallace State (32-7, 5-1 Alabama Community College Conference) edged Gadsden State in the opener by plating its only runs in the fifth. Maria Mitchell and Shaquille Morris led off the inning with consecutive singles and each advanced on a sacrifice bunt. Mitchell scored on a Sabrina Russell sacrifice fly, and Gentle had a clutch two-out double to score Morris.

Mitchell finished 2 for 2 with a run scored, Laken Hancock had a multi-hit game, and Lee and Brittany Gillison had a single apiece.

Wallace State, winners of five of the last six ACCC state championships, travels to Fyffe on Thursday to play Motlow State in a non-conference affair and plays at Calhoun on Saturday.  

% The Times’ Rob Ketcham and Jake Winfrey, as well as Wallace State’s sports information department, contributed to this report.