GOOD HOPE —
% Vinemont 2, Danville 1: The Eagles punched their ticket to Tuscaloosa despite a rough first inning of their own, rebounding with six innings of inspired softball to walk away with a semifinal triumph.
Pearson had her hand in both of Vinemont’s runs, beginning the fourth inning with a single, advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt and scoring on a sac fly to right field by Katie Fuller to tie the score at 1-1.
Two frames later, Pearson collected her second hit of the ballgame before letting her speed take care of the rest. The smooth shortstop stole second base and then capitalized on a pair of Danville errors to sprint the rest of the way home for the game-winning run.
Fuller and Caitlin Kuykendall both came through with one hit apiece, while Christensen was a force on the mound, fanning seven in her first complete game of the day.
Catcher Grace Griggs helped preserve the victory by throwing out a Hawk trying to steal second in the top of the seventh inning.
“I was proud of the girls’ efforts and how hard they’ve worked to be able to play better,” Smothers said. “Also, the confidence they’ve displayed. When they’ve needed to make plays late in ballgames, they’ve made plays.”
With a layoff of a little more than a week before regionals, the coach said his first order of business will be to practice as a team, something the squad hasn’t been able to as a unit since spring break.
“We’re just going to go down there, play the best we can and hope we catch a few breaks,” he said.
% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257 or at email@example.com.