Holly Pond entered Vinemont’s Sports Complex on Thursday ready to pick up where it left off during its recent win over area foe J.B. Pennington.
Montana Holcombe made sure that’s exactly what happened.
The ace pitcher threw two perfect innings in a 4-3 comeback win over Meek before tossing 4 1/3 innings of one-hit softball in a terrific 2-0 victory against Class 5A West Point during the first evening of the seventh annual Collegiate Softball Umpires Association’s Invitational.
“Today was very similar to what she always does,” said coach Steve Miller, whose Class 3A No. 3 Broncos moved to 10-1. “It wasn’t too much different. We were very pleased with the way she pitched and located today.”
Meek jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead against pitcher Haleigh Lee in the opening frame, but the Green and White came back strong in the second inning to take the lead. From there, they simply had to sit back and let Holcombe take care of the rest.
Lee, Taylor Rowell, Holcombe, Adair Gillian, Sami Hinds, Kolby Holcombe and Peyton Walker each had one hit in the tight win.
Due to tournament regulations, contests were held to a one-hour time limit.
“I felt like in both games we played fairly well with the whole time limit thing,” Miller said.
The Broncos didn’t fool around in Game 2, as Hinds drove in the only two scores of the contest in the first inning on a two-run single that sent both Taylor Tankersley and Rowell home.
Hinds added another hit in the fourth inning and was the only Holly Pond player to earn a base knock off Warrior pitcher Jeri Beasley.
“West Point is the best team we have played all year,” Miller said. “They’re solid and this is a good win for us. They’ve been playing really well.”
Holcombe struck out six and retired 13 of her final 14 batters to pick up another win.
West Point’s Mallory Walker led off the game with a hit.
While Miller is certainly happy to see his team turning some heads at this point in the season, he realizes he’d rather be at the top when the year is drawing to a close.
“It’s good early, but we want to be there late,” he said. “We are ranked high right now and that’s an honor. But we want to be playing our best softball when it counts and continue to be able to build off what we’ve done so far.”
% West Point 10, Good Hope 1: The Warriors handled the Red and White with ease, as Karli Beck hurled a five-inning complete game and notched two hits at the plate in the runaway victory.
Daeshia Smith and Walker also had two hits apiece, and Kayla Sullins tossed in a double as well.
For Good Hope, Derekia Tankersley secured two base knocks, while Bailie Andrews and Maegan Sterling had one single apiece.
% Meek 6, Good Hope 3: Wayne Harris’s team came up empty in its second game of the day as well.
Alannah Henke and Bailey Starnes each walloped a double and Andrews, Tankersley and Darby Randolph notched singles.
Randolph took the loss in three innings of work. She scattered seven hits and struck out three.
% Fairview 12, Hanceville 0: The Purple and Gold were hitting on all cylinders in their county contest against the 3A Bulldogs on Thursday afternoon.
Gracie Cook was the star of the game for Fairview, socking three nice hits — including a rare, inside-the-park grand slam that broke the game wide open — and concluded her evening with five RBIs.
Kayla Aleman, Daylia Dean, Jada Golden and Kalynn Holcomb each contributed two hits to the cause in the win. Pitcher Ally Hogeland threw a four-inning no-hitter to pick up the victory.
% Corner 11, Fairview 0: Harley Gibbs and Holcomb notched two hits apiece and Golden added another, but it wasn’t nearly enough to earn a second win on the day for the Aggies.
% Cold Springs 16, Hanceville 0: The Eagles took out a bit of frustration following an earlier loss by hammering the Bulldogs in a three-inning affair on Thursday.
Kelsey Hester tossed a no-hitter, but it was her offense that stole the show on this occasion.
Rilee White socked a home run, while Taylor Payne was good for a double, a triple and four RBIs in the win. Bailey West and Haley Freeman had two hits apiece and Emily Williams notched a two-run single of her own in the first inning.
Cold Springs now sits at 2-2 on the year with a trip to Lamar County — an area foe — scheduled for Friday.
% Corner 1, Cold Springs 0: White pitched four great innings, but it wasn’t enough for the Eagles to grab a triumph over the Yellow Jackets on Thursday.
White allowed two hits and punched out two in the loss, while Hannah Wilson and Williams each roped a single to round out all the hits for the Blue and Gold in the game.
% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 136 or at email@example.com.