- Cullman, Alabama

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May 1, 2013

PREP SOFTBALL: Cold Springs heading to regionals after 17-0 triumph

VERNON — Fresh off a 13-0 licking to Oakman on the opening day of the Class 2A, Area 11 Tournament, Cold Springs was faced with a do-or-die situation versus the very same team not even 24 hours later.

And with a regional berth on the line, the Eagles did, flipping the script on the Wildcats with a 17-0 beatdown to advance to Wednesday’s area title tilt.

“They had the kind of day today that we had yesterday,” Cold Springs’ coach Patrick West said. “Couldn’t catch, couldn’t hit, couldn’t throw. It is what it is. We definitely had our backs against the wall, and they responded. I’m proud.”

Rilee White pitched five innings of one-hit ball and also led the Eagles at the plate with four hits and four RBIs in four at-bats. Taylor Payne was next in line with a two hits and three RBIs, followed by Hayden West, one hit and three RBIs; McKinnley Davis, one hit and two RBIs; and Hanna Wilson, one hit and one RBI.

“That was a big step for our program,” West said of Cold Springs, which will head to next week’s North Central Regional in Tuscaloosa touting an 18-13 record. “Our goal all year was to make the playoffs, and we did what we set out to do.”

Despite jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning of the ensuing championship game against Lamar County, the Eagles wound up up losing 13-3 to the hosts in six innings. Cold Springs’ downfall was a 10-run third for the Bulldogs.

“We played 11 innings today,” West said. “We had 10 good innings and then one bad one.”

Hayden West contributed a pair of hits and an RBI in the title game. Payne also sported two hits, while White had one and Wilson pitched in an RBI.

% The Times’ sports editor Rob Ketcham contributed to this report.

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