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May 3, 2013

PREP SOFTBALL: Cullman secures spot in regional tournament with 4-0 upset win over East Limestone

HARTSELLE — Cullman softball coach Stephanie Barlow couldn’t be any happier with how her team has grown and responded to the everyday challenges of a tough season.

On Friday morning, her squad took another step in the right direction, becoming the fifth local team to punch its ticket to next week’s regional tournaments with a 4-0 upset victory over area-rival East Limestone.

“I’m so proud of them,” Barlow said. “They really came out focused for that game and knew what they needed to do.”

Hayden Short hit a two-run homer in the top of the second inning that gave the Bearcats a lead they never relinquished.

“We wanted to come out and start strong,” the coach said. “We have been pretty mentally tough these past two days.”

Hannah Morton pitched a dandy for the Black and Gold to stave off a tough Indian lineup.

“She did really well,” Barlow added of the eighth-grader.

The win secures a spot for Cullman in next week’s North Regional tournament. The Bearcats will play Lawrence County on Friday at 3:30 p.m in Huntsville.

Cullman’s bid for a second-straight upset win was deterred later in the afternoon, as the Bearcats fell 10-3 to rival Hartselle in the championship game of the Class 5A, Area 15 Tournament.

The Tigers raced out to a comfortable 10-0 lead before Barlow’s squad tacked on three runs late in the game.

% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at jwinfrey@cullmantimes.com.

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