By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.