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March 17, 2014

PREP SOFTBALL: West Point, Cullman secure huge invitational crowns over weekend

CULLMAN — This past Saturday was all about two Class 5A softball rivals.

West Point picked up three wins and a title at the seventh annual Cullman Softball Umpires Association Invitational, while Cullman held its ground with six victories at this year’s Oneonta Invitational to head home with a shiny crown of its own over the weekend.

After splitting a pair of matchups with Holly Pond and Good Hope on Day 1, the Warriors came out with a purpose during the single-elimination tourney at Vinemont’s Sports Complex.

Kevin Sullins’s squad pitched two shutouts in huge wins over Cold Springs (4-0) and Corner (2-0) to set up a championship showdown with 3A Susan Moore.

In the title tilt, West Point trailed 4-3 heading into the last of the seventh inning. However, Jamie and Jeri Beasley opened it up with back-to-back hits before a Mallory Walker sacrifice fly tied the game with one out.

After a strikeout, it was Karra Elam who played hero for her team by connecting on a walk-off RBI single to win the game.

“We played real well Saturday,” Sullins said. “We gave a total team effort. They’ve been playing really unselfish ball this year and good defense as well.”

Elam finished the afternoon with six hits and five RBIs in the three wins, while Daeshia Smith tallied three hits and two RBIs.

Darenna Campbell and Makenzie Baswell both socked home runs for the Warriors, while the latter — as well as Walker and both Beasley sisters — all had two hits apiece on the day.

While the offense was certainly clutch, Sullins was more than willing to discus his tremendous pitchers — Karli Beck and Jeri Beasley.

The duo allowed just 11 hits in 21 combined innings and only dished out one walk while striking out five batters.

“They have been doing a great job for us all season,” Sullins said. “They’re keeping the ball down and that has worked out well. Both of them have their own styles, but we’ve been able to help them out by playing some good defense behind them.”

West Point is now 11-6 on the year.

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