E.A. Sports Today

Cubs, Panthers fall in tourney

Springville stays unbeaten; Sardis rallies in final inning

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

ALEXANDRIA — Springville’s Meg Sullivan drilled a home run in the first inning and eighth-grader Abby Swaney struck out nine to lead the unbeaten Tigers over defending state champion Alexandria Friday night.

It was the first game the Valley Cubs (0-2) have been able to play since February 23 due to all the bad weather.

Both teams showed flashes of brilliance and intentions they were going to play a part in who wins the state 5A championship.

Sullivan opened the scoring in the first inning with a two-out homer to left against Valley Cubs freshman pitcher Leighton Sparks. The Tigers (8-0) picked up two more in the third inning, but Sparks pitched out of a huge jam to prevent more damage, as Springville left the bases loaded.

They extended the lead to 4-0 in the fifth as Sullivan scored her third run of the game on a single by Ashlyn Perrin.

Swaney was breezing along until the fifth inning when Alexandria began getting its bats warmed up after the two-week layoff. Brianna Brown blasted a triple and Sparks got her home with a sacrifice fly. Summer Watts and Timberlynn Shurbutt both were hit by pitches, then Lauren O Dell then hit a deep drive to center that was caught to prevent the game from being tied.

Because it was a round-robin tournament, the game was limited to five innings due to time constraints.

Springville has claimed Oxford, Etowah, Spain Park and White Plains among its victims. Alexandria, meanwhile, has lost key seniors such as Madison Shanks, Catelynn Howell and Kaitlyn Rhodes, but appears to have players stepping up into bigger roles this year.

Shurbutt displayed a strong arm at shortstop and great range. Second baseman Erin Farlow played solid defense and hit the ball well. Freshman catcher Allison Bonds was solid behind the plate.

Both teams will being playing Saturday as the round-robin tournament continues.

Sardis 10, Wellborn 6

The Sardis Lions erupted for nine runs in the last inning to score their victory.

The Lions (1-1) looked beaten as they trailed 5-1 going to the sixth inning. Wellborn’s Mikayala Ludwig was breezing along with five strikeouts and allowing only three hits while her teammates were pounding out five runs on six hits.

But she just ran into a wall as the sixth inning started. She had thrown a lot of pitches and all the time off due to bad weather just caught up with her. Sardis led off the sixth with a single and followed that with three straight walks. Sidney Carroll came on in relief, but hit a batter, walked another, then gave up two singles and a triple leading to nine runs.

The Panthers (1-1) picked up four runs in the second inning. Raegan Nunez led off with a walk and Kamryn Beasley singled to right field. After a Ludwig pop out, Carroll doubled home a run, Laurel Hambric singled in Beasley and Lauran Carroll singled home two more runs with two outs.

Sardis scored a run in the fifth to cut the lead to 4-1, but Nunez blasted a home run to left field to open the lead up to 5-1.

Both teams will be playing Saturday as the tournament continues.

Spring sports athletes, encourage your coaches to report details of your games to East Alabama Sports Today via text at 256-239-6715 or email at musky@wrightmediacorp.com.

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