E.A. Sports Today

Off to good start

Everybody hits for White Plains as the Lady Wildcats opened their area tournament with a 10-0 victory over Jacksonville

Isabella Pinto (12) was on base all four times she batted and scored four runs in White Plains’ 10-0 win over Jacksonville. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

Area Tournament scoreboard
Class 1A Area 10

Faith Christian 16, JCA 1
Spring Garden 19, Faith Christian 0

Class 4A Area 12
White Plains 10, Jacksonville 0
Hokes Bluff 2, Cherokee County 1
Jacksonville 13, Cherokee County 6

Class 5A Area 10
Cleburne County 16, Clay Central 0
Lincoln 10, Talladega 0
Clay Central 18, Talladega 0

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – There might have been a last-minute change of venue, but it didn’t get the White Plains softball team off-schedule.

It’s playoff time again and as usual the Wildcats are looking to make another deep run and possible trip to the state tournament.

They began that quest Monday in the Class 4A Area 12 tournament with a 10-0 shutout of Jacksonville in an opening day that was moved to Jacksonville State to escape the rain-soaked field at White Plains.

Isabella Pinto reached base four times on two errors, a walk and a bunt single and scored four runs to lead the seventh-ranked Wildcats at the plate. Katy Roszell banged out three singles in four trips to the plate, Ailee Martin added a pair of singles and Ashlyn Hinton twirled a one-hitter against the Golden Eagles.

Pinto scored a run in each of the first two innings, then the Wildcats broke it open with sixth in the third They scratched a run in each

The Wildcats will face Hokes Bluff in the winner’s bracket finals Tuesday night as the games go back to a hopefully dried out field at White Plains. Hokes Bluff edged Cherokee County in its tournament opener 2-1.

Senior twins Carley and Shelby Wood have been the face of the White Plains program over the last six years as they have been at the top of the Wildcat lineup for coach Rachel Ford. They reached base on walks or errors six times in eight trips to the plate.

“It is great to be here this time of the year,” said Shelby, who’s off to play basketball at Southern Union next year. “I want some of our younger teammates to know the experience of taking a trip to the state playoffs.

“Coach Ford was the best coach ever to play for. She taught us so much and is the reason I want to be a coach after college. I am excited about our chances this year. There are 11 players hitting over .300 and we sure want to make it back to state.”

The senior shortstop added the thrill of what it was to experience her career at White Plains with sister Carley.

“She is my best friend,” Shelby said. “It was so much fun to watch her do well and be able to talk with her about the game.”

Carley played first base early in her career and then moved to catcher as a sophomore and is one of the best catcher’s in the area. She’ll be attending Gadsden State in the fall as she continues her education to become a surgical technologist.

“It has been the best time of my life,” Carley said. “The memories of intense games, the teammates and my sister being on the team; I would not trade it for anything in the world.”

Shelby seems to display the most intensity and some of those coaching instincts come out with her sister.

”She is always critiquing me in some way, in my ear, making me better and if I have a bad game she is there to pick me up,” Carley said. “We have a bunch of competitors on this team and we want to finish strong. We all want to win.”

Hokes Bluff 2, Cherokee County 1: The Lady Eagles put together three two-out singles in the fifth inning to push across the go-ahead run. Sydney Ball snapped the 1-1 tie when she singled home Kayla Hickman. Kaylee Ingram held the Lady Warriors to four hits — two each by McKinley Rouse and Jensen Alexander — and struck out four. Both teams scored a run in the first inning.

Jacksonville 13, Cherokee County 6: The Golden Eagles (10-20) staved off elimination by pounding 20 hits off the Lady Warriors (7-17). All nine batters in the order banged out hits. Reagan Stallings, Essence Hutchison, Savannah Wood and Mallory Bell had three hits apiece. Bell’s two-run homer opened the game up in the third inning. Sullie Mabry was the winning pitcher for Jacksonville. The Golden Eagles play the loser of the White Plains-Hokes Bluff game Tuesday for a spot in the championship round.

Cherokee County’s Aubree Williams (00) beats Hokes Bluff’s Kaylee Ingram to the bag at first in their area tournament game Monday. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

To see more B.J. Franklin photos from the White Plains-Jacksonville and Cherokee County-Hokes Bluff games, go to www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

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