E.A. Sports Today

Mullinax delivers

Lincoln wins 5A Area 10 tournament title with two one-run victories over Cleburne County; Mullinax drives home game-winner in seventh

By East Alabama Sports Today

LINCOLN – Carlee Mullinax has been delivering for the Lincoln softball team ever since she arrived in the program and she delivered Tuesday when the Lady Bears needed her most.

Mullinax’ bases-loaded no-out infield single in the bottom of the seventh brought home the winning run in a 5-4 victory over Cleburne County that gave the Lady Bears the Region 5A Area 10 tournament championship.

Lincoln took a pair of dramatic one-run games from the Lady Tigers Tuesday to win its first area tournament title in recent memory. The Lady Bears won the winner’s bracket game 2-1 in eight innings on tournament MVP Stay Curry’s two-out single in the top of the eighth and Ray Powell pitching out of a jam in the bottom of the frame.

“We knew it was going to be that way from the start,” Mullinax said.

Lincoln came from behind twice in the championship game, trailing 3-0 and 4-3. Mullinax doubled home the Lady Bears’ first run of the game and hit a two-run homer to tie it; both hits came with two outs.

Cleburne County went ahead 4-3 in the seventh on Chelsea Parker’s single. Lincoln loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning on walks to Amity Cooper and Curry around a bunt single by Brooklyn Ferguson. Victoria Sands tied the game with a single to left, then Mullinax delivered her game-winner on a ball in the hole between short and third no one could make a play.

“It was pretty neat,” Mullinax said. “It wasn’t the type of hit you want in that situation, but it was just the perfect hit. It went to the right spot and it happened.”

“That’s the kind of stuff you expect out of Carlee Mullinax; she’s a big-time player making a big-time play in a big-time game,” Lincoln coach Shea Monroe said.

In the first game, Victoria Mitchell led off the eighth with a double, She was sacrificed over by Ashley Williams’ only at-bat of the tournament. Amity Cooper walked, then after Brooklyn Ferguson popped to third, Curry delivered her go-ahead single.

The Lady Bears still had to get through the bottom of the inning to secure the win. The Lady Tigers put runners at first and second with none out, but Ray Powell got an infield out on the lead runner, a pop up and a strikeout to end the game. Powell threw 127 pitches, gave up three hits and struck out seven.

The loss in the first game meant Cleburne County had to beat Lincoln twice in the championship round to win the tournament. Kiara Akles got the Lady Tigers off to a good start with a two-run homer in the first and they scored another run on a wild pitch in the third.

Mullinax doubled home Curry in the home third, then hit her two-run homer with Curry on in the fifth. Cleburne County only got Curry out twice in nine plate appearances in the two games.

“We don’t win the tournament without Christavia,” Monroe said. “She was so critical getting on base.”

Amber Parker pitched both games against Lincoln. She gave up three hits in the first game, five in the second. She struck out 13 in the first game, 12 in the second.

“I about had a heart attack twice; it was definitely an emotional rollercoaster,” Monroe said. “The girls did a good job of making adjustments late in the game. (Amber Parker) was throwing her fastball in above our hands and we were popping it up, we eventually laid off the stuff above our hands and drove the ball.”

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