CCHS bounces back from loss, blanks Central-Florence 7-0
Class 4A State Softball Tournament Thursday Roundup
MONTGOMERY – A lot of teams at the state softball tournament would let a one-run loss like the one Class 4A, No. 4 Cherokee County suffered to third-ranked Alabama Christian on Thursday bother them.
That certainly wasn’t the case with the Lady Warriors.
After being sent to the losers bracket to face Central-Florence, Cherokee County put its previous loss behind it by scoring three runs in the first inning and cruising to a 7-0 victory.
Cherokee County senior shortstop Kaitlyn Griffith got things going in the top of the first for the Lady Warriors (42-11). She led off with an infield single and scored on a passed ball to put Cherokee County on top 1-0.
After catcher Madison Millsaps doubled to right, her sister Lauren Millsaps brought her home with a single to left making it 2-0 Lady Warriors. Cayla Machleit later added a sacrifice fly to score Cherokee County’s third run of the inning.
That proved to be more than enough run support for Lauren Millsaps. She never surrendered a run, even when she got in a basesloaded jam in the fifth. The senior pitcher improved to 31-4 after giving up just four hits and no walks with two strikeouts.
Cherokee County tacked on three more runs in the sixth for good measure. Third baseman Candace Blanchard had a RBIsingle. Machleit and Tori Davis both brought home a run apiece on sacrifice flies.
The Lady Warriors scored once more in the seventh. Griffith walked, stole second and third and came home on a sacrifice bunt by Madison Millsaps for the final.
Lauren Millsaps led the Lady Warriors at the plate by going 2for-4 with two runs, a RBI and a stolen base. Madison Millsaps added a double and a RBI. Griffith went 1-for-3 with two runs and two stolen bases. Blanchard was also 1-for-3 with a run and a RBI.
Molly Brewer and Davis were both 1-for-2, with Brewer scoring a run and Davis driving in another. Audra Bradley and Darbie Rosser were both 1-for-3.
Reanna Chafin, Jordan Humphrey, Andi Kimbrough and Anna Rae Montgomery were all 1for-3 for the Lady Wildcats.
Alabama Christian 9, Cherokee County 8
MONTGOMERY – Despite rallying on two separate occasions, the Class 4A, No. 4 Cherokee County Lady Warriors fell 9-8 to third-ranked Alabama Christian Thursday in the winners bracket of the state softball tournament.
Cherokee County (41-11) came back from six runs down to tie the game at 8 at the end of six innings. Alabama Christian (44-10) pushed what proved to be the winning run across in the top of the seventh. Kacy Summerlin walked to lead off the inning and scored on a misplayed ball by Lady Warrior second baseman Darbie Rosser.
Cherokee County had one last chance in the bottom of the seventh. Tori Davis singled to right to lead off the inning, but Lady Eagle relief pitcher Kelli Harris settled in to retire the side and earn the win, propelling Alabama Christian to Friday’s winners bracket game.
Cherokee County dropped to the losers bracket, where they took on the winner of Central Florence on Thursday.
Senior catcher McKenzie Kilpatrick led the charge for the Lady Eagles. She was 2-for-2 with a pair of home runs and a pair of walks. She drove in four runs.
Alabama Christian took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Shortstop Rachel Eagerton led off with a double and scored on a single to center by Amanda Seals.
Kilpatrick walked and scored on a sacrifice fly by Harris for the two-run cushion.
Alabama Christian added a run in the second on a RBI-single by Eagerton to go up 3-0.
Kilpatrick homered to left to give the Lady Eagles a 4-0 lead.
Kilpatrick blasted her second homer of the game in the top of the fifth, a two-run shot to center off Lady Warrior senior pitcher Lauren Millsaps. Kilpatrick’s second shot gave Alabama Christian a seemingly comfortable 6-0 lead.
But the Lady Warriors battled back. They sent 10 batters to the plate in the bottom half of the fifth and scored five runs.
Kaitlyn Griffith accounted for the first Lady Warrior run, doubling home Audra Bradley who reached earlier in the inning on a single to center. Madison Millsaps followed with a two-run single to left, scoring Rosser, who also singled in the inning, and Griffith. That made the score 6-3 Lady Eagles.
Lauren Millsaps then doubled to center, bringing Candace Blanchard to the plate.
Blanchard brought home Madison Millsaps on a grounder to short. The Lady Warriors crept a run closer on a RBI-single by Molly Brewer to make it 6-5.
Alabama Christian countered with two runs in the top of the sixth off Lady Warrior reliever Davis. With one out, Davis loaded the bases, bringing Kilpatrick up.
Kilpatrick drew a walk to bring home a run, pushing the Lady Eagle lead to 7-5.
Following a strikeout of Amanda Seales, Harris was hit by pitch to bring home another run, making the score 8-5.
Cherokee County rallied again, this time to tie the game at 8 with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Lauren Millsaps had a two- run single and Blanchard added a RBI-single to tie the game.
However, Alabama Christian scored what proved to be the winning run in the top of the seventh for the final.
Lauren Millsaps led the Lady Warriors at the plate by going 3for-4 with two runs and two RBI. Blanchard went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Rosser was also 2-for-4 with a pair of runs. Madison Millsaps went 1-for-2 with two runs and two RBI.
Davis suffered the loss after relieving Lauren Millsaps. She worked 2 2/3 innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits with a pair of walks and a strikeout.
Lauren Millsaps worked 4 1/3 innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
Cherokee County 7,
MONTGOMERY – Kaitlyn Griffith went 2-for-3 with a double, three runs, two stolen bases and two RBI to lead the Class 4A, No. 4 Lady Warriors to a 7-1 victory over Dadeville on Thursday, their opening game of the state softball tournament.
Griffith got things going early for the Lady Warriors against Dadeville (26-21). She led off the bottom of the first inning with a double to left off starting pitcher Rae Williams.
Griffith scored on a single to center by Lauren Millsaps, giving the Lady Warriors a 1-0 lead.
Cherokee County tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the third. Griffith led off with a walk and stole second, third and home to give CCHS a 2-0 advantage.
Molly Brewer put the Lady Warriors in front 3-0 on a RBIsingle to left that scored Candace Blanchard. Blanchard reached earlier in the inning on a single.
Cherokee County sent eight batters to the plate in the fourth and scored three more runs.
The big blow of the inning came off the bat of Madison Millsaps, who belted a two-run double to center with one out. Griffith had a run-scoring single to center prior to Madison Millsaps’s double, helping put CCHS in front 6-0.
Dadeville scored its lone run in the top of the fifth on a groundout to short by Williams that pushed Reba Hawkins across. Hawkins, who went 2-for-4, reached on a single to center with one out.
Lauren Millsaps picked up the win. She tossed all seven innings, giving up one run on five hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.
Brewer was 2-for-4 with a RBI for the Lady Warriors. Madison and Lauren Millsaps were both 1-for-4. Blanchard and Tori Davis were both 1-for-3 with a run. Audra Bradley and Darbie Rosser were both 1-for-2 with a run apiece.