Devils headed to state

Published 6:36 pm Monday, May 11, 2009

The Maplesville softball team set a goal for itself before the season: make the state tournament.

Mission accomplished.

The Red Devils won games and had some fun in Montgomery on May 8-9 during the South Central Region tournament and now will have to set the bar a little higher during a return trip this weekend for the state tournament.

“We told them last week was about survive and advance; next weekend is about winning a championship,” Maplesville assistant coach Chad Harrison said.

The team came out swinging (their bats, that is) in the regional. Maplesville scored 35 runs in its first two tournament games—a 20-8 win over Wadley and a 15-4 win over Billingsley—after not having scored more than 11 runs in a game all season.

Courtney Killingsworth reached base safely in 14 of her 19 plate appearances for a .737 on-base percentage. Other top OBPs were recorded by Kortisha Morrow (.667), Natalie Arnold (.667), Katlyn Freeman (.591), Morgan Little (.526) and Heather Chambers (.500).

Killingsworth compiled a 3-0 record from inside the circle.

The Wadley game began at 10 a.m. Friday, and, by winning, the Devils didn’t have to play again until Saturday morning. So, the team spent Friday afternoon at the hotel pool.

The time away from a softball field must have benefited the team as Maplesville defeated Billingsley again later Saturday to earn a berth in the state tournament despite two losses to Holy Spirit.

With a state tournament berth already locked up because the top two teams from each region advance, Maplesville had some more fun in the regional championship game, a 14-1 loss to Holy Spirit.

The team’s lone senior, Bridget Nichols, pitched for the first time, and youngsters Lindy Barrett (sophomore), Alisha Blackmon (sophomore), Autumn Smith (8th grader) and Brooke Sheffield (7th grader) got their first game action of the tournament.

“It’s a reward for what they’ve done all season,” Harrison said. “We’re one of the top eight teams in the state.”