Mustangs advance to softball state tournament

Published 3:03 pm Friday, May 8, 2015

Isabella first baseman Kacie Adams stretches to make an out during a regional tournament game.

Isabella first baseman Kacie Adams stretches to make an out during a regional tournament game.

Isabella’s softball team will be making an appearance in the state tournament.

The Mustangs won their first three games in the Class 1A South Central Regional Tournament being played in Troy to lock up one of the two qualifier positions.

IHS defeated Billingsley, 2-0, on Friday to move into the regional championship round.

The Bears must now avoid elimination in a loser’s bracket games to set up a rematch with Isabella that would determine the region champion.

The top two teams in each regional advance to the state tournament, to be played May 13-16 at Lagoon Park in Montgomery.

Isabella cruised in two wins Thursday, defeating Wadley, 15-1, and Jefferson Christian, 16-2.

Wadley’s lone run came in the first inning, while Isabella scored a whopping six runs in the first.

Chelsea Cox got the win on the mound with nine strike outs.

The Mustangs played lights-out defense, only allowing one runner to reach base after the first inning.

The game was called in the fifth due to the mercy rule.

Coach Mike Ratliff said after the win over Wadley that he was anticipating a similar performance from his team for the following games of the tournament.

“I’m proud of them for keeping a positive attitude,” Ratliff said. “We’ve just got to keep doing the things we’re good at. The bats were working, our pitcher looked good, our defense was sound. We’ve just got to keep it up.”

Cox was enthusiastic about her first experience at the regional tournament.

“The goal is to throw the least amount of pitches as possible,” Cox said. “I’m just trying to make sure that every pitch counts.”

Billingsley, meanwhile, overcame a slow start in its first game, against Talladega County Central.

The offense finally broke through in the fourth inning to gain a 7-1 lead.

Billingsley tacked on a few more runs in the fifth to draw a mercy rule and bring the final score to 11-1.

Katlyn Childress got the win on the mound for the Bears, allowing just three hits.

Coach J.T. Lawrence said he was both proud and concerned about the Bears’ performance in the game.

“We were patient at the plate,” Lawrence said. “We’ve just got to play with more intensity. We were fundamentally sound, we just need more line drives and really good hits. Our bats finally woke up toward the end.”