Lady Pirates, Lady Panthers wrap seasons

Winfield’s Karrah Parr steps forward to swing at a pitch.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer

Both teams advance far into 2024 AHSAA State Softball tournament

OXFORD — The Hackleburg Lady Panthers and the Winfield Lady Pirates varsity softball teams wrapped their seasons in the 2024 AHSAA 1A and 3A state softball tournaments on May 14-17.
Both teams won their respective regional tournaments to secure their place in the state playoffs, hosted at Choccolocco Park in Oxford.
The Panthers began the tournament by playing the Leroy Bears in the first round of the 1A state playoffs. The Lady Panthers were only able to score one run to Leroy’s 11, sending the Lady Panthers to the elimination bracket.
Once there, the Lady Panthers fought hard for their second shot at the state championship. The Lady Panthers drove the Maplesville Red Devils out of the playoffs 12-2, then put down the Brantley Bulldogs 3-1.
In the Lady Panther’s game against Maplesville, Braylynn Pope, Saylor Cooper and Ellie Nichols hit two runs each. Payten Herron, Laine Steward, Kaylee Ables, Heidi Hudson, Maddie Burt and Hannah Johnson all scored one run each.
Steward batted in two RBIs, and Carson Browning, Pope, Cooper, Nichols and Ables brought in one RBI each.
From the mound, Steward pitched for three innings, allowing one run off of one hit and throwing two strikeouts. Pope threw one strikeout and allowed one run off of one hit.
Hackleburg also defeated Waterloo 5-3, but then found themselves in another matchup with the Leroy Bears.
Against Waterloo, Nichols scored two of Hackleburg’s runs, while Pope, Cooper and Herron contributed one each. Nichols and Steward each brought in two RBIs and Ables hit one.
Steward pitched the full game, allowing six hits and three runs while throwing one walk and one strikeout.
Their second game was much closer, but in the end, Leroy took the victory 4-3 for a spot in the final game. Leroy went on to lose to Skyline 9-0 in the championship game.
The Hackleburg Lady Panthers ended their season with an overall record of 33-14-2.

The Winfield Lady Pirates played the Excel Lady Panthers in the first round of the 3A state playoffs.
Winfield’s Willa Simmons hit a double with bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning, which got the snowball rolling toward a big win. A few more hits in the fourth inning, including a massive inside-the-parker from Jayci Griffin, kept the points rolling in.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Lady Pirates brought their lead up to 10-0, ending the game early in the Lady Pirates’ favor.
Kennah Beth Lacy pitched a no-hitter. Griffin hit 3-3 with a home run. Hanna Kimbrell batted 3-4 with 2 RBIs.
Simmons batted 2-2 with 3 RBIs. Lexi May also batted 2-2 with 3 RBIs. Maddie Grace Lewis batted 1-3.
In the second round, the Lady Pirates played the St. James Trojans. That game was a much closer battle for the Lady Pirates, which ended in a 3-2 loss to the Trojans.
In that game, Griffin, Karrah Parr and Lacy all batted 1-3, with Lacy adding an RBI.
Finally, the Lady Pirates lost their second game to Madison Academy 2-1, bringing their season to an end.
Kimbrell and Abby Channell both batted 2-3, and Lacy batted 1-3.
The Lady Pirates ended their season with an overall record of 37-10.

See complete story in the Journal Record.
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