HACKLEBURG — The Winfield Pirates battled through heavy winds on Saturday, April 1, to win the Marion County softball tournament over the Hamilton Lady Aggies.
The tournament began Friday night, with Brilliant and Hamilton facing off in the first game that afternoon, which Hamilton won.
The second game saw Hackleburg and Marion County play each other.
After the first games, Hamilton and Hackleburg stayed in the winner’s bracket, and Marion County and Brilliant dropped to the loser’s bracket.
Hamilton played Phillips on Friday afternoon and won, advancing to take on the Winfield Pirates on Saturday, who had defeated Hackleburg on Friday.
Hackleburg defeated Brilliant in the first round of the loser’s bracket, and Marion County beat Phillips, which meant the Bears and Tigers were out of the tournament.
The two victors faced each other on Saturday, and it would be the Lady Red Raiders moving on after a 7-1 victory over the Lady Panthers.
After Hackleburg, the Raiders were up against the Lady Aggies, who had lost to Winfield earlier that morning.
The Lady Aggies won that game 8-1, and earned their spot in what could have been the final game of the tournament against the Lady Pirates.
But it would not be the final game.
The Lady Aggies scored two runs in the top of the first, and the Lady Pirates responded with one run in the bottom of the inning.
The second inning passed without any runs allowed, but the Aggies were able to score another run in the top of the third.
The Aggies would score one more run in the top of the seventh to earn a 4-1 lead going into the bottom of the seventh.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Lady Pirates came close to making a comeback but fell just short.
With a runner on second base and a full count, Winfield’s Anna Lynn hit a home run and narrowed the Aggies lead to 4-3.
The Lady Aggies made a few errors that allowed several runners to take bases, but a few good catches would end the game in the Aggies’ favor.
Since Winfield lost the first game, they had to play a second game to determine the winner.
The Aggies were the first to score again, scoring one run in the first inning and another in the second inning.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Lady Pirates started to hit their stride.
A walk with bases loaded gave the Lady Pirates their first run of the game.
With bases still loaded, Winfield’s Gracie McCarty landed a solid hit into the outfield that brought two more runners home to give the Pirates a 3-2 lead.
Two runners were able to steal home before the inning was over, and the Pirates were leading 5-2.
After a quick top of the third inning, the Lady Pirates were back up to bat. With one out and bases loaded, Lynn and Lexi May made it home to bring in two more runs. McCarty bunted, and it looked the Aggies would tag the plate, but the catcher dropped the ball, and the Lady Pirates scored another run.
Another stolen run gave the Pirates a 9-2 lead at the end of the third inning.
The Aggies were unable to score any runs after the first inning, and the Pirates held the lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Winfield’s Willa Simmons hit a home run to give the Pirates a 10-2 lead. Winfield’s Ivy Simms hit a home run in the bottom of the sixth, and one final run from the Pirates ended the game in a 12-2 victory for the Lady Pirates.
See complete story in the Journal Record.