PHS, FHS girls end softball campaigns

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pleasant Home coach Bradley Stephens consoles seniors Helena Weaver and Brianna Dozier after the Lady Eagles’ loss Saturday.

Pleasant Home coach Bradley Stephens consoles seniors Helena Weaver and Brianna Dozier after the Lady Eagles’ loss Saturday.

GULF SHORES — Pleasant Home saved its best softball for Saturday’s game against Brantley, but saw its season end to Brantley in a tough, 5-2 loss to the Lady Bulldogs at the Class 1A South Regional.

The Lady Eagles fought through the losers’ bracket, winning their first two games — a 13-3 decision over J.U. Blacksher, and a 5-2 win over Florala — before facing BHS in the bottom bracket’s finals at the Gulf Shores Sports Complex.

PHS coach Bradley Stephens said the girls played well all day.

“Our defense was top notch at times (against Brantley),” Stephens said. “We had a couple of errors, but they didn’t hurt us. The big thing was that we just gave up some big hits to (BHS pitcher) Alex Wilcox. She’s good.”

The Lady Eagles and Lady Bulldogs were tied 2-2 by the second inning, but BHS added three runs by the fifth to pull away.

In the top of the seventh, PHS didn’t look like it was going away as Cassidy Godwin opened the frame up with a stand-up double.

Stephens said he was hopeful that the girls had some more fuel to go on.

“When Cassidy hit that shot, I thought it might be gone,” he said.

The next three batters were retired in order as BHS finished as the regional runner up.

PHS seniors Brianna Dozier and Helena Weaver will be graduating from a school that saw its softball team make the state tournament 13 straight times, and the regional 14 straight times.

Stephens said in the end, there wasn’t any more gas left in the girls’ tank.

“I’m not taking anything away from them,” the coach said. “That’s a good Brantley team.”

Godwin went 2-for-4 with two doubles; Dozier went 1-for-4 with an RBI; Jade Self went 1-for-3; and Tami Hilson went 1-for-3.

In the Florala win, Pleasant Home’s Anna Bulger had one hit and scored three runs; Godwin had one hit and scored a run; and Weaver and Hilson had one hit each.

Against JUBHS, the Lady Eagles led 11-3 after an eight-run third inning. Godwin scored on a passed ball in the inning to break a 3-3 tie.

Lady Wildcats pitcher Lily Ritzel struck out six in her team’s season-ending loss to PHS.

FHS has come close at times to beating the Lady Eagles, but couldn’t quite get over the hump.

Lady Wildcats coach Pat Maddox said he was proud of how the girls responded.

“I thought our girls responded well all year long, and outplayed their opponents,” Maddox said. “We set a school record this year with 20 wins this season. We won 19 last year, and I thought that was about as good as it was going to get. We busted that one open, and certainly our winning percentage is higher.”

In fact, FHS finished its season 20-14-1, and the future is looking bright for the team as the Lady Wildcats aren’t losing anyone to graduation, but are loaded chalk-full with sophomores and juniors.

“We’re going to work and try to cultivate some talent,” Maddox said. “Folks are excited at Florala about softball.”

The Lady Wildcats played tight with PHS throughout the majority of the game, but some base-running mistakes proved costly.

To start the day on a good note, FHS defeated McKenzie 9-0 in seven innings.

Ritzel struck out 13 batters and allowed no runs while walking two.

Ritzel and Amber Johnson went 3-for-4 each; Callie Wise went 2-for-4; Samie Hammac and Angel Maxey went 2-for-3 each; and Keadra Avan had two hits to lead FHS in the win that set the school record for most victories in a season.

Pleasant Home finished its season 20-19.