By BRIAN HAMILTON, Editor
Pickens Academy lost to Tuscaloosa Academy in blowout fashion last Monday evening, but bounced back on Tuesday evening, winning both games of a doubleheader against Russell Christian by scores of 4-0 and 14-4. The Lady Pirates had last Thursday’s doubleheader with Bessemer Academy cancelled due to weather, ending the regular season. Pickens Academy will play in their regional tournament on Thursday, April 25th in Demopolis against the winner of Monroe Academy and Patrician Academy, with the first game starting at 2 p.m.
For two Pickens Academy contributors, Lily Lowery and Lizzy Noland, this will be their first foray into the postseason. The two Lady Pirate players are only in sixth grade, yet make key contributions for a team that is expected to compete for a state championship.
“It’s crazy that sixth graders can play. They’ve played travel ball all of their life and they’re very instinctive players and I think playing your whole life makes you more instinctive,” Pickens Academy coach Wade Goodman said. “It’s funny when you get sixth graders on the varsity and I go by and pick them up (from the Elementary school), you have to make sure they’re not on yellow light or red light and haven’t got in trouble. We ask them every day when they come to practice how nap time was.”
Tuscaloosa Academy, 12 Pickens Academy, 1
Emma Price hit a double for Tuscaloosa Academy that scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning to take an early 2-0 lead. Claire Roberts then hit a fly ball and reached base due to an error by Lily Lowery. Price made it home to make the score 3-0.
TA picked up where they left off in the bottom of the second inning when Price hit a hard ground ball and reached base on an error by Mackenzie McCool, sending Ivy White and Amity White home for a 5-0 lead.
The Lady Pirates would finally get on the board when Shelby Lowe blasted a home run to left field, making the score 5-1 in the top of the third.
Kelsey Curry grounded out to first baseman Baylee Jaynes in the bottom of the fourth inning, but Christina Sealy scored, making the score 6-1. The Lady Knights led PA by a score of 8-1 after four innings.
Chloe Johnson was walked in the bottom of the fifth inning, sending Sealy across home plate for a 9-1 lead. Kendall Tillery then grounded out to second base, but not before Price scored to make the score 10-1. Harper Hanley then doubled on a hard ground ball to left field, scoring Curry and Johnson for a 12-1 win in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Courtney Dudley took the loss for Pickens Academy, allowing 12 runs on 11 hits and striking out two. Emma Price picked up the win for Tuscaloosa Academy, giving up only one run on two hits, while striking out three and walking one.
“We had played Tuscaloosa early in the season and beat them 7-0 with Shelby pitching and then we beat them 14-6 with Courtney pitching, then the other day it was like we had never even practiced softball, much less won a game,” Goodman said. “It was as bad as it’s been in a long time. We didn’t do anything right. They put every ball in play and we missed three pop ups in the infield and then had about six more hit that we didn’t get to that we should’ve got to. It was as bad as it could be. It was so bad that the next day we practiced until the other team got there. I waited until the last minute to get the field ready so we could practice.”
See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.