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Sports Briefs

Published 3:10pm Tuesday, March 29, 2011

BRHS boys, girls soccer teams prep for important week

It’s “playoff week” for the Benjamin Russell soccer teams.

Both the boys and girls face sectional foes Stanhope Elmore and Wetumpka on the road, and if either team wins both games, it will clinch a berth in the playoffs.

“This is one of the biggest weeks in a long time for us,” said head coach Sammy Teel. “If we can win these two, we’ll be in the playoffs no matter what.”

On Saturday, Brady McMillan’s penalty kick and Brian Stroud’s header were good enough for BRHS to pick up a 2-0 win against Sylacauga.

The girls got a goal from Paxton Templin, but a late Lady Aggie goal helped the visitors earn a 1-1 tie.

For the boys (8-5-3), it was the third victory in four games (the other was a tie). Friday’s win over Prattville was huge, Teel said.

“Any time Benjamin Russell beats Prattville in any sport, it’s big for the program,” Teel said. “I thought for us to be able to come out and play our biggest rival the next day and get a win was important, too. Nothing matches the intensity that we see with Sylacauga.”

Teel said the boys have possessed the ball well and added that the defense has been “outstanding” in the last few games.

A few mistakes are costing the girls (7-8-4), Teel said.

“We’re just having a few too many small breakdowns on the girls’ side,” Teel said. “We didn’t mark Sylacauga’s best girl on a corner kick and gave up a goal with four minutes left. We gave up a couple easy ones against Prattville, too.

“We have to be smart enough to recognize those mismatches.”

Teel said the effort has been there for the girls lately, and he’s happy with how they’re responding to learning new formations the coaches have installed late in the season.

BRHS travels to face Stanhope Tuesday and takes on Wetumpka Friday.

Lady Trojan softball team opens ACCC play with win

Shanise Hudson doubled twice and drove in three runs, and Haley Johnson pitched another complete-game shutout to lead the Central Alabama softball team to a 6-0 win against Southern Union.

Johnson gave up four hits, walked two and struck out one in six innings of work. She and Brooklynn Phillips both were 1-for-3 with an RBI at the plate.

Jade Sasser, Vannessa Peterson and Michelle Gray all singled for CACC (22-4).

The Lady Trojans are scheduled to host Faulkner State at 1 p.m. on Wednesday for a doubleheader.

HBHS baseball swept by Beulah in doubleheader

The Horseshoe Bend baseball team lost both ends of a home doubleheader with Beulah on Saturday and fell to 7-8 on the season.

The Generals, which earlier swept Reeltown by scores of 11-3 and 7-3 and beat LaFayette 18-3 to have a 3-0 Class 2A, Area 8 record, still are not playing steady defense according to their head coach.

“So far we have been able to score pretty much on anybody, but we can’t stop anybody from scoring,” Jason Johnson said. “We’re not consistent on defense and we’re making key errors at key times. We’re pitching well at times, but we’ve got to be able to help the pitcher out.”

HBHS didn’t show up in game one on Saturday, losing 17-0 to the Bobcats, and though game two was closer, Beulah still managed to pick up a 7-4 victory. The Generals lost before that 8-6 to Handley in a game they could’ve easily won.

“We blew two leads and should’ve been able to hang on (against Handley),” Johnson said. “For the most part, we’re hitting well. I just hope we can pick it up defensively because you wouldn’t expect this many mistakes this late into the season.”

The Generals will look to even their overall record Tuesday at LaFayette.

BRHS boys tennis team falls to McGill-Toolen Saturday

In the Benjamin Russell boys’ tennis invitational this weekend, the Wildcats lost 7-2 to McGill-Toolen.

Rod Williams won at No. 1 singles 6-3, 6-1 and Mathew Brown won 7-6, 1-6, 10-6 at No. 4 singles.

“We had four or five matches that could’ve gone either way,” coach Wes Coleman said. “I need to do a little better job of making our kids more mentally tough so we can close out some of those tight matches.”

Dadeville softball downs Auburn twice Saturday to get over .500

In the Tiger Classic on Saturday, Dadeville beat Auburn 2-1 and 3-0 to improve to 11-10 on the season.

The Lady Tigers only managed a couple of hits in each game, but strong pitching from Jodie Caldwell and Rae Williams and good defense were enough to carry them to wins.

“I was glad to see that even though we didn’t hit extremely well, we’re finding ways to win these close games,” coach Brownie Caldwell said. “We’re understanding the importance of getting outs when they come to us.”

Reba Hawkins got a hit and run in the first game, and Kristavious Cox was hit by a pitch and scored the other run.

Andrea White also had a hit. Caldwell worked the first four innings and Williams closed it out.

Hawkins had a single and walk in the second game, Janie Moran had a sac bunt and a walk and Cox closed with two sacrifices and an RBI.

Williams, who had a hit at the plate, worked seven innings and struck out eight.

Dadeville hosts Smiths Station on Thursday.

HBHS, Central-Coosa softball perfect in B.B. Comer tournament

Horseshoe Bend and Central-Coosa were in the middle of the championship game of a tournament hosted by B.B. Comer on Saturday when rain postponed the game.

It will be made up on April 7 in New Site.

Both teams put together a good run of games to get to the title matchup. HBHS beat Comer 12-2, Sylacauga 12-2, Vincent 6-2 and Talladega 12-0, while the Lady Cougars downed Talladega 11-6, Fayetteville 10-3 and Sylacauga’s B-team 13-0.

The Lady Generals had just gotten a big 23-0 area win over Reeltown earlier in the week.

Nikki Thompson did not allow a hit in two innings pitching. Thompson (triple), Kerri Dodgen (double) and Kaylee Jones all had three hits.

Jessica Harden, Marlee Milner (triple), Ranley Clayton and Carlie Vickers all had two hits, and Jamee Blankenship and Mercedes Kilpatrick both doubled.

Ashley Foster recorded one strikeout in one inning pitched.

Lady Cougar senior Torri Roberson had two hits in all three of her team’s wins this weekend. Teryn Dennis (triple), Courtney Brown and Alegna Smoot all had two hits in the Talladega win.

Katelynn East had three hits and three RBI against Fayetteville. Kathryn Conn had two hits, as did Alexandria Thomas, who hit her sixth homer of the year in the win.

Haylee Spivey and Brown smacked two hits against Sylacauga.

The Lady Cougars play at Sylacauga on Thursday, and HBHS hosts Woodland.

Edward Bell slams Loachapoka to stay  perfect in area play

Edward Bell improved to 3-0 in the area with a 15-0 win against Loachapoka.

Eight starters scored at least one run, including Ca’Neshia Smith who scored three times and reached base four times.

Kierra Billingsley struck out five in the win.