Lady ‘Cats playoff boundPublished 10:24am Tuesday, May 6, 2014
The Benjamin Russell Lady Wildcats have clinched a berth in the playoffs for the first time in four years thanks to the bats of Cookie Kelley and Maya Towns.
Solo shots over the fence from both players powered BRHS to a 2-0 win over the Marbury Lady Bulldogs during the Class 5A-Area 5 playoffs.
While the Lady Wildcats couldn’t overcome Valley High School in the championship game, the win over Marbury gives BRHS at least two more games in the season.
“It’s a very big thing for us,” said BRHS softball coach Tal Morrison. “We told the girls early in the year what we wanted to do, and our goals were set at the beginning of the season. We wanted to host the area tournament and win the area title. I hate that we didn’t accomplish those things, but we’re still in the hunt to accomplish more.”
Taylor Hutto picked up the win, tossing a five-hit shutout to keep the Marbury bats under wraps.
In spite of a less than impressive overall record, Morrison said the team has shown improvement in the later stages of the year, adding that he felt the team has just a good a chance as any one else to make a run.
“In some games, they play lights out and in others, they play like they’ve never seen a softball before,” Morrison said. “But that has a lot to do with the youthfulness of our team. The girls have played and worked together all year long, and they are learning to calm down and play their game.”
Next up for BRHS is a first-round clash with Shelby County. Morrison said a key to the game would be the mental state of the Lady Wildcats.
“This teams has overcome a lot of obstacles, as some people left us earlier in the season, which put us in a hole,” he said. “A lot of the teams on our scheduled have been top-ranked. But this team is trying to take that next step. It’s our first regional berth in four years, and we’ve got to win three games to get to state, and it’s been a long time since we did that. If we go in confident, we can play well. If we don’t, then it will show on the field.”
BRHS plays Shelby County on Friday at 8 a.m. in the Troy Sportplex at Troy.
If BRHS wins, they will face the winner of Demopolis versus Homewood at 12:30 p.m. on Friday.
If BRHS falls to Shelby County, they will play the loser of Demopolis versus Homewood in a win or go home scenario at 11 a.m. on Friday.