Helena softball wins area tourney, picks up 43rd win of season
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
HELENA – Helena’s historic season on the softball field continued on Thursday, May 6 when the Huskies picked up a milestone win on their home field.
Taking on Chilton County for the second time in as many days in the area championship game, Helena scored four runs in each of the first two innings to create separation and eventually pull away for a 13-1 mercy-rule victory.
As if claiming the Class 6A, Area 6 tournament championship with a perfect 3-0 tourney record and a 12-run win in the title game wasn’t impressive enough, the Huskies also picked up their 43rd win of the season—the most in the county and one of the highest marks in the state.
Helena’s impressive night offensively began in the bottom of the first with a lead-off walk from Alana Scott.
That was followed by the first RBI of the night thanks to a single from Bella Holiday.
After the first out was recorded, Lexie Bullock singled to center field before an error on a bunt from Presley Lively allowed Bullock to score for a 2-0 lead.
Sara Ezekiel then started what was a remarkable night with her first of two doubles. She lined a ball to right field to leg out the double and drive home two more runs for a 4-0 lead through one.
After a quick top of the second defensively, the Huskies stepped back to the plate and quickly struck again.
Following an out being recorded, an error and walk allowed Scott and Holiday to reach safely. That’s when Ann Marie Stanbridge picked up an RBI single to make it 5-0 before a second out.
A dropped third strike then allowed Lively to reach base safely, which became costly.
Chilton County should have been out of the inning at that point, but instead, Ezekiel stepped back to the plate with the bases loaded.
She fell behind in the count 1-2, but that didn’t faze her, as she took the fourth pitch of the at bat and lined it to left field. The hit caused trouble for the Tigers and cleared the bases to give Helena an 8-0 lead and Ezekiel five RBIs in the game.
With confidence completely on their side, the Huskies added to their lead in the bottom of the third thanks to three errors and two singles. Holiday had an RBI single in the inning, while Scott also had a single. Those hits, combined with the errors, helped Helena take an 11-0 lead through three innings.
The Huskies then capped off the special night with a two-run home run from Haley Morris in the fourth to make it 13-0.
Chilton County scored one run in the top of the fifth, but at that point, the damage was already done.
Ezekiel had five RBIs and two hits in the win, while Holiday added two hits and two RBIs. Morris’ home run gave her a 1-for-1 performance with two RBIs as well.
Stanbridge put together a two-RBI night as well thanks to one hit, whileshe struck out four and gave up just two hits in four innings to pick up the win in the circle.