Russellville wins back-to-back Bill Collins Classics
By Josh Prewitt
For the FCT
Coach John Smith knows one thing about his Lady Golden Tiger: this weekend, they truly played team ball.
“They cheered each other on and picked each other up,” Smith said. “We have great leadership and team attitude – those are the difference makers.”
Russellville won five straight games to win the Bill Collins Classic in Carbon Hill.
The Golden Tigers (18-6) beat Haleyville 5-4 and 11-4; Oakman 7-3; and Lynn 8-1 to get to the championship game. In the finals, the Golden Tigers beat Carbon Hill 6-1 to claim the title for the second straight season.
Jakari Suggs was the winning pitcher in both games against Haleyville and against Lynn.
In the first game against Haleyville, Kayla Cochran had two hits, including a triple, while Kallie Beth Daniel, Megan Brockway and Brooke Borden each had RBIs.
Emma Whitfield got the win against Oakman and contributed a three-run double. Borden added a two-run double, Brockway had a two-run triple and Jess Guzman drove in a run with a single.
Against Lynn, Brockway contributed a three-run double, while Daniel had a double and triple and two RBIs. Guzman had two hits and Lily Holt doubled in one run.
Suggs helped her own cause in the 11-4 semifinal win over Haleyville with two doubles and four RBIs. Guzman had two hits and two RBIs, while Daniel had two doubles and a single. Holt added a single and triple, with Karlie Moore adding two hits.
Suggs didn’t allow a hit in four innings against Carbon Hill to get the win. Guzman had a solo home run and sacrifice fly. Also, Moore had a double and two RBIs. Cochran and Brockway each had a double.
Lady Golden Tigers edge Haleyville for fifth straight win (9-7)
Russellville scored twice in the top of the sixth inning last Monday night to break up a tie game and held on to win its fifth in a row, 9-7 at Haleyville.
The Lady Golden Tigers led 7-3 after three innings, but Haleyville rallied with two runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth to pull even. Brockway led off the top of the sixth with a single for Russellville, and Lily Holt followed with her third hit of the night. Brockway scored the go-ahead run when Emma Whitfield reached on an error, and Brooke Borden added an RBI single to make it 9-7.
Whitfield (4-2) earned the win after pitching the fifth and sixth innings in relief of starter Suggs, who re-entered the circle in the bottom of the seventh and pitched around a leadoff single to nail down her first save of the season.
Suggs pitched five innings in total, allowing three earned runs on six hits. She struck out six and walked two. Whitfield allowed two runs, both unearned, on two hits in two innings.
After Haleyville scored three times in the bottom of the first, the Lady Golden Tigers came right back with two runs in the top of the second. Cochran walked and scored on Guzman’s second double of the day, and then courtesy runner Madison Lamon scored on a squeeze bunt by Daniel to make it 5-3.
Russellville added two more runs in the third on an RBI groundout by Cochran and an RBI single by Guzman, who finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Holt was 3-for-3 with a stolen base, and Morgan George went 2-for-4. Cochran and Moore both scored twice and stole a base, and Daniel drove in two runs.
Russellville out-hit Haleyville 14-8.
Colbert Heights ends Russellville win streak
Russellville rallied from an early three-run deficit to tie last Wednesday’s game at Colbert Heights, but the Lady Wildcats scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to come away with a 7-5 win.
The loss was just the third in the previous 14 games for the Lady Golden Tigers and snapped their season-best five-game win streak.
The Lady Golden Tigers jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the top of the first inning on RBI singles by Lily Holt and Suggs. Colbert Heights tied the game with two runs in the bottom half and then took the lead in the second inning.
Russellville’s rally started in the third, when Morgan George singled and then came home on Borden’s double to right. Moore led off the fourth inning with a solo shot to center, her first home run of the year, and then added an RBI single in the fifth to tie it 5-5.
Moore finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs, and Cochran was 2-for-4. George went 1-for-4 with two runs scored, and Brockway and Guzman each added a hit. Suggs started in the circle for Russellville and went four innings, allowing five runs on nine hits. She struck out two and walked one.