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Lady Golden Tigers wrap season with regional losses

The Florence Sportsplex hosted the 2019 AHSAA North Regional for softball teams in all classifications, and the Russellville Golden Tigers battled the competition at Coffee-O’Neal Park. The girls won their opening game in the 5A bracket but dropped game two May 10 and were faced with the task of winning three straight games Monday in double-elimination play to advance to state in Montgomery.

Rain Saturday halted play between Russellville and Scottsboro during the bottom of the second inning, with the Lady Golden Tigers up 1-0. When action resumed Monday, RHS finished off the win over the Wildcats and looked to be in a favorable position.

A game against Area 15 opponent Hamilton was standing between RHS and a matchup with Sardis, and a trip to state was on the line. Russellville dominated area opponents all season long, including three lopsided wins over the Lady Aggies; however, Hamilton would get revenge on this day and took a surprising 7-3 victory to end the RHS season.

Russellville (22-18-1) fell behind 6-0 in the top of the third inning against Hamilton and never fully recovered.

Defensive miscues by Russellville and opportunistic hitting – including a two-run home run by Alexis Childers – gave HHS more than enough runs to get the win.

Russellville never quit, however, and the Lady Golden Tigers scored two runs of their own in the bottom half of the second and another single run in the sixth frame. Hamilton pushed across an insurance run in the top of the seventh before RHS got two runners on base in the bottom half of the last inning – but the Lady Golden Tigers couldn’t rally for the win.

“Defensively, we didn’t hold up our end of the bargain,” said Russellville head coach Kathryn Montgomery. “I feel like either one of our pitchers (Krista Sikes and Megan Warhurst) totally could have handled the job in that game. We just didn’t hold up defensively the way we should have, and then we didn’t wake up the bats.”

Anna Frost pitched a complete game and got the victory for Hamilton. She allowed six hits, and all of the RHS runs were earned. Frost walked two and struck out one.

Krista Sikes also went the distance in the circle for Russellville. All of the Hamilton runs were of the unearned variety, and Sikes struck out 10 and walked no batters. She threw 117 pitches and gave up seven hits.

Russellville had six hits, and Chalea Clemmons had two of them, including a double. Madison Murray had a hit and two stolen bases, while Alivia Clemmons, Karlie Moore and Alexis Taylor also had hits. Jenna Whitfield, Makala O’Neal and Murray accounted for the RBIs, while Autumn Logan walked and scored a run.

May 10 in game one, RHS took a 2-1 win over Brewer. Megan Warhurst pitched a complete game and got the win. She threw an even 100 pitches and allowed four hits, and she struck out eight batters and walked two.

Chalea Clemmons and Taylor had two hits each, with Clemmons picking up a double. Murray and Logan had a hit each, and Logan drove in the two runs.

Ardmore took down RHS in game two Friday by a 10-3 score. Alivia Clemmons and Karlie Moore homered for Russellville, and Logan added a double. Warhurst got the start in the circle, and Sikes came on in relief to get the last couple of outs.

Russellville then took down Scottsboro 4-2. In what ended up being her final start pitching for RHS, Warhurst threw all seven innings. The University of West Florida signee allowed no earned runs and struck out five. She also had two hits with the bat, while Alivia Clemmons, Chalea Clemmons Logan and O’Neal all had one hit apiece.

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