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Young Russellville softball team gains experience as season continues

The Russellville Lady Golden Tigers are entering the final stretch of varsity softball games for the 2021 regular season, and the team had a busy week on the diamond.

Mars Hill 6, Russellville 2

Mars Hill came to Russellville April 13, and the Lady Panthers got the win.

Jenna Whitfield had two hits and a stolen base for RHS. Also hitting safely for Russellville were Summer Butler, Emma Hubbert and Natalie Nichols. Hubbert had a double, and Nichols added a triple and two RBIs.

Kailee Simpson and Jacey Moore did the pitching for RHS. Simpson got the start in the circle and went three innings, giving up four hits and two runs. Moore threw 53 pitches over four innings of work, allowing four runs with two being earned.

Lawrence County 4, Russellville 3

Russellville hosted the Lady Devils April 15 in an area game. It was the first time RHS head coach Josh Graham has faced his previous team.

“I coached there for six years and watched all of those girls grow up and play,” Graham said. “It was the first time I’ve faced them since I’ve been here. A little bit of nerves at the beginning but other than that, I just looked at them like another ball team.”

The Lady Golden Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead after two innings, but LCHS answered with the long ball, hitting a couple of home runs in the third and another in the fourth to get the win. A late rally attempt by Russellville in the game’s final inning came up just short when a line-out with runners on first and second ended the contest.

With the loss, the Russellville record fell to 0-2 in area play and 12-19 on the season.

Simpson pitched a complete game for RHS. She allowed five hits and struck out five batters. Simpson also had a hit and a walk at the plate and drove in a run.

Whitfield was 3-for-4 with a stolen base, a run scored and an RBI. Jacey Moore added a double and a run while Hubbert had a hit, three walks and an RBI. Also hitting safely were Fallin Cox and Natalie Nichols.

The Russellville team is loaded with young players who Graham said are gaining valuable experience and are growing on the varsity level as the season continues.

“They are continuing to grow and they are hungry,” Graham said. “They want to be good, and they want to win, and they’ve put in the work.”

Muscle Shoals 5, Russellville 2

RHS went to Florence for a tournament beginning April 16, and the Lady Trojans took the opening game victory with the help of two home runs.

Jaiden Calvert was 2-for-2, including a double and an RBI for Russellville. Emma Campbell scored a run and also doubled.

Nichols also had a hit for RHS. Moore did the pitching, and she allowed seven hits and struck out five in the five-inning game.

Athens 8, Russellville 3

Russellville batters struck out 10 times in the second game of the day in the Florence tourney. Moore had the RHS hit and an RBI. Simpson also drove in a Russellville run. Paislee James pitched for RHS.

Russellville 9, Hardin County (Tennessee) 0

RHS opened play in Florence Saturday with a win in their first of three games on the day. Moore pitched four shutout innings and allowed three hits. Butler, Whitfield and Simpson had the hits. Whitfield, Simpson and Cox had two RBIs each, while Maddy Green and Hubbert had one apiece.

Russellville 4, Daphne 3

Simpson pitched six innings and struck out three in a win. Butler had three hits and two RBIs. Campbell added two hits, including a double and an RBI. Simpson also had two hits, while Whitfield, Cox, Green and Moore had one each.

Brewer 3, Russellville 0

Russellville batters struck out 11 times in their final game in Florence.

RHS hits were by Butler, Whitfield and Campbell. Pitching for RHS was Simpson, and she struck out eight, walked one and gave up five hits and no earned runs.