By JD McCarthy
For the Opelika
Beulah wrapped up a perfect region record with a 9-5 win over Reeltown last Wednesday. With the win, the Lady Bobcats clinched the top seed in the area tournament and will host the tournament.
“It was great, we can focus on getting ourselves better,” Beulah head coach Stan Pepper said of the win. “We know where we are playing the area tournament, we’ve already got it set up. We don’t have to worry about a coin toss. We are ready for the area tournament and to just play some games.”
The Lady Bobcats set the tone in the first inning of the game, exploding for eight runs to take a commanding 8-1 lead. Scoring early, and in bunches, has been something Pepper has prioritized the whole season.
“It’s critical, like most teams we play better once we know we got a run,” he said. “The longer you go in a game and it’s 0-0 the more pressure builds. If we can just get that one run on the board in that first inning, we feel pretty confident in the outcome.
That confidence is well earned as 14 of their wins have come in games where they scored in either the first or second inning of the game
The offensive surge on Wednesday was led by Abrianna Green who went 3-for-4, with two doubles, two RBI, scored two runs and stole a base. Savanna Clements also went 2-for-4, with a double, three RBI and scored a run. Clements may be just an eighth grader but has emerged as one of the most consistent players on the team and someone Pepper can count on no matter the situation.
“She’s been a consistent little player for a long time for us,” Pepper said of Clements. “She just works every day and does whatever I need her to do. Whatever position I need her to play. She’s that person where if somebody is out, I can put her in and I know that position is taken care of. She’s just been consistent the whole time. She’s that utility player that a lot of people don’t realize how important and valuable they are to the team.”
Katie Morris got the win for the Lady Bobcats, allowing five runs over seven innings of work and striking out 13 batters.
After inclement weather prevented them from playing over the weekend, the Lady Bobcats returned to action Monday against Wadley. The Lady Bobcats proved too much for the Bulldogs, winning 9-0.
“One hundred percent a team effort, everybody played well together so I was really proud of them and at the same time we still got a long way to go to get where we want to be though,” Pepper said of the win.
Beulah’s record now sits at 17-11 on the season and Pepper believes a major reason for their success has been the hard work of his staff. Jamie Carden, Jeff Lamb, Allison Akiens, Chris Stanley and Ken Phillips make up the staff and do all of the hard work according to Pepper.
With the top seed in the area tournament locked up the Lady Bobcats are now focused on getting ready for the postseason, which is just over two weeks away. The next step for the Lady Bobcats to Pepper is them becoming more consistent.
“Consistency. Just bottom line, being consistent at the plate, being consistent in the field, in the pitching circle, being consistent. I want to know what’s going to happen before it happens because we are that consistent.”