Bullish Bobcats

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PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY ALLISON AIKENS

Beulah softball cruises to area title

By Wil Crews
sportscrews@opelikaobserver.com

The Beulah Bobcats varsity softball team was crowned area champions as they dominated the AHSAA 3A Area 07 Softball Tournament last weekend.

On the way to their championship, Beulah, the No. 1 seed and host of the area tournament, shut out both of its opponents, scoring 17 runs of their own.

Having earned a first-round bye, Beulah was forced to watch the first game of action between the No. 2 seed Dadeville and No. 3 seed Reeltown on Friday. Dadeville won 8-5, setting up a date between the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the second round.

Coming into the game, Beulah had the advantage on paper, winning both of the two regular season matchups by a combined score of 7-1. The Bobcats’ confidence was apparent as they shut out the Tigers 7-0.

For the game, Beulah had nine hits to Dadeville’s four. Leading the way for the Bobcats was Katie Morris, who went 2-for-2 with three RBI, one run scored and a double.  Elisabeth Hancock went 2-for-4 with one RBI with one run scored and Savanna Clements had a strong day, going 2-for-2 with one RBI and two runs scored.

Brandy Phillips earned the win on the mound, throwing four innings, striking out six and allowing just one hit. Morris threw three innings in relief, allowing three hits and striking out eight.

The contest was close until the fifth inning when Beulah erupted on offense, plating five runs to make it 7-0.

The two teams were locked in a pitching duel thereafter, with neither team registering another run. The victory meant the Bobcats were just one more win away from clinching the area title. 

The following day, Beulah had to watch the loser’s bracket rematch between Dadeville and Reeltown. Reeltown got the best of the Tigers on their second attempt, pulling off a comeback, walk-off, 7-6 victory.

Therefore, Beulah and Reeltown were set to face off in the championship. The Bobcats, who must have entered the game with sky-high confidence levels. Having won both of their regular season matchups against the Rebels by a combined score of 21-4,  Beulah dominated their opponent once again.

Jumping out to an early 2-0 lead after the first inning, Beulah continued to pile on the runs. Three more in the second, four in the fourth and one in the sixth resulted in an expedient run-rule conclusion.

On the mound, Beulah’s pitching was lights out again. This time, the pitching order flipped from game one. Phillips started and earned the win, going 3.2 innings, striking out six and allowing just two hits. Morris then pitched the remaining 2.1 innings without allowing a hit, striking out seven. Offensively, six of 10 Bobcat hitters registered a hit. Abrianna Green, Savanna Clements and Phillips each scored two runs, while Morris, Kyleigh Morgan, Kassidy Kirby and Anna Gray scored one apiece.

Beulah cruised through the area tournament and were crowned area champions.

Now, the team sets its sights on the East Central Regionals, which begin in Montgomery on Friday.

Beulah is scheduled to play Area 09 runner up Wellborn High School at 9 a.m.

On paper, Beulah are the favorites. According to max preps, The Panthers’ 6-20 record pales in comparison to Beulah’s 22-15.

If the Bobcats win, they will need only two more victories to be crowned regional champions. A loss, however, makes the path much more treacherous – winning in the first-round can be a springboard of momentum. If the Bobcats play with the confidence they showed in the area tournament, then a deep run in regionals looks more than possible.

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