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CLASS 6A STATE SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP Hartselle 6, Saraland 5 (8 innings)

Hartselle 6, Saraland 5 (8 innings)

MONTGOMERY – Junior Kylie Winton’s single in the bottom of the eighth inning drove in the winning run Saturday afternoon at Lagoon Park to lift Hartselle to a 6-5 win over Saraland in the finals of the 2018 AHSAA Class 6A State Softball Tournament. The state championship was the fifth in school history for the Tigers (43-15) and the first since back-to-back state crowns in 2013  and 2014.
    Hartselle rallied from a 5-3 deficit in the bottom of seventh inning to send the final game into extra innings. No. 8 batter MacKenzie Farmer led off the eighth with a walk. The runner advanced to third on Kristen Black’s hit and Winton, the Class 6A state tournament MVP, then delivered a two-strike liner to left to plate the winning run.
     Coach Christy Ferguson’s Tigers finished 4-0 in the tourney beating Hueytown 7-2, Nort5hview 11-6 and Gardendale 6-4 to reach the finals.  Saraland (45-10-1) beat Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 9-6 in the opener, then fell to Gardendale 2-1. The Spartans of Coach Donny Sunnycalb then beat Chelsea 7-5, Hillcrest 13-3 and Gardendale 4-1 to set up the championship game.
    Hartselle junior Morgyn Sparkman allowed 13 hits over eight innings and struck out one to get the win in the finals. Taylor Heaton started for Saraland and went five innings, leaving the game with six hits allowed, one strikeout and a 5-3 lead. Reliever Brinkley Goff, who pitched the Spartans out of the jam with a double-play liner to third, got the loss going two innings.
   Winton finished with three hits, including home run and double, scored three runs and had two RBIs for Hartselle. Kalli Cartee had two hits and two RBIs, Mackenzie Jackson had two hits and one RBI, and Natalie King had a double and single for the Tigers.
    Camryn McLemore slugged a triple and home run to drive in three runs for Saraland. MacKenzie Farmer had a home run, single and two RBIs, and Kristen Mears and Katie Head also had two hits each.
    The Class 6A and Class 2A tournaments closed out the AHSAA’s 24th annual fast-pitch state Championships Saturday.

Kylie Winton, Hartselle (MVP); Mackenzie Jackson, Hartselle; Kalli Cartee, Hartselle; Morgyn Sparkman, Hartselle; Bree Green, Saraland; Katie Head, Saralanda; Camryn McLemore, Saraland; Taylor Heaton, Saraland.

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