By Ronald Frazier
After winning six games in two days in the Glenwood Invitational softball championships, the Lady Gators fell twice in the championship series to Autauga Academy and finished second in their tournament held March 9-10.
“It was a fun tournament but we just ran out of gas at the end,” said Glenwood coach Dusty Perdue after the tournament’s end.
In the first game against the Lady Generals, Glenwood outhit Autauga 7-5 but were able to cross the plate once in a 5-1 loss. That run was complements of Hope Gullatt who hit a homer in going three for three at the plate.
The loss went to Ashley Gallant, her first of the season as her record was 12-0 going into the series finale. It was her 4th game in two days as she won her previous three.
In the second game, Glenwood started Carlena Hampton and the Lady Gators bats went silent in a 7-0 loss, getting only three hits in their 5th game of the day on Saturday.
The Lady Gators were 3-0 going into the games with Autauga on Saturday. The first win was a 17-2 mercy-rule victory over Springwood as Gullatt had a home run as did Hampton. Boatner was the winning pitcher in that game as the Lady Gators pounded out 15 hits and Neely Austin had 4 RBI.
The second game on March 10 was a close 3-2 victory over class AA power Macon East with Gallant getting the complete game victory. Gallant also had three hits while her, Hampton and Gullatt had the RBI’s in the victory.
The third victory was a 12-4 defeat of Bessemer Academy as Boatner also picked up her third pitching win of the tournament. Austin had her second 4 RBI game and was joined by Kamren Bence with four RBI’s as well.
Those three wins set up the series against Autauga. On March 9, Glenwood took three wins with two of those by a single run. Gallant opened the tournament with a 4-3 win over Bessemer Academy and hit her first home run of her Lady Gator varsity career. The winning run came on Boatner’s big blast down left field that hit the foul pole 20 feet up.
“We started out slow and made some errors and mental errors,” said Perdue of the first game.”Obviously Kayson’s homer was the key hit and we held them after that.”
For the second game on March 9, Boatner started and gave up a two-run homer in the first to Marengo Academy as the Lady Gators were staring at a deficit.
However, Boatner shut the door the rest of the way and Glenwood rallied with one in the first and two in the second and took the win 3-2.
Because the first two games were pool play for seeding for the rest of the tournament, Glenwood found itself facing Marengo for the second time on the 9th but this was a much more convincing 6-1 victory over the Lady Longhorns as Gallant pitched five strong innings and allowed only four singles while striking out four.
Gullatt and Boatner provided the offensive fireworks. Gullatt had two doubles and three RBI and Boatner had two RBIs while Austin had three hits and scored three runs.
“That’s why Hope and Kayson are in the lineup-to provide runs and that’s what they did,” said Perdue after that win. “We played much better in the win (against Marengo) than we did earlier in the day.”
Prior to the tournament, the Lady Gators were on the road and played Lee Scott a doubleheader on March 6.
Neither game was close as Glenwood won 12-0 behind Gallant’s three-hit shutout and then 20-6 as Glenwood scored in every inning put one.
Gallant was the winner pitcher in both games despite giving up two home runs in the second contest.
In the 12-0 win, Gullatt was two for four with a homer and four RBI while in the second Boatner hit two home runs and Wellsley Henderson had her first varsity home run as well. Glenwood had 19 hits with Hampton, Lacie Pelt and Austin all scoring three hits.
The Lady Gators stand at 20-6-1 for 2018 and have their 4th weekend tournament in a row when they travel to Cecil, Ala. for the Macon East Invitational March 16-17. Prior to the tournament, the Lady Gators will play Springwood two games on March 13.