The weather may not agree but it’s time for baseball and softball. Most of the area teams already have a handful of games under their belt and some will begin area play in just a couple of weeks.
The first big event of the spring season is the Blount County Baseball Tournament which will be played next week at two sites in the county.
Appalachian will host one half of the bracket with Cleveland and Hayden. Locust Fork will host the other half with Oneonta, J.B. Pennington, and Locust Fork.
Games will start Monday, March 8. At Locust Fork, Susan Moore will meet Oneonta at 4 p.m. followed by J.B. Pennington and Locust Fork at 6.
At Appalachian, Cleveland will face Hayden at 4 p.m. with the host team playing the winner on Tuesday afternoon.
The tournament is double-elimination and the championship game will be Saturday, March13, at 1 p.m. at Appalachian.
Thursday, Feb. 25
Oneonta 7, Hayden 2
The Redskins scored at least one run in each of the first four innings and built a 5-0 lead through five innings before the Wildcats got on the board.
Dustin Harrison had a triple and a run scored for the Wildcats while Isaac Veitch walked four times and scored a run.
Nathaniel Turley took the loss for Hayden, surrendering seven runs (five earned) on 10 hits and three walks with six strikeouts.
Oneonta (2-2) was led by Travis Sims (2 for 4, double, run) and Cory Glasscock (2 for 3, run). Wes Gillespie had a double and two RBIs while Caleb Bicknell had a single and two RBIs.
Sims picked up the win by going the first four innings and gave up four hits while striking out eight and walking three.
Austin Dickie pitched the final three innings and gave up a pair of earned runs on two hits with four walks and seven strikeouts.
Friday, Feb. 26
at Locust Fork
Locust Fork 10, J.B. Pennington 7
Each team scored three runs in the first inning but the Hornets added two more in the third and one in the fourth to build a 6-3 lead.
The Tigers came back to cut the lead to 6-5 with a pair of runs in the fifth inning but Locust Fork answered with two each in the fifth and sixth to lead 10-5.
The Tigers narrowed the margin to 10-7 in the top of the seventh but the late-inning rally came up short.
Daniel Smith led the Tiger offense with a 2-for-2 day that included a double, two RBIs, and five stolen bases. Steven Moore (2 for 3) and Justin Duncan (1 for 3, double, RBI, four stolen bases) contributed to the attack.
James Glass took the loss on the mound for the Tigers. at Oneonta
Oneonta 6, Fairview 4
The Redskins led 1-0 after three innings but the Aggies took a 2-1 lead after scoring a pair of runs in the fourth. The lead grew to 3-1 before Oneonta tied the game 3-3 with a two-run rally in the fifth.
Fairview added a single run in the sixth to lead 4-3 but the home team’s bats came to life with a three-run sixth.
Any hopes of another Fairview comeback were shut down quickly by Redskin reliever Matt Hellums, who struck out four of the final five Aggies.
Hellums led the Oneonta offense by going 3 for 4 with a double and a run scored. Travis Sims (2 for 3, RBI) was the only other Redskin with more than one hit.
Hellums, in relief of Jake Thomas and Schyler Walker, got the win as Oneonta improved to 3-2 on the year. Oneonta 14, Fairview 4
Fairview scored a pair of runs in the first inning but Oneonta scored a single run in each of the first three innings to lead 3-2.
Fairview came back to tie the game in the fifth inning but the Redskin bats came to life and scored five in the fifth and six more in the sixth to blowout the visiting Aggies.
Wes Gillespie (1-0) got the win and was just wild enough to keep the Aggies from digging in. Over five innings he gave up just two hits, walked five, and hit a batter but also struck out nine and gave up just three runs (only one earned). Hellums finished up by allowing an unearned run on two hits with three strikeouts.
Jake Thomas (3 for 4, triple, RBI, two runs), Cory Glasscock (2 for 3, triple, three runs, two stolen bases), Hellums (2 for 3, RBI, run), Gillespie (2 for 4, triple, double, three RBIs, run), and Taylor Oden (2 for 2, double, three RBIs, run) led the Redskin offense.
Oneonta improved to 4-2 with the win.
Locust Fork Round-Robin Tournament
Hayden went 4-1 in the tournament with wins over Susan Moore (4-2), Leeds (14-3), Pinson Valley (6-1) and Cleveland (11-8) to go with a 9-6 loss to the host Lady Hornets.
Other scores from the tournament: Susan Moore 6, Cleveland 0; Susan Moore 7, Pinson Valley 3; Susan Moore 7, Locust Fork 6; Susan Moore 3, Leeds 2; and Leeds 11, Locust Fork 9.
Friday, Feb. 26
Hayden 4, Susan Moore 2
It took three Hayden pitchers to keep the Lady Bulldogs at bay in the tournament opener.
Mara Conner got the save by retiring all three batters she faced in the final inning.
Conner led the offense with a three-run home run and an RBI single. Hannah Butts was 2 for 2 with a pair of singles.
Susan Moore’s Angel Hilburn pitched well but took the loss. Hayden 14, Leeds 3
The Lady Wildcats exploded for 13 runs in the top of the third inning to roll back the Green Wave.
Conner pitched the first two innings and allowed just one hit and one earned run with two strikeouts despite five walks.
Madison Durham (home run, single, four RBIs), Conner (double, single, three RBIs), and Meagan Holt (3 for 3, RBI, two runs) led the Hayden offense.
Saturday, Feb. 27
Hayden 6, Pinson Valley 1
Mara Conner’s three-run blast in the first inning proved to be the big blow as the Lady Wildcats jumped out to a 4-0 lead and cruised to the victory.
Conner (2 for 2, home run, triple, three RBIs, two runs), Ashlan Dutton (2 for 2, double, RBI, run), Laila Russell (2 for 2, RBI, two runs), and Madison Durham (2 for 2, RBI, run) led a Wildcat offense collected 10 hits. Meagan Holt and Caitlin Kirkland each had a double.
Dutton got the win by allowing five hits and a walk with two strikeouts in three innings. Hayden 11, Cleveland 8
The Lady Wildcats jumped out to a huge lead but then had to hang on as a late Cleveland rally came up short.
Meagan Holt (2 for 4, two RBIs, two runs, stolen base), Laila Russell (2 for 3, run), and Madison Butts (2 for 3, run) were the only Lady Wildcats to get more than one hit. Mara Conner was 1 for 4 with a double and three RBIs.
Freshman Caitlin Kirkland pitches 3.1 innings and allowed an unearned run on just two hits with six strikeouts. Locust Fork 9, Hayden 6
Hayden again got out to a big early lead (6-1) but the host Lady Hornets came back with eight unanswered runs to get the win.
Madison Durham (2 for 2, two RBIs, run) and Hannah Butts (1 for 2, double, two RBIs, run) had the only Hayden hits.
Mara Conner started on the mound for Hayden and went 2.1 innings and gave up six runs on six hits with four walks and one hit batter. Laila Russell relieved and took the loss.
Locust Fork’s Casey Irey pitched the first inning but Jordan Hood was dominant in relief to get the win.
Monday, March 1
Softball at Walnut Grove
Oneonta 18, West End 1
The Lady Redskins bludgeoned the Lady Patriots into submission with a 15-hit attack that backed the strong pitching of Kelsey King.
King (three singles, RBI, three runs), Alyssa Crim (two doubles, four RBIs, three runs), Rebecca Sloan (double, single, two RBIs), Kallie Killough (double, single, RBI, two runs), Baylee Gibbs (two singles, three runs), and Bailey Roberson (two singles, run) led the offense.
King allowed an unearned run on just one hit and one walk with four strikeouts. This week’s schedule:
Thursday, March 4
Baseball Cleveland at Locust Fork (7/8 – DH) 4 p.m. Cleveland at West End 4:30 p.m. Southeastern at Appalachian (JV) 4 p.m. J.B. Pennington at Fairview (JV – DH) 4 p.m. Softball Guntersville at Locust Fork (JV, V) 4:30 p.m. Hayden at Oneonta 5 p.m. Soccer Oneonta at Westminter-Huntsville – Girls – 5 p.m.; Boys – 7 p.m.
Friday, March 5
Baseball Locust Fork at Fairview (DH) 4:30 p.m. Susan Moore at Oneonta (V, JV) 4 p.m. *Appalachian at St. Bernard 4 p.m. J.B. Pennington at Brindlee Mountain (V, JV) 4 p.m. Softball Oneonta at Boaz Tournament
Saturday, March 6
Baseball Corner and Fayette County at Locust Fork 11 a.m. Appalachian and West End at Cleveland 11 a.m. Softball Oneonta at Boaz Tournament
Monday, March 8
Baseball Blount County Tournament Cleveland vs Hayden at Appalachian 4p.m. Susan Moore vs Oneonta at Locust Fork 4 p.m. J.B. Pennington at Locust Fork 6 p.m. Softball Locust Fork at St. Clair County 4:30 p.m. Oneonta at Boaz 4:30 p.m. Soccer St. Bernard at Oneonta – Girls – 5 p.m.; Boys – 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 9
Baseball Blount County Tournament Cleveland/Hayden winner at Appalachian 4 p.m. Susan Moore/Oneonta loser vs J.B. Pennington/Locust Fork loser at Locust Fork 4 p.m. Susan Moore/Oneonta winner vs J.B. Pennington/Locust Fork winner at Locust Fork 6 p.m. Softball J.B. Pennington at Locust Fork (V, JV) 4 p.m. Oneonta at St. Clair County 4:30 p.m. Soccer Oneonta at Westbrook Christian (Girls only) 5:30 p.m.