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Tournament Host Wetumpka Walks Away Winners

Story by Griffin Pritchard | Publisher

Photos by CAScoreboard Staff 

WETUMPKA — The Wetumpka High Indians have proven formidable through the first few weeks of the 2023 season winning tournaments in Prattville and at Glencoe. Over the weekend, the Indians added a third trophy to their collection and pushed to a historic 21-0 start to the season with a 3-2 victory over Vestavia Hills in the finals of the Wetumpka-hosted tournament played at the Complex on Coosa River Parkway. 

“I was impressed with a few teams this weekend,” Wetumpka Softball Coach Daryl Otwell said. “Dothan was a very talented young group. Prattville got things rolling Saturday and Southside Gadsden made a great run at it. As always though, there were a lot of talented teams that competed this weekend. It was great to compete against some of the top schools in the state.”

Ashlynn Campbell Boiler’d up and showed out for Wetumpka batting .647 for the weekend with 11 hits and 10 stolen bases. Lily Davenport, though, became the hero of the day banging out the go-ahead home run in the finale against Vestavia Hills. She finished the weekend with nine hits and six RBIs. Mya Holt worked 22 innings and finished the affair 4-0, giving up just two runs with 13 strikeouts. She walked out of the circle at the end of the weekend with an ERA of 0.63. Ella Watson worked nine innings (2-0) giving up no runs with seven strikeouts.

Otwell: “They competed hard and played well on Friday. I didn’t like the way we played the first game on Saturday against Rehobeth. We came out complacent, flat … we didn’t execute and gave at-bats away. After challenging them to respond, they did that over the next three games and played at the level I expect this group to play. When we do show up and execute and play with high energy, we are a pretty good ball club. We still have some things to clean up before May.”

Lawrence County – and first-year softball coach Will Inman – decided to make the trip down to Wetumpka just to be a part of this field and get his 5A squad some exposure to state-tournament-caliber competition. 

“This was a great field with some quality competition,” Inman said. “I was proud of how well our girls competed this weekend. We are a young team and we are learning to do the little things rights. Playing events like this, I believe it will help us when it gets time for the area tourney. We grew up some this weekend and it’s good to see from a coach’s standpoint. We plan to be back in this tournament again next year.”

Don’t get it twisted and think the Devils made the trip down from Moulton to be spectators, they came to play defeating Elmore County, Gulf Shores and Alabama Christian before getting knocked out of the tournament by Southside (Gadsden). 

AB McKay led the Lawrence County attack with a pair of doubles and a pair of triples and 3 RBIs. Mckenzie Hyde (3 hits and 3 runs scored), Addison Plaxco (2 doubles and a triple) Alyce LouAllen (2 RBIs with 4 sacrifice bunts) and Bella Cross (5 RBIs) paced the offense. Cross did most of the heavy lifting inside the circle, throwing 12 innings with eight strikeouts and a 1.90 ERA. Hyche and LouAllen combined to work 11 innings. 

Elmore County – after losing to the Devils – struggled to find any momentum losing a second time to Prattville and then defeating Calera 2-1. The Panthers – in those three games – were outscored 17-4. 

A stat that left coach Mark Segrest disgusted: “Outside of that opening game, our pitchers Hailey O’Brien, Lalah Culpepper and Katie Capell pitched well enough to win. We didn’t help them much. We played and coached really poorly, probably as poorly as any team I’ve ever had.”

But – not making excuses for the Panthers – they are young. Like really young. Segrest added: “We only have 10 players and our main pitcher is in junior high. Every game is up for grabs. We are capable of being good, but have to clean up a lot of mistakes to make it to the postseason.”

Like Lawrence County, Southside (Gadsden) made the trip to Wetumpka a worthwhile one advancing to the semifinal. 

“We made substantial improvements in each game and fought from behind to win in four different games,” said Panthers Coach Angie Reavis. “This is the best finish for us in this tournament from the previous years. We have a lot to build off of this weekend.”

Prattville – who is off to a stellar start to the 2023 season – found their pride bruised after a 5-0 loss to perennial softball power Brantley. The Lions were able to shake it off and beat Catholic, Elmore County and Tallassee advancing to the quarterfinals before dropping a 2-0 decision to Enterprise. 

“Overall I think the weekend went well,” said Brian Pittman, coach of the Prattville High Lions. “We started sluggish but got the bats going and played some good ball the rest of the weekend. I’m very proud of the fight and the effort we played with all weekend. To finish in the top eight with 30 teams is a great accomplishment and gives us something to build on the next few weeks.”

Here’s how the Lions performed: 

  • Game 1 Brantley
    • They could not get bats going against a Great Pitcher from Brantley
    • Sarah Grace Jones and Kaytie Chandler had the two hits for Prattville
    • Kylie Jarman took the loss going 4 innings giving up 3 hits, 5 runs 1 earned, 2 K’s
  • Game 2 Montgomery Catholic
    • The bats came alive against Catholic, as the Lions collected 12 hits in the game
    • Kylie Jarman went 3-4 with a 2B and 2 RBI and 2 runs scored 2 Stolen bases
    • Sarah Grace Jones went 2-3 with 2 Rbi’s 
    • Mady Cate Lindsey went 2-3 with a 3B, 2B and 2 rbi’s and 2 runs scored
    • Kaytie Chandler went 2-3 with 2 Stolen bases
    • Kaylee Robles went 1-3 with a 2B and 2 rbi’s
    • Sarah Grace Jones got the wind going 5 innings, giving up 3 earned runs with 6 K’s
  • Game 3 Elmore County
    • Mady Cate Lindsey 2-3 with a 2B, 3B and 4 rbi’s
    • Brooklyn Johnson went 1-2 with 2 RBI’s
    • Sarah Grace Jones went 1-3 with a 2B and 1 rbi
    • Kaytie Chandler got the win on the mound going 5 innings, giving up 3 hits, 1 run, 4 K’s
  • Game 4 Tallassee
    • The Lions get out early and have to hold on to get the win
    • Sarah Grace Jones went 1-3 with a Homerun and 1 rbi
    • Kennedy Crum went 1-2 with an RBI
    • Kaylee Robles went 1-3 with an RBI
    • Kaytie Chandler went 2-3 with 2 runs scored
    • Sarah Grace Jones got the win going 4 and 1/3 innings giving up 5 runs 1 earned on 4 hits with 5K’s
    • Kaytie Chandler got the save going 2/3 of an inning
  • Game 5 Enterprise
    • In a preview of what Area 3 in 7A will look like, the Lions and Wildcats locked up in a pitchers duel.
    • Kaytie Chandler went 1-3
    • Grace Easterling went 1-1
    • Kylie Jarman went 7 innings giving up 3 hits 2 runs 0 earned 3 K’s

In the days following the tournament – Prattville went on to defeat Lee a combined 31-0. Wetumpka continued their run and earned a national ranking. The Indians are currently 11th in the nation and No. 1 in the state according to Maxpreps.com

Tournament Recap:

Round 1: 

  • Rehobeth def. Chilton County
  • Benjamin Russell def. Russellville
  • Brantley def. Bibb County
  • Tallassee def. Opelika
  • Prattville def. Elmore County
  • Smiths Station def. PCA
  • Enterprise def. Moody
  • Gulf Shores def. Dothan
  • Baker def. Marbury
  • Vestavia Hills (advances due to Cordova’s forfeit)
  • Calera def. Brookwood
  • Beulah def. Montgomery Catholic
  • Southside (Gadsden) def. Stanhope Elmore
  • Lawrence County def. ACA

Round 2:

  • Wetumpka def. Rehobeth
  • Brantley def. Benjamin Russell
  • Prattville def. Tallassee
  • Enterprise def. Smith Station
  • Spain Park def. Gulf Shores
  • Vestavia Hills def. Baker
  • Beulah def. Calera
  • Southside def. Lawrence County

Quarterfinals:

  • Wetumpka def. Brantley
  • Enterprise def. Prattville
  • Vestavia Hills def. Spain Park
  • Southside def. Beulah

Semifinals:

  • Wetumpka def. Enterprise
  • Vestavia Hills def. Southside

2023 Tournament Championship

  • Wetumpka def. Vestavia Hills

Founder/Publisher of Central Alabama Scoreboard. Former sportsguy, and managing editor.

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