Fayetteville advances to South Central finals
by Erich Hilkert
TROY—The Fayetteville Lady Wolves are one win away from a return trip to the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 1A state finals in Montgomery. The Lady Wolves defeated Faith Christian, 16-0 and archrival Wadley 10-3 on Friday. They will face three-time defending state champions Ragland at 8 a.m.

Fayetteville started the day by defeating Faith Christian in convincing fashion 16-0 in a mere three innings.

Starting pitcher Haydn Hughes pitched a one-hit shutout using only 30 total pitches, while allowing no walks and striking out one batter.

Every single Fayetteville batter got on base. Hughes was the only player that didn’t get a hit and Hughes got on base at all three of her at-bats, reaching base on an error, a fielder’s choice and a walk.

Fayetteville head coach Chris Sherbert said his team has spilt personalities on the diamond. He said on some days they look like they are one of the top teams in the state and some days his team really struggles. He said he saw the team that looked like one of the best in the state on Friday.

“You couldn’t ask for a better first game,” Sherbert said. “I tell you what, team A showed up. All the way around, it was a complete ball game. Defensively, we had opportunities to get eight putouts and we got seven of them. We hit the ball very well. Courtney Deloach got two hits, Peyton Dennis ended up with two hits, Hailey Haynes had two hits, Brittany Snyder with one, Lauren Guy with one, Summer Guy with one, and Katelyn Bierley with a hit, and Amber Harris with two hits. Just about every member of the team got a hit.”

Courtney Deloach led off the game with a single through the middle of the infield. She was aggressive on the base path, stealing second base, third base and scoring on a passed ball to make it 1-0. Hailey Haynes hit a single through the middle of the infield to score two more runs. The team added two more runs in the inning to push their lead to 5-0. Fayetteville added four runs in the second inning. In the third inning, Peyton Dennis doubled into the right-center field to bring in two runs. Brittany Snyder hit a single down the third base line to score a run. Lauren Guy hit a single through the middle of the infield to score another run. Katelyn Bierley got an infield single to score a run to make it 14-0. Amber Harris blasted the ball to deep left-center field, scoring Summer Guy and Bierley to increase their lead to 16-0 and end the game.

While the team’s hitting was impressive, Sherbert felt Hughes’ pitching gave a lion’s share of the credit to Hughes.

“I can’t say enough about our pitcher,” Sherbert said following the game. “We talked to her when we were coming about [how] we’re playing quality teams. We said we’ve got to keep the ball down, we’ve got to keep the ball around the kneecaps and she did that this first game. This is a pretty good little hitting team. I’ve got a little scouting report—they usually put the ball in play, and of course they did put the ball in play at times. We made the routine plays. When you make the routine plays, you put the ball in play, and you don’t walk, you’ve got a good chance of winning ballgames. We’ve got to enjoy this for another three minutes and throw it into the trash can. We’ve got a long day ahead of us.”

In the team’s second game, they scored an impressive win over long-time foe, Wadley by a final of 10-3.

The team opened up a 1-1 game in the bottom of the third inning. The Lady Wolves scored five runs in the inning to open up a comfortable lead.

Amber Harris led off the inning with a walk. Courtney Deloach hit a single, followed by a Haydn Hughes single. Lauren Guy also had a single in the inning. The team scored a total of five runs in the inning to push their lead to 6-1.

Deloach and Guy both had singles in the fourth inning as well. Hailey Haynes double to left field, as the team tacked on four more runs to push their lead to 10-1.

Hughes struggled in the circle, but only briefly in the sixth inning. Hughes explained that catcher Peyton Dennis came out to the mound to encourage her. Hughes was visibly frustrated with the umpire’s tight strike zone.

“I was throwing inside and outside pitches,” Hughes explained. “He called some of them and then again, he didn’t. So, I had to work my way more in the strike zone, right perfect. It’s either they hit it or I struck them out; whatever they did, my defense was definitely back for me.”

She finished the second game with seven innings pitched, five hits, two earned runs, and three strikeouts.

Leadoff hitter Deloach went two for three in both games, also taking a walk in the second game. She explained some of her hits on the day had to do with the way she grips the bat without choking up on the bat.

“I like holding it real far down,” she said. “I don’t know, it just feels like it’s hitting it harder to me and I got some hard hits there too.”

Hughes said carrying the momentum of the first day, along with being familiar with Ragland should prove to be beneficial.

“I’m feeling good,” Hughes said. “I’m feeling that we’ll come back and we’ll win that game. I mean, we all did what we were supposed to do today and won these games, that’s what we’ll do tomorrow. We’ll win those games. If I have my defense behind me and if I do what I’m supposed to do, then we’ll definitely win that game.”

Ragland started the day by defeating TC Central 21-6 and also beat Billingsley 14-1.
© 2013