FLORENCE – The Plainview Lady Bears are headed to Montgomery for the Class 3A State Softball Tournament for a fourth consecutive year following their 3-1 run through the North Regional this past weekend in Florence.
The Lady Bears pounded Colbert Heights and Lauderdale County by a combined score of 24-5 in their first two winners’ bracket games.
Plainview then met area rival Pisgah in the winners’ bracket finals, where they fell to the Lady Eagles 12-2.
Despite the loss, the Lady Bears were still a win away from punching their ticket to Montgomery. They later met Lauderdale County again in the losers’ bracket finals and ran away with a 13-1 blowout win.
The Lady Bears will open state tournament play Wednesday at Lagoon Park in Montgomery. Their first matchup comes against defending 3A champion Prattville Christian at 10:45 a.m.
Here are recaps of the Lady Bears’ three wins at the 3A North Regional from Thursday and Friday:
COLBERT HEIGHTS 1
The Lady Bears’ 2019 North Regional opener saw them blow past the Colbert Heights Lady Wildcats in five innings Thursday.
After a scoreless first frame, Plainview jumped ahead for good in the second then Jacey Crowell drove in Jayla Gravitt with a 2-out, RBI double to left field. Crowell later went to third and scored on a pair of passed balls to make the score 2-0.
The Lady Bears’ lineup then ripped the game wide open with five more runs in the top of the third.
That rally started with back-to-back doubles from Kenzi Traylor and Crimson Wells. After a pair of quick outs, Krimson Kidd singled home Wells to make the lead 4-0.
Tessa Word then walked before Gravitt ripped a 2-RBI double to right field. Crowell then drove in Gravitt again with an RBI single up the middle to make the score 7-0.
Traylor kick started another rally in the fourth with a leadoff triple to the right-field wall. Wells followed with a walk and both runners later came around to score while Mia Tidmore reached on an error. Word drove in Tidmore with an RBI single two batters later to stretch the lead to double figures.
Plainview then used the long ball in their final rally in the top of the fifth.
After a pair of leadoff singles form Tobi Trotter and Traylor, Wells crushed a 1-0 pitch over the left-field wall for a 2-run homer.
Four batters later after Kidd drew a 2-out walk, Word launched a 2-run homer of her own over the center-field wall to make the score 15-0.
The Lady Wildcats plated their lone run in the bottom of the fifth before the game was called via mercy rule.
Lily Boswell struck out six, walked one and gave up no runs on three hits through four innings pitched. Word gave up one run while closing out the fifth.
Word and Wells both batted 2-for-3 and drove in three RBIs each.
Traylor was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate and was a home run away from hitting for the cycle. She scored twice and had one RBI.
Crowell batted 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored and two RBIs. Gravitt and Tidmore also had two RBIs each.
LAUDERDALE CO. 4
The Lady Bears held off a late comeback attempt in their winners’ bracket semifinals matchup with the Lauderdale County Lady Tigers.
Plainview struck first in the top of the second. Mia Tidmore led off with a double to left field and scored on an RBI single from Krimson Kidd up the middle.
Plainview doubled their lead in the third after they put Tobi Trotter and Kenzi Traylor on the corners with one out. Traylor took off from first base and was thrown out at second, which gave Trotter enough time to score from third and made the score 2-0.
Plainview added another run to their lead in the top of the fifth when Trotter was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on an RBI single from Crimson Wells.
That lead wouldn’t last though as the Lady Tigers answered in the bottom of the fifth with back-to-back home runs, which tied the game at 3-all.
The Lady Bears answered right back in the sixth to take the lead for good.
With two outs and two runners on base after a walk to Jacey Crowell and a single from Traylor, Wells launched a 3-run homer to center field to make the score 6-3.
The Lady Tigers cut the lead to two with their final run in the bottom of the sixth before Plainview padded their lead with three more runs in the seventh.
That seventh-inning rally started with Kidd reaching on an error before Tessa Word doubled up the middle. Crowell drove in both runners with a 1-out double and later scored herself on a sacrifice fly from Traylor to make the score 9-4.
Plainview pitcher Lily Boswell then struck out the side in five batters in the bottom of the seventh to seal the win for Plainview.
Boswell struck out 10, walked one and gave up three earned runs in seven innings pitched. She fired 82 of her 117 pitches for strikes.
Wells finished 2-for-4 at the dish with five RBIs. Crowell scored twice and had two RBIs and Traylor, Elaine Puckett, Tidmore and Kidd all smacked two hits each.
LAUDERDALE CO. 1
After falling to rival Pisgah in the winners’ bracket finals, Plainview made quick work of Lauderdale County in their win-or-go-home rematch with a spot in the state tournament on the line.
The Lady Bears’ bats got hot early with six runs in the first two innings.
Crimson Wells and Mia Tidmore both had RBI singles in the bottom of the first that drove home Tobi Trotter and Kenzi Traylor.
Plainview then had a 4-run rally in the second that started to light up the scoreboard when Tobi Trotter ripped an RBI double up the middle after a 10-pitch at-bat. That double scored Jayla Gravitt and moved Jacey Crowell to third.
Trotter and Crowell both scored on the next pitch when Traylor singled on a liner to right field.
Crimson Wells then doubled before Elaine Puckett capped off the rally with a sacrifice fly that scored Trotter from third.
Lauderdale County had a leadoff home run in the top of the fourth, but the Lady Tigers wouldn’t draw any closer to Plainview’s lead.
The Lady Bears answered with a run in their half of the fourth when Trotter was hit by a pitch and later scored while Puckett reached on a fielder’s choice.
The Lady Bears then poured it on in the bottom of the fifth to go up by double figures and end the game via mercy rule.
Tidmore led off with an infield single before Tessa Word launched a 2-run blast over the right-field wall to make the score 9-1.
A walk to Gravitt, an error on grounder from Crowell and a single from Trotter then loaded the bases for Plainview. Traylor then grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Gravitt.
With the score at 10-1, Wells then made sure the Lady Bears stretched their lead beyond double digits when she launched a 3-run homer to right field and ended the game.
Lily Boswell struck out nine batters and walked one. Lauderdale’s solo homer in the fourth was the only hit Boswell gave up in five innings pitched.
Wells was a flawless 3-for-3 at the plate. She drove in four RBIs and was a triple away from hitting for the cycle.
Traylor scored three times and had three RBIs. Puckett and Word drove in two each.