After more than a week without a game, the Elmore County softball team traveled to Wetumpka for one of its toughest regular-season tournaments. The Panthers came out on top of their pool and finished the weekend with three games before being knocked out by last year’s Class 6A state runner-up Hazel Green in the quarterfinals.
Elmore County (12-3) had its work cut out for itself in the opening game when the Panthers squared off against Rehobeth pitcher Stephanie Schoonover, a Kentucky commit. Aubrey Allen matched Schoonover at every turn, striking out 11 over five innings, and led Elmore County to a 2-0 win.
Madelyn Becker hit a home run in the next game, leading Elmore County’s offense in a 5-2 victory against Stanhope Elmore. Ashtyn Pannell had a two-run double to break a tie in the first inning.
The Panthers offense kept the momentum going in the first round of bracket play against Dadeville. Elmore County racked up 15 runs in just three innings to grab the 15-1 run-rule win.
Pannell finished the weekend with six RBIs and three extra-base hits, including her first home run. Madison Britt led the team with six hits and a .750 batting average.
Late run halts Panthers’ win streak
After four straight victories, Elmore County saw itself on the wrong end of the scoreboard for the first time in more than a week Monday night. Marbury scored four runs in the final three innings to secure a 5-4 win.
Elmore County (9-3) jumped ahead early after Brady Lewis hit his first home run of the season in the third inning. Marbury pushed back ahead but Lapatrick Brown had a two-run triple in the top of the sixth to level the score once again before Marbury scored with two outs in the bottom of the frame to secure the win.
Prior to the defeat, the Panthers grabbed wins against Vincent, 6-4, and B.B. Comer, 22-7, on Saturday. ECHS racked up a staggering 18 hits against Comer with Payton Stephenson, Brown and Brandon White led the way with three apiece. White poured on six RBIs while Brown had five. Nassin Bryan, Zach Nichols, Landon Maynard and Brody Ward also contributed two hits each.
The Panthers also got a great effort on the mound as four pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts, led by White who earned the win in 3 2/3 innings of relief featuring eight strikeouts. Bryan fanned three while Lewis and Sean Darnell had two strikeouts apiece.
In the narrow win over Vincent, the Panthers had to overcome five errors but they did just enough offensively and on the mound. Nichols was the star of the show with a team-leading two hits and the win on the mound.
Darnell drove in three runs and Cole Downey contributed two RBIs.
TRACK AND FIELD
Panthers get strong showing from small squad
Elmore County traveled to Auburn to compete in the annual Auburn Early Bird track and field meet Saturday. Although the Panthers didn’t have any reach the top of the podium, they finished in the top 10 of all three events they competed in.
Reece Baker took fourth place in the 400 with a time of 52.25, missing a medal by 1.34 seconds. Zefeniah Edwards finished the 800 in 2:13.93 to grab fifth place, and Sam Barlet also had a fifth-place finish, running the 110 hurdles in 17.18.