HUNTSVILLE - The Cold Springs Lady Eagles played hard but experienced heartbreaking losses in their first ever appearance in the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) softball regional.
Playing in the North Regional at the Metro Sportsplex, a potential first round win in Class 2A against Phil Campbell turned into a 6-5 loss. Phil Campbell scored four times in the top of the seventh to rally from a three-run deficit and move on to the second round of the tournament.
Then, the Lady Eagles' stay in the Rocket City was cut short when Cold Springs was eliminated by Mars Hill Bible 17-2 Friday evening.
Champions of 2A, Area 13, the Lady Eagles were behind 2-0 after the top of the first with Phil Campbell, then got the game even in their first at bat when Anna Kate Voce hit a two-run homer.
The game remained even until the Cold Springs half of the fourth. Drew Sanders cracked a two-run homer this time, and a run-scoring single by Crimson Gann put the Lady Eagles up by the score of 5-2.
Voce replaced Sanders as pitcher and had a good sixth inning with Cold Springs in front by three when they went back out for the seventh.
Phil Campbell got three hits in the inning and took advantage of a throwing error that sent in the tying run. The go-ahead run was a bloop single to left with the runner getting ahead of the tag made at the plate by catcher Victoria Freeman.
Kylon Hamby had a single to lead off the seventh and moved to second when the ball was bobbled in center field. She reached third base, but advanced no further with Hayden Goodwin lining out to end the game.
Goodwin produced two hits in the contest with Sanders and Voce providing two-run homers. Gann had a run batted in on a single and other hits came by Hamby and Emily Williams.
Unable to shake off the heartbreak of a late-inning loss, the Lady Eagles gave up six runs in the bottom of the first to Mars Hill and never recovered.
Mars Hill went on to defeat Cold Springs 17-2, ending the contest via the run rule.
Cold Springs brought a very young team to Huntsville, with only one senior, infielder Madison Holmes.
Sanders is a junior, sharing time at pitcher with Voce, currently an eighth grader. Freeman, Hamby and Gann just completed their freshman season with Williams and Hayden Goodwin only sophomores.
Toni West, Kyla Aaron and Ember Sellers got valuable playing time as eighth graders. West plays first base, Aaron is a catcher and Sellers handled duties at third.
In their final month of the 2017 season, this young squad posted a 9-7 record and went undefeated through the 2A, Area 13 tournament, defeating Winston County in the finals on May 2 by the score of 10-3.
Cold Springs accounted for 16 victories and with a mature team to return in 2018, a return trip to Huntsville for the North Regional is very well within the grasp of the Lady Eagles.
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