ALL-STAR WEEK: North sweeps Tuesday’s events
Four North pitchers combined to hurl a one-hitter in a Game 1 2-0 win followed by 14 hits in the second game as part of a 13-2 victory to sweep the 20th annual AHSAA All-Star series at Riverwalk Stadium Tuesday night.
Gardendale High School infielder Manning Early stroked a triple in the opening win and had a sine and three RBIs in the nightcap to claim MVP honors for the North. The winners improved their series record to 22-11-1 with the sweep. South MVP was catcher Santiago Garcia of Enterprise.
The North-South Baseball doubleheader was the first of eight all-star competitions this week as the AHSAA Summer Conference and All-Star Week heads into day three Wednesday. All-Star competition for girls’ and boys’ soccer and softball was also held Tuesday night.
Cody Greenhill of Russellville, Will Battersby of Spain Park, Taylor Hayes of Piedmont and Carson Hall of Randolph combined to shut out the South in the opening baseball game. Greenhill hurled the first two innings walking one and striking out one to get the win. Battersby gave up a single and walked one in his two innings, Hayes hurled one shutout inning and Hall, who had 10 saves for Randolph as a junior in 2016, notched the save with three strikeouts over the final two innings.
Brantley’s Jacob Free started and went three innings, allowing five hits, two unearned runs and striking out one to get the loss for the South. Evan Baber of Central-Phenix City struck out three in one inning of work.
Gordo’s Kody Chapman singled and scored on a passed ball for the North’s first run in the second inning. Deshler’s Hunter Hill reached safely in the third inning on a throwing error and took second when the ball rolled into the South dugout. He later scored on a sacrifice fly by James Clemens’ Jordan Anderson.
The North took a 4-0 lead in the game two after two innings and added four more runs in the fourth to build a commanding 8-0 lead before the South finally its first hit of the second game. North pitchers held the South batters hitless for 7 1/3 innings over both games. Thomasville’s Chad Bryant singled with one out in the bottom of the fourth and Garcia singled in Joseph Booker, who had reached on an error.
The North went on to add three more runs in the sixth and two in the seventh to close out the win. Hayes slammed a double and two singles and scored two runs, Decatur’s Tanner Burns had two hits and two RBIs, Greenhill and Jared Howell of Sparkman also had triples in the second game. Howell hurled the final inning allowing one hit and a run. Winning pitcher Cade Lemons of Vestavia Hills started and pitched two hitless innings facing the minimum six batters while striking out two to get the win.
The South mustered four hits with Garcia, Bryant, Tanner Allen of UMS-Wright and Christian Waltman of Faith Academy getting one each. Starting pitcher Jack Knight of Rehobeth hurled the first two innings and got the loss.
North continues dominance in softball
The North softball team pounded 19 hits in two games Tuesday night to sweep the 20th AHSAA North-South All-Star Softball competition at Lagoon Park during All-Star Week.
Kiara Akles of Cleburne County had a double, one RBI and scored a run in game one’s 12-4 victory and was the starting pitcher in a 4-1 victory in game two hurling three strong innings allowing three hits, one run and striking out three to get the win. She also slugged a double.
Layton Murphy of Marbury earned South MVP honors. She started and got the loss in game two despite pitching three strong innings. She allowed three hits, one earned run and struck six. Murphy also hurled two scoreless innings in game one with one hit allowed and three strikeouts.
Destinee Cole of Pinson Valley had two hits and two RBIs for the North in the nightcap. Delaney Thomas of Baker had a single and RBI and Hannah Dailey of St. James had a double for the South.
The North scored five runs in the top of the second inning in game one to take command en route to the 12-4 win. Briana Chappell of Tuscaloosa County slugged a double and single and drove in two runs in the win. Alaina Hampton of Coosa Christian had a double and two RBIs.
Abbey Latham of Demopolis slammed a solo homer for the South, coached by Rachael McClure of Prattville and Barry Roberts of Robertsdale. O’Neil Roberson of Oak Mountain also had a single and two RBIs.
Winnie pitcher Annie Willis of Westminster Christian started and pitched three innings, striking out three and allowing three hits. Cydney Sizemore of Dothan got the loss.
The North improved to 24-9-3 in the series with the sweep.
North sweeps soccer
The North girls beat the South 3-2 and the North boys won 4-2 Tuesday night to sweep the AHSAA North-South All-Star Soccer matches at Emory Folmar Soccer Complex. The Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association hosts the AHSAA North-South competition.
The North, coached by Albertville’s Julie Little and Indian Springs’ Hunter Gray, fell behind 2-1 in the girls’ contest midway through the second half but rallied with two goals just 3 ½ minute apart from 62:48 to 66:29 to pull out the win.
North MVP Walker Poe of Mountain Brook gave her team a quick lead scoring the match’s first goal on an unassisted kick just 33 seconds into the game. Mallory Messer of St. Paul’s Episcopal tied the match with a goal at 8:27. Maggie Chambers of Montgomery Academy got the assist. Chambers, the South MVP, gave the South the lead 2-1 at 58:50 in the second half on an assist from Cameryn Rogers of Prattville.
The North tied the contest at 2-2 in unlikely fashion when the South planted the ball in its own goal just four minutes later. Jordan Richmond of Holy Spirit Catholic got the game-winning corner kick to seal the win as the North improved to 12-2-1 in the annual series.
South goalkeeper Dora Eskridge of Montgomery Academy had two saves and Alyssa Vess of Oak Mountain had five saves for the North.
North Boys 4, South 2
Cole Gerding of Cullman opened the scoring at 7:32 of the first half with an unassisted goal for the North. Cole Grogan of Benjamin Russell tied the match with an unassisted goal of his own at 13:15, but Moreno’s first goal at 32:24 put the North ahead for good. Cole Williams of Hoover got the assist.
Kennedy Davis of Oak Mountain added an unassisted goal early in the second half, and Moreno scored on a feed from Helena’s Gaskins at 65 minutes to ice the win for coaches Casey Harbin of Cullman and Matt Hall of Spain Park.
Noah Harrelson of St. Paul’s Episcopal scored the South’s final goal just 14 seconds before the match concluded.
North goalkeepers Kyle Oswalt of Guntersville and Seth Torman of Pelham had four and two saves, respectively. The South got strong goal play from Michael Kelly of Montgomery Academy and Houston Barnett of Citronelle. Each had four saves.