RUN AT STATE: Goshen and Zion Chapel make a run at state while Trojans and Bulldogs make strides
Published 3:00 am Thursday, December 31, 2015
The 2015 softball season saw two teams in the area make it the state championship. Goshen and Zion Chapel finished first and second in the region tournament to secure a trip to the state tournament in Montgomery.
The Goshen High School Lady Eagles withstood a slow start before they made a run at the Class 2A state championship.
Led by head coach Amy Warrick the Eagles relied on strong pitching and even stronger offense to help.
“We didn’t start the season off very well,” Warrick said. “We had such high expectations, and we started off slow. I never minded us losing as long as we learned something. We changed the defense and everything seemed to click from there.”
The Eagles but peaked at the right time and swept their way through the region tournament. The Eagles amassed 33 runs in the three regional games.
“I was proud of the fact that they weren’t afraid of the pitchers,” Warrick said. “They were really good pitchers. We didn’t play all these teams at the upper level to be afraid of anyone.”
The Eagles made a valiant effort in the state tournament but an injury to Casey Allen was too much to overcome in a 5-2 loss to the Hatton Hornets.
During the offseason Allen signed to play softball at Wallace State-Hanceville.
Like the Eagles, the area rivals Zion Chapel also made a run at the state tournament after finishing runner up at the region tournament.
The Rebels finished the season with a 20-22 record and after winning three games on the tournament’s final day.
“Out of 23 years this has been the most fun and exciting season I have had,” said Rebels head coach Richard Johnson. “The amount of work these girls have put into it has been prenominal.
Like the Eagles the Rebels struggled to get much of anything going in the state tournament, falling to Sumiton Christian 15-5 and Hatton 7-0 to end their season.
The Pike Liberal Arts Lady Patriots made run in the AISA state tournament by advancing to the tournament’s second day.
After defeating Monroe Academy to begin the day, the Patriots lost a highly contested game against Autauga 4-3.
The Patriots finished the season with a record of 31-11. One of the players that helped lead the Patriots to success in 2015 was Kayla Benton. Benton was named as the Messenger All-Area Player of the year award winner after batting .511 on the season. Of her 70 hits on the season 29 of them were extra base hits.
“Kayla is what you want out of a lead-off hitter,” said John Ramage, president of the Pike Liberal Arts School Booster Club. “She rarely got out, and she was always on base.”
The Charles Henderson Lady Trojans finished the 2015 season with a 16-18 record and all though they fell in the area tournament the Trojans improved after doubling their win total from 2014.
The Trojans were a young softball team in 2015. Of the 11 players that ended the season for the Trojans, there were no seniors, one junior, three sophomores, five freshman and two eighth-graders.
The Pike County Bulldogs made it to the regional tournament in 2015 but the season as a whole was a growing process for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs finished the season with a 8-16 record in head coach Fawn Sims’ first season at the helm.
“Communication was our biggest thing that grew,” Sims said. “Once we got that down pat, we were solid.”