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Winfield kicks off 3A play Friday


Madi Moore, right, and Samantha Riley talk during a break in the Softball Regional at Sokol Park. (Photo by Dusty Compton)


Madi Moore might not be at full strength, but she’ll be in Montgomery with her Winfield softball teammates.

Moore, a left-handed pitcher, won three games in the North Central Regional, and the Lady Pirates qualified for the AHSAA Class 3A tournament.

Winfield faces Saks at noon Friday at Lagoon Park.

In the regional at Sokol Park, Moore struck out 15 in a 5-0 win over Vinemont and 16 in a 5-1 victory over Northside. Moore threw a no-hitter and struck out 26 as the Lady Pirates defeated Good Hope 2-1 in 14 innings. Catcher Lexie Coleman singled with the bases loaded to drive in the winning run.

Winfield coach George Hennicke said Moore hasn’t fully recovered from a bout of mononucleosis, but Winfield is in the state tournament for the first time since 2010.

"I was ecstatic because that game wasn’t just a test of softball," Hennicke said. "It was a test of heart and a test of attitude and commitment and belief in each other. In a lot of regionals, the winning team would march through and dominate, and that’s great for them, but I mean we’ve been tested.

"A 14-inning game like that, it puts a lot of pressure on you. I don’t consider it so much pressure as it was opportunity for girls to step up and make great plays and make great pitches and help the team win, whether it be a pinch runner to the girl getting the winning hit. It was up and down the lineup. It wasn’t just one player for either team. Madi, of course, had a great day on the mound."

Hennicke said he expects Moore to be the starting pitcher, but Erika Kemble can pitch as well.

"She’s pitched in some big games, and she’s been tested, so I do have a No. 2," Hennicke said.

Along with Coleman at catcher, the potential starters include Sam Riley at first base; Presley Page at second; Brady Barnett at shortstop; JordanKate Easterwood at third; Taylor Guyton in left field; Allie Gilmer in center field; Emma Atkinson in right field; and Micaela Beck as the designated player. Page is the only senior starter.

Saks, the defending Class 3A champion, has a star pitcher in Taylor West. Winfield posted a win over Saks last year in the regional at Liberty Park, but Saks survived and eliminated the Lady Pirates.

"I know them fairly well," Hennicke said. "We played them twice last year, and Taylor West is a great pitcher. I mean, she threw a perfect game in the state championship game last year."

West recorded nine strikeouts, including the last out, as Saks beat Pisgah 3-0 to win the 2012 title.

"At this time of year you know everybody’s got good pitching," Hennicke said. "I’ve already been on the phone and sent out emails, trying to gather scouting reports. We kind of enjoyed Saturday afternoon, but Sunday it was time to go back to work and figure out what we can do."

 

Reach Andrew Carroll at andrew.carroll@tuscaloosanews.com or at 205-722-0223.