Rain has delayed the start of the spring sports season at Edgewood but the weather held off just long enough for the Wildcats to host AISA teams from across the state in their annual tournaments over the weekend.
The softball team (3-1-1) saw plenty of success in its first action under coach Darryl Free. The Wildcats advanced all the way to the championship before falling to Macon East on a walk-off home run but Edgewood was still staying positive after the defeat.
“Macon is a 3A school and they’re going to be in the running at the end again this year,” Free said. “Things didn’t go our way in the final half inning but I think we really sent a message to the rest of AISA that Edgewood softball is still here and a force to be reckoned with.”
Edgewood grabbed the No. 3 seed in bracket play after defeating Lee-Scott and tying with Chambers in pool play Friday. The Wildcats recorded only five hits in the 1-1 tie against Chambers but Free said that kind of slow start was to be expected.
“Defensively, we came out of the gates well but it was a tough start to hitting,” Free said. “That was their first time seeing live pitching this year. I think they came around later in the day with the more pitches they saw though.”
The Wildcats turned it up a notch on offense in the second day of the tournament. Madison White tallied a pair of doubles in a 7-2 win over Tuscaloosa then opened the scoring with a solo home run in the semifinal against Bessemer. Haylee Brown also added a home run to help secure a 4-1 win to set up a meeting with Macon East.
White finished the weekend with a .500 batting average and led the team with a 1.622 on-base plus slugging percentage. Grayson Laney reached base in eight of her 14 plate appearances while Faith Wheat contributed a team-high six hits.
“We have quite a few players that can contribute at the plate and that’s what makes this team special,” Free said. “It’s good to have them step up in those big moments.”
The baseball team got only three games in as its tournament was cut short in the first round of bracket play Saturday. After splitting its results in pool play, Edgewood fell 8-6 to Chambers in the quarterfinals.
“We came out of the gates pretty good,” Edgewood coach Justin Jones said. “The first ball games of the year, everyone will kick the ball around a little bit. We swung the bats good at times but we have to piece it together a little better.”
Edgewood (1-2) saw its fair share of errors in the field which turned into its downfall against Chambers. The Wildcats allowed 22 runs in three games but 13 of them were unearned, including six against Chambers.
“We still have some guys that are getting their arms into shape,” Jones said. “They will be moved up into the top of rotation. Overall though, I think pitching has done well but we have to clean it up behind them so we can win some games.”
On offense, the Wildcats had a few players keep them in the game. Mitchell Boyd led the team with an 1.825 OPS and grabbed a pair of extra-base hits. Luke Sisson recorded a team-high six RBIs.
“Nos. 1 through 9 we can swing the bat,” Jones said. “Defensively we have to get better but early in the season, you expect to have some trouble. We just know what we have to improve on now.”