The Stanhope Elmore softball team saw its season come to a close Friday at the Class 6A East Central Regional in Oxford. After finishing second in its area, the Mustangs drew Helena in the first round of the tournament.
After going down by nine runs in the opener, Stanhope attempted to make a miraculous comeback by scoring six runs over the final two innings. But the rally fell short as the Mustangs fell 10-7 to Helena in the first round.
Trailing 10-1 heading into the sixth, the Mustangs started to make their rally when Neci King led off with a walk and MK Wilson followed by reaching on an error. King scored on a wild pitch then Stanhope got its bats going.
Morgan Carroll laced a single, and Courtney Taylor drove in two runs with a double. Brooke Burkett then notched a sacrifice fly to cut Helena’s lead to 10-5 before the inning’s end.
Stanhope added two more runs in the seven with a run-scoring single from Lindsey White, who then scored on an error three batters later.
While facing elimination, rain came down on Choccolocco Park, forcing a delay in the schedule and all games were moved to Friday. Stanhope still had a date with Opelika in the consolation bracket and the Mustangs appeared to be extending their season as they took a one-run lead late into the game.
After Harleigh Anderson and Neci King combined for five scoreless innings, Opelika scored six runs on four Stanhope fielding errors to take a 6-1 lead in the sixth inning. The Mustangs pulled three runs back but Opelika added one more unearned run and finished off the game to take the 7-4 victory, ending Stanhope’s season.
Stanhope finished the game with nine errors and all seven of Opelika’s runs were recorded as unearned. Anderson and King combined for 11 strikeouts across seven innings while allowing eight hits in the loss.
The Mustangs (23-24) had just five hits of their own but added five walks at the plate. Megan Smith led the way with two hits and two RBIs while Brooke Burkett and Morgan Caroll each recorded a hit, a run and an RBI.