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Aggies make state

Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2009 by SJA
HUNTSVILLE — A steady rain didn’t dampen the Albertville Lady Aggies’ emotions as they celebrated their historic accomplishment Saturday night.

Torrea Talton fanned Breanna Hillman for the final out of Albertville’s 11-2 triumph over No. 6 Muscle Shoals in the losers bracket finals of the Class 5A North Regional at the Metro Kiwanis Sportsplex.

The victory clinched a berth in the Class 5A state softball tournament for the Lady Aggies (33-9-1), the first state appearance in school history.

“It’s unbelievable,” said senior shortstop Hannah Woodruff, a varsity starter since the eighth grade.

“We always hoped that we would get through this, but now that it’s really happened it’s unbelievable.”

Senior catcher McKenzie Peet, another varsity starter since the eighth grade, said advancing to state is a “huge deal to all of us,” especially the team’s six seniors.

“Carrie (Barton) had mentioned on the bus to give it all we had and not to let up, and that’s just what we did,” Peet said.

“We just talked about it last night and all day today, just talking about playing our hardest and making it to state, and that’s what we did.”

Peet’s power surge was critical to Albertville’s success, as she slugged three home runs during the weekend.

“I actually had one of my friends send me a text message asking me if I was on steroids,” she said. “But I’m not, so that’s OK.”

Albertville fell behind Muscle Shoals 1-0, but it grabbed the lead for good by plating two runs in the top of the third inning.

Maggie Younghouse ripped a double down the left-field line. She slid under the tag at home plate to score on Stephanie NeSmith’s fielder’s choice, tying it 1-1.

Brittany Copeland’s two-out single drove in Hannah Woodruff with the go-ahead run. Woodruff had reached on a single.

Albertville pulled away by pushing across six runs in the fourth inning.

Becca Townsend started the inning with a double. Hannah Woodruff singled home Townsend.

NeSmith and Copeland added RBI singles in the inning while Barton contributed an RBI sacrifice fly.

Townsend led off the fifth with a double and scored on Hannah Woodruff’s two-out single. Woodruff scored on an error, giving AHS a 10-1 advantage.

Jayci Evans’ sacrifice fly drove in Muscle Shoals’ second run in the bottom of the fifth.

Albertville’s Erin Segers reached on a fielder’s choice in the top of the seventh.

Katie Moman followed by ripping a single to right field that Hillman misplayed for an error, allowing Segers to score and make it 11-2.

Hannah Woodruff said hitting made the difference for the Lady Aggies.

“We had a down time there before the area tournament, and at the area tournament we just picked it up and we started hitting,” she said.

“Everybody was hitting. People that never hit were hitting.”

Albertville head coach Paul Woodruff echoed his oldest daughter’s sentiments.

“You’ve got to pitch, you’ve got to make plays, but really to me in our game it boils down to you’ve got to hit,” he said.

“We made it happen when we had to make it happen.

“We scored 24 runs against Muscle Shoals and put five up on a great Scottsboro team which has probably the best pitcher we’ve seen all year in the (Hilary) Mavromat girl.”

Albertville lost to No. 3 Hartselle 8-4 in the finals of the winners bracket Saturday.

The Lady Aggies returned to Huntsville on Monday to battle Hartselle in the regional championship game.

“We talked about it last week, about ultimate goals,” Woodruff said.

“We were thrilled to win the area tournament against a great Southside team. We came in over here looking to do more.

“We got to the second round last year and got to Hartselle and got put out.

“We came to Huntsville this weekend and beat some good teams.

“We beat number six Muscle Shoals twice, beat a number eight Scottsboro team and got put in the losers bracket by a great Hartselle team ranked number three.

“And the girls didn’t quit. They fought back, fought back and fought back, and the bats came alive at the end.

“We’re thrilled to be moving on to the next level.”

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