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Bats betray Aggies

Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2009 by SJA
MONTGOMERY — The Albertville softball team made its first state tournament trip, but its bats stayed behind at Sheldon Elmore Park.

No, the Lady Aggies didn’t leave their bats at home in a literal sense, but their offense lacked the firepower that generated 27 runs in the Class 5A, Area 13 Tournament and 33 runs in the North Regional.

Albertville mustered only two runs in three state tournament games, an output that prevented the squad from making a deeper run in the eight-team event.

“I think we saw a special pitcher yesterday in (Morgan Druhan of) Spanish Fort, but from then on we saw the same stuff we’ve seen all year, we just didn’t hit,” said Albertville head coach Paul Woodruff.

“I can’t explain it, they can’t explain it. I’ve got kids batting right at .400 and .370 and .380, and we mustered zero hits.

“I think my top four had one hit. One through five I think we were one for whatever.”

McKenzie Peet lined a single to left field in the seventh inning of Saturday’s 4-1 loss to Moody, which eliminated the Lady Aggies.

Carrie Barton contributed a bunt single and an infield single against Moody.

Albertville collected two bunt singles against Spanish Fort on Friday afternoon.

Cullman’s Elizabeth Buchanan threw a no-hitter against AHS on Friday night.

Woodruff didn’t allow his team’s offensive struggles to detract from its accomplishment.

“I told the kids we’re thrilled, and I’m the happiest guy here, I guarantee you,” he said.

“They played their fannies off from February 18 to right now. They left it on the field right there.

“They did all they could do, but we didn’t hit.”

The Lady Aggies graduate six seniors — Carrie Barton, Katie Moman, Maggie Younghouse, Hannah Woodruff, McKenzie Peet and Stephanie NeSmith.

The group led AHS to a 71-29-2 record the past two seasons.

“We had great leadership,” Woodruff said. “Our seniors are unbelievable. It’s going to be a tough group to lose.

“I guess I’ll have to go back to coaching next year. They’ve done a lot of it for me the last couple of years.

“I told them yesterday no matter what happens down here they’re a success, and they’ve been a success from day one.

“Three of them started as eighth-graders, and it’s been a journey none of us will ever forget.

“For Albertville High School softball they were the first area champion and the first substate winner and the first second-round substate showing, the first state tournament and the first state tournament win.

“Everything Albertville High School as far as softball goes, every first, they just walked off the field, six of them. The class of 2009 is pretty unbelievable.”

Hannah Woodruff fought back tears as she talked about the state tournament.

“It’s just great,” she said. “We’ve been working for this since I was in eighth grade, and my senior year we finally make it.

“It’s not what we wanted (being eliminated), but I’m glad we got here. But we shouldn’t be done yet.”

Paul Woodruff said he will miss coaching his oldest daughter, who will continue her career at Alabama-Huntsville.

“Hannah thinks what I’m thinking, and a lot of times she’s already one step ahead of me,” Woodruff said.

“To lose that after five years on the field, it will be different. Lucky for me I’ve got another one coming.”

Woodruff’s youngest daughter, Emily, started for the varsity the second half of the season. She’s a seventh-grader.

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