PREP SOFTBALL: Logan hands St. Albans rare early exit
Logan sophomore pitcher Hana Sedlock turned in a career performance nearly notching a perfect game in an eventual 4-0 shutout win against St. Albans in the Wildcats’ Class AAA Region 4, Section 2 softball opener Tuesday night.
Sedlock retired the first 16 Red Dragons batters she faced before allowing three hits in the final two innings. Sedlock and the Wildcats escaped without allowing a run though and in the process eliminated St. Albans from postseason play. With the win, fourth-ranked Logan advances to play 5 p.m. Wednesday against Nitro, which defeated St. Albans 4-1.
“She pitched a very good ball game, probably one of her better ones of the year no doubt,” Logan coach Randy Robinette said of Sedlock. “I think she was perfect through 5 1/3 innings, so that’s pretty good against a team like St. Albans.
“She threw the ball really, really well, and our defense played good. We got some timely hitting and scored some runs, had a pretty good performance tonight.”
With a 4-0 lead in hand, Sedlock cruised until she allowed a one-out walk in the sixth inning. Sedlock retired the next hitter, but then allowed back-to-back singles before inducing Red Dragons No. 3 hitter Madi Marshall to a deep fly out.
“I kind of got tired in the sixth inning, but I pulled through,” Sedlock said. “You just have to throw hard for them. I had to move my ball and everything. It was hard, but I knew I could do it.”
Robinette said Sedlock succeeded by mixing speed with great location.
“I think that her fastball was good,” he said. “She had good movement, had a little curve ball that was working pretty good, and I think she kept them off balance a little bit.
“They’re a fine ball club though. I take nothing away from them. They played really, really hard. When it’s do or die, kids are going to lay it all on the line. They did that, and I think we did, too.”
The loss marked a disappointing finish to St. Albans’ season after dropping the evening’s first game to host Nitro. The Nitro win marked its first victory against St. Albans in 10 years.
“We struggled tonight,” Red Dragons coach Bradley Brown said. “The first game, errors got us. The second game, I thought we came back and we played better against Logan.
“I’m very proud of the girls. It’s not the outcome that we wanted or expected. It’s a great group of girls. I’m proud of them fighting until the end. They didn’t give up.”
The Red Dragons bats awoke late, Brown said, but with just one more hit St. Albans could have turned the tide against Logan.
“We were down by four, bases loaded with two outs with my No. 3 hitter up,” he said. “I would take those chances any time. She hits a line drive to center field and they made a good play. That could have brought in a couple runs and changed the outcome of the game.”
Logan scored a single run, the eventual game-deciding run, in the fourth inning. Kelsey Ward walked to lead-off the inning, then later stole second base. Ward scored when Taylor Napier’s contact resulted in an error, allowing Ward to score.
In the fifth, the Wildcats manufactured three runs on four consecutive two-out hits. Hannah Kolovich ripped a run-scoring double followed by back-to-back RBI hits from Kelsey Ward and Aarron Ward.
On the mound, Sedlock tossed a complete game with six strikeouts and one walk.
In the first game of the day, St. Albans took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third, but Nitro quickly tied the contest in the top half of the fourth inning.
Catcher Nichole Brown hit a two-run home run to center field in the fifth inning to give the Wildcats a 3-1 advantage and a lead Nitro would not surrender. Halie Miller followed Brown with a triple and later scored on a Red Dragons error, as hitter Savanah Shamblin put the ball into play.
Pitcher Amber Hughes tossed a complete game for the win, allowing four hits and no earned runs.