By Josh Bean
Oxford, AL – Things didn’t look promising for Hewitt-Trussville’s hard-hitting softball squad in early in early innings of the AHSAA Class 7A State Championship final against Fairhope Friday night. Anyce Harvey changed it with one swing.
Harvey kicked the offense into overdrive with a two-run homer in the third inning. Before the inning was finished, Pirates used three different pitchers and the Huskies had turned a three-run deficit into a three-run lead.
Hewitt-Trussville (49-3-1) closed out the championship with a 16-4 victory over Fairhope in Friday night’s winner-take-all finale in the 7A double-elimination state tournament at Choccolocco Park. Hewitt-Trussville won its second straight 7A title, after winning the school’s first fast-pitch softball crown in 2019 but didn’t get the chance to defend that title last spring since all AHSAA spring championships in 2020 were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Huskies hit three homers among their 16 hits against four different Fairhope pitchers – scoring six in the third one in the fifth, six in the sixth and three more runs in the seventh.
Fairhope (42-6) emerged from the elimination bracket needing to beat Hewitt-Trussville twice. The Pirates earned a 4-2 victory to set up the all-or-nothing finale. The loss was only the Huskies’ third of the season.
Fairhope took the lead in the fifth in that game when Justice Palmer hit a two-run homer and Harrison followed with a solo shot. Fairhope pitcher Alea Johnson allowed six hits, walked three and struck out three to earn the complete-game victory. Johnson also hit a solo homer.
Fairhope appeared fatigued in the final game, and Hewitt’s powerful lineup took advantage. Tournament MVP Jenna Lord finished 2-for-5 with four RBIs. Harvey was 3-for-5 with three RBIs, and Katalyn Murphy was 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Crystal Maze homered and finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs and four runs scored.
The 2021 state tourney concludes Saturday with the 6A finals at noon at Choccolocco Park’s signature championship stadium, and the 3A title game at 4:45 p.m. The finals, including the “if” games that can follow in the double-elimination tourney are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network subscriber-based platformd and televised over the AHSAA TV Network’s cable channels across the state. AHSAA TV partner WOTM TV is producing both championship series.
CLASS 7A ALL-STATE TOURNEY TEAM:
Bella Wiggins, Alea Johnson, Ryley Harrison, Fairhope; Sara Phillips, Madi Mitchell, Hewitt-Trussville; MVP: Jenna Lord, Hewitt-Trussville.
Other 7A elimination games Friday:
FAIRHOPE 6, BOB JONES 0: The Pirates’ Alea Johnson pitched a no-hitter – losing her perfect game with a walk to open the seventh inning – and struck out 17 to send the Pirates to the championship round.
FAIRHOPE 6, HOOVER 1: Fairhope scored six runs in the first inning and stayed alive in the elimination bracket Rylee Harrison pitched a complete game and struck out 13. Bailey Wiggins had a two-run triple for the Pirates.