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Dallas County splits two games, ends 4A softball season

GULF SHORES — Dallas County fell inches away from advancing to the state girls softball tournament after splitting two games in the regional tournament Saturday.

Leave it to UMS Wright to be the spoiler. Wright handed the Lady Hornets their only defeat Friday to push Dallas County into the losers’ bracket, then eliminated Dallas County with a 9-6 decision Saturday.

The season ended for Dallas County with a 27-5 record.

“We haven’t seen anything like they hit the ball,” Dallas County assistant coach Gaylen Denson said about UMS Wright after the narrow defeat.

“They just put the ball in play so well. They don’t really have a dominant hitter.”

Tenth-grade hurler Cassie Daniels — who had averaged double-digit strikeouts — managed only four strikeouts in the final game. The loss left the sophomore with a 21-5 overall record.

Dallas County trailed 3-0 going into the sixth inning, when senior shortstop Kimberly Ross — one of the team’s three seniors — hit a home run over the left field wall. Then, after consecutive hits by Kelly Ingram, Debra Cunningham and Avery Mott, Whitney Denson doubled.

The Lady Hornets went ahead 5-3 before UMS Wright rallied in the seventh for the victory.

Denson led Dallas County hitters with three, followed by Ingram’s two.

UMS Wright advanced to semifinal action Saturday night against Ashford.

The winner of that game takes on unbeaten St. James for the Class 4A Southern regional title.

The top two teams in the regionals advance to the state tournament in Montgomery next weekend.

Dallas County 5, Andalusia 2

The Lady Hornets stayed alive in the tournament Saturday behind the hitting of Ross. She went 3-for-3 at the plate, scoring one of the Lady Hornets’ runs.

Denson was 2-for-3 in hitting, scoring three Dallas County runs.