By Erik Harris, sports editor
MONTGOMERY — The Hewitt-Trussville softball team played up to its No. 1 ranking on Friday morning in the first round of the Class 7A East Central Regional in Montgomery.
Two big innings propelled the Area 6 champion Huskies on their way to a 12-2 victory over No. 9 Central-Phenix City, which pairs them with eighth-ranked Auburn in the No. 1 qualifier game on Friday afternoon.
En route to the club’s 13th straight win, Hewitt-Trussville started things with five runs in the bottom of the first, added six more in the fifth and enacted the mercy rule with a single run in the sixth off Katelyn Murphy’s second hit and second RBI of the morning.
Freshman pitcher Sara Phillips worked with a stellar Huskies’ offense at her back, tossing a three-hitter with nine strikeouts for the home team. The right-hander worked out of trouble in the top of the second when Central-Phenix City loaded the bases with one out. Phillips responded with back-to-back strikeouts to pin three runners on and preserve the 5-0 advantage.
Her offense scattered 11 hits on the Red Devils, as Hewitt notched its 16th double-digit victory of the year. Seniors Murphy and Jenna Lord logged two hits and two RBIs apiece to go with a one-hit, three-RBI outing from junior catcher Riley Tyree.
Shortstop Kenleigh Cahalan barreled up a sacrifice fly during a six-run fifth, which also included a a pinch-hit RBI single from junior Riley Rudick.
The Defending state champions will be back in action at 1:45 p.m. against Auburn, who cleared Vestavia Hills 3-1 in the first round on Friday, with a spot in the state tournament on the line.