TUSCALOOSA -- Both Catholic and Prattville Christian won a pair of games in the West Regional on Friday, advancing to the Class 3A winner’s bracket finals on Saturday at Bowers Park.
Catholic won its opening-round game with a 12-3 win over Excel. Carissa Gilbert and Alanna Aiken combined to pitch a five hitter with no earned runs and six strikeouts.
Catholic pounded out 17 hits, led by Mallory Hildebrand’s four hits CeCe Crawford’s three hits and four RBIs, Auburn Wilcoxson’s three hits and McKenzie Norton’s three hits and three runs scored. Aiken and Gilbert each had a pair of hits as well.
Prattville Christian won its opening-round game with a 10-0 win over Thomasville in a game halted in the fifth inning by the 10-run mercy rule. Shelbi Pruitt had the Tigers’ only hit as Landon McAnnally and Alivia Messick combined on the one-hit shutout while striking out 12. McAnnally, who had nine strikeouts, also drove in three runs at the plate. Arielle Williams had a three-run home run, while Sarah Williams was 2 for 2 and Riley Sweeney was 2 for 3.
In the second round, Catholic outlasted Hale County 13-10 and PCA held off Oakman 5-3. In the Knights’ win, Norton had two hits, including an inside-the-park home run, Aiken hit her 14th home run and Hannah Parrish scored a pair of runs.
Gilbert and Aiken combined to strike out eight batters and allowed just five earned runs.
Hale County trailed 7-3 before scoring seven runs in the final three innings. Alex Gray, Kori Young and Ally Gonzalez each had a pair of hits.
PCA, meanwhile, built a 5-0 lead in the first four innings, then withstood a three-run sixth inning by Oakman. McAnnally allowed seven hits while striking out nine in a complete-game performance. Payson Hanson had two hits, while Hanson, Sweeney and Jersee Carter each drove in a run.
Ashanti Stewart and Savannah Brown each had a pair of hits for Oakman.
Area 6 rivals PCA (31-8) and Catholic (23-17-1) will meet on Saturday at 9 a.m., with the winner qualifying for the state tournament. The loser will drop into the elimination round and play for the second spot in the state tournament at 1:45 p.m.