The eighth-ranked Blue Devils start a pair of seventh graders in the infield and have just one senior on the roster heading into today’s regional tournament at Tuscaloosa’s Sokol Park.
“At the beginning of this season, I had no idea it would end up like this,” Cordova softball coach Randy Stracner said of his young team. “We’ve got some good, young players in the program and they are good enough to put out there.”
Several of Cordova’s veteran players — Faith Sims, Raigan Sherer and Hannah McLemore — are only in the 10th grade.
“We’ve got a pretty young team, but I feel great about our chances. Of all the teams down there, we’ve got one of the better pitchers. I think we matchup with anybody there,” Stracner said.
Cordova (25-17-2) opens up against No. 2 Good Hope (38-7) at 9:30 a.m. today. Good Hope is 30-2 in its last 32 games and the Red Raiders are 14-2 against 3A competition this season, losing to Winfield and Danville.
“We are going to have to get hits off their pitcher,” Stracner said. “She doesn’t throw very hard, but she is one of the better rise-ball pitchers in the state. She keeps people off balance with that. We’ve got to be disciplined enough to not swing at it. That’s going to be the key,” Stracner said of Good Hope’s Cara Goodwin, a UAB signee.
The winner of the Cordova-Good Hope game faces the Gordo-American Christian Academy winner at 12:30 p.m. The losers play an elimination game at 12:30 p.m.
The top two teams from the eight-team regional field advance to the State Softball Tournament in Montgomery next week.
3A teams in the North Central bracket include: Gordo, American Christian Academy, No. 2 Good Hope, No. 8 Cordova, No. 4 Winfield, Vinemont, Northside and Sipsey Valley.
Curry’s first trip to the regional tournament starts against a formidable opponent — tenth-ranked Moody — at 3:30 p.m. today.
The No. 7 Yellow Jackets bring confidence into the tournament after ousting Mortimer Jordan from the area tournament behind two shutout performances from pitcher Ashlee Swindle.
Moody bring a young team into the matchup. The Blue Devils have just two seniors and five seventh graders on the roster.
Moody (26-15) won the Class 5A, Area 11 crown, beating Springville twice.
Curry (29-17) went up against a pair of ranked teams in the Area 12 Tournament, beating No. 6 Mortimer Jordan twice and falling to No. 5 Hayden in a pair of tight games (2-1 in 8 innings and 3-0).
The Yellow Jackets bring a veteran team into the regional with one senior and seven juniors on the roster.
The winner of the Curry-Moody game faces the winner of the Pleasant Grove-Brookwood game at 8 p.m. The losers play at 6:30 p.m in an elimination game.
Other 5A teams at the regional are: No. 5 Hayden, Springville, McAdory and Wenonah.
The Corner Yellow Jackets make the long trip to Troy for the South Central Regional Tournament today.
No. 5 Corner (24-11) takes on No. 10 Calera (26-15-1) at 3:30 p.m.
Corner won the Class 4A, Area 10 title while Calera finished as the Area 7 runner up behind Bibb County.
The Corner-Calera winner advances to face the Beauregard-Tallassee winner at 6:30 p.m. today while the losers play an elimination game at 6:30 p.m.
Other 4A teams at the regional are: No. 6 Holtville, Dadeville, No. 7 Bibb County and Oak Grove.