Instead, Hatton did.
The Lady Hornets picked up their third straight Class 2A title with a 9-5 victory over Sumiton Christian at Lagoon Park.
Hatton beat Sumiton Christian twice on the day. The Lady Hornets took advantage of key Sumiton Christian mistakes to beat the Lady Eagles 4-2 in the winner’s bracket final Saturday morning. After Sumiton Christian fought its way to the championship with a win over Leroy, Hatton wasted no time taking control of the game en route to the victory.
The win marked the second straight year that Sumiton Christian’s season has ended against Hatton at the state tournament.
In the final game, Sumiton Christian fell behind 9-2 and chipped away at the lead, cutting the gap to 9-5 before a pair of base-running miscues killed the Lady Eagles’ sixth-inning rally.
Sumiton Christian had its chances in Saturday’s winner’s bracket final.
The Lady Eagles took an early 1-0 lead, but they allowed unearned three runs in the bottom of the second inning following an error.
Hatton didn’t trail the rest of the game.
Sumiton Christian and Hatton were clearly the top two teams in Class 2A. The Lady Eagles outscored Leroy, Lexington and Houston Academy 22-2 in their three wins at state. Hatton outscored Sumiton Christian 13-7 in their two meetings.
Four Sumiton Christian players: Cadi Oliver, T’Ebonie Tanner, Katie Justice and Clara Bowen were named to the Class 2A All Tournament Team prior to the trophy presentation.
In the championship game, Sumiton Christian struck first, scoring a run when Tanner reached on a fielder’s choice and came home on a Katlyn Sides groundout.
Hatton wasted no time coming back. The first four Lady Hornets reached base in the bottom of the inning. Mariah Cantrell had the first RBI and Danya Snead had a two-run double.
Sumiton Christian’s Kathryn Warren kept Hatton from adding to its lead thanks to a running catch that turned into a double play after a Lady Hornet leaving third base early.
Hatton took control by scoring three runs in both the third and fourth innings for a 9-2 lead.
Sumiton Christian put together a rally in the top of the sixth. Kendall Beth Sides and Clara Bowen each singled and scored on a double by Haleigh Lane. Lane later scored on a Cadi Oliver single.
For the game, Oliver was 1 for 3 with an RBI, Warren was 2 for 3 while Bowen, Sides and Lane added hits.
Oliver took the loss on the mound.
For Hatton, Hannah Harper, Snead and Carey Peebles each had two hits.
Hillary Carpenter earned the win, allowing six hits and striking out four.
Winner’s Bracket final
Hatton 4, Sumiton Christian 2
In the opener, Sumiton Christian made one mistake.
That was all Hatton needed.
Sumiton Christian made a key error with one out in the second inning. Hatton turned the mistake into three unearned runs and never looked back, beating the Lady Eagles 4-2.
Sumiton Christian took an early lead after Tanner reached on an infield single and scored on Kendell Hamm’s two-out single for a 1-0 score.
Hatton countered in the top of the second inning.
Carpenter reached on an error with one out. Shaide Parker followed with a bloop single and with two outs, Logan Bradford singled in the game-tying run. Victoria Crumpton drove in a run with an infield single and Bradford crossed the plate on an errant throw.
Oliver cut the gap to 3-2 in the top of the third with a long shot, her 19th homer of the year.
Oliver went 2 for 3 with a double and a solo home run for Sumiton Christian. Tanner was 1 for 4, Hamm was 1 for 3 with a stolen base and an RBI, Kendall Beth Sides and Justice were both 1 for 3.
Carpenter got the win for the Lady Hornets, allowing six hits and striking out six.
Oliver gave up four runs — one earned — on six hits while striking out five.
Sumiton Christian 9, Leroy 2
Following the initial loss to Hatton, the Eagles struck back with a convincing 9-2 win over the Leroy Black Bears.
Sumiton Christian opened with a three-run first inning and followed with a score in the next three innings to take an 8-0 edge at the top of the sixth inning. The Black Bears finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth inning with a two-run shot to cut the Eagles’ lead to 8-2.
Sumiton Christian added an additional score in the seventh inning to reach the 9-2 final.
Justice picked up the win on the mound for the Eagles, giving up seven hits, two runs and striking out eight batters in seven innings.
At the plate, Tanner went 3 for 4 with three RBIs, two stolen bases and a run scored. Oliver was 2 for 4 with four stolen bases, a triple and three runs scored, while Katlyn Sides and Lane were also 2 for 4 with a run scored, a double and an RBI each. Warren and Kendall Beth Sides were both 1 for 4 with an RBI. Bowen went 1 for 4, hitting a solo home run.