Glencoe, Coosa head to North Central Regional softball tournament
Thu. May 10, 2012 at 9:27 p.m. | By Andrew Schmidt Sports Writer
Glencoe’s Jordan Sims is 32-8 on the season with a 1.51 ERA. The Yellow Jackets begin play in the North Central Regional softball tournament today in Vestavia Hills. (Photo by Dave Hyatt | Gadsden Times | File)
The Glencoe Yellow Jackets will make their fourth consecutive appearance in the Class 3A North Central Regional tournament, which takes place today and Saturday at Liberty Park in Vestavia Hills.
Glencoe (33-10) is looking to get over the hump and advance to the state high school softball tournament after coming up one game short of a trip to Montgomery last year. The regional champion and runner-up will advance. The fourth-ranked Yellow Jackets will open the double-elimination tournament today with a 5 p.m. contest against Vinemont.
“We’ve got everybody back that went with us down there last year,” Glencoe coach Amy Travis said. “We’re ready and we’re exited.
“We’ve had a really good week of practice. Everybody’s been hitting well and looks like they’re ready to go.”
The road to the state tournament will be a challenging one for Glencoe. Five of the eight teams at Liberty Park are ranked among the state’s top eight teams in the latest Alabama Sports Writers Association softball poll. A matchup against top-ranked White Plains could await the Yellow Jackets in the second round, which starts at 8 p.m. today.
Glencoe is anchored by the battery of junior pitcher Jordan Sims and junior catcher Jamie McGuire.
Sims, the Times’ reigning All-Etowah County Player of the Year and a two-time first-team All-State selection, has put together another outstanding season for the Yellow Jackets. Entering play today, Sims has amassed a 32-8 record with a 1.51 ERA. She has 253 strikeouts in 2421⁄3 innings pitched.
McGuire has posted huge numbers this season in establishing herself as one of the top hitters in the area, if not the state. McGuire is batting .537 with 12 homers and 63 RBI this year. She also has 25 doubles and has scored 44 runs. In 123 at-bats, McGuire has struck out just twice, while also walking 23 times.
“She’s a worker,” Travis said of McGuire. “If she doesn’t go 4 for 4, she’s hitting in the cage after the game. Her work ethic has really pushed her and she’s put up some amazing numbers.”
Sarah Wallace, Morgan Lyles, Sally Tinker and Sims also have posted strong numbers at the plate this season. Wallace is batting .348, while Lyles is hitting .337. Sims is second on the team with 28 RBI, while Tinker is just behind with 27 knocked in.
Glencoe is one of five teams from around the area that will compete at Liberty Park today.
Joining the Yellow Jackets in Vestavia Hills will be Coosa Christian in Class 1A, Cherokee County in 4A and Albertville and Boaz in 5A.
Coosa will go up against second-ranked Parrish in the first round at 3:30 p.m. today. The Conquerors are led offensively by Morgan Luttrell, Nikki Moore and Hannah Meadows. Moore also is the Conquerors’ top threat in circle.
Cherokee County, the second-ranked team in 4A and last year’s state runner-up, will take on sixth-ranked Oneonta at 8 a.m. in a tough opening-round matchup. The Warriors (32-4) are led by Tori Davis in circle. Madison Millsaps, Candace Blanchard, Darbie Rosser and Davis lead Cherokee County at the plate.
In Class 5A, 10th-ranked Albertville will meet Pinson Valley at 8 a.m. The Aggies (32-9) are led at the plate by Emily Woodruff, Katlin Light and Brittany Copeland, while Peighton Ponder, the MVP of the Area 12 tournament, is the team’s top pitcher.
Boaz, which is led by pitcher Alex Albarado, will take on No. 2 Moody in a 9:30 a.m. first pitch.
The Pirates are led in the field and at the plate by Taylor Walker and Shayla Carroll, and are making their first-ever regional appearance.