Lady Golden Tigers finish as Area Runner-Up, set sights on regionals
Russellville softball has been living a dream season finishing up the last week of the regular season before the Area 14 tournament, beating Colbert Heights 10-6, Hamilton 16-7, Haleyville 13-5 and the Deshler Tigers 12-3.
The Lady Golden Tigers finished the Class 5A, Area 14 Tournament as the runner-up, earning a first-ever regional berth in Huntsville.
“This team realized its potential last season with a 28-16 record and set their goal to get to the regional and the state championship,” Coach John Smith said. “They are now one step closer to every team’s ultimate goal.”
Even with loss against the Red Devils at Area, Russellville clinched a regional and will play against Area 15 Champion Madison County May 12.
“To get to this point it takes hard work, leadership, sacrifice, teamwork and great fan and parental support.” Smith said.
Senior pitcher Jakari Suggs said making it to regionals. “has been one of our goals from the being of the year.” “This is very exciting for us, especially the seniors. We worked really hard all year for this moment, and it’s a great accomplishment, but we aren’t finished yet,” Suggs said.
“We worked hard all week last week to be ready for last weekend and came out short Friday but came out Saturday strong,” added Brooke Borden. “Now all we have to do is work even harder this week and sacrifice everything to do something for Russellville.”
There is one thing Russellville softball has never done, Borden pointed out – “that’s make it to state. We have got to push ourselves to our limits and do everything we can.”
Jess Guzman said the key will be to work hard and push each other.
“Not one person on the team won the games – it was a team, a family, that came together to win,” Guzman said. “I’m beyond blessed to be able to play with a great group of girls and call them my family. But next week is going to come down to hard work and how much heart we have.”
This is the first time since the 2009 AHSAA format change that Russellville softball has made it to sub-state or regionals.
“It’s truly an honor for me to be a part of such a ground-breaking team that’s done things that no other softball team at Russellville High school has done.” Morgan George said. “The hope of this senior class is to put the Lady Golden Tigers on the map. This will definitely be a season to remember. This group of girls has the biggest heart and love for the game, and we come together as a family to get the job done.”
Lily Holt echoed George’s sentiments.
“I am so proud to be a part of such a great team,” she said. “We have all worked so hard to make it this far to regionals. I love every girl on the team, and I can’t wait to play our hearts out this weekend.”
The Russellville Lady Golden Tigers (35-17) will head to Huntsville to play at the Sportsplex at 9 a.m. Thursday against Madison County (23-17) in the 5A North Regional Tournament.