The Handley Lady Tigers opened their season with three wins in six games, and played for the championship in The Whitney Gallaher Classic softball tournament over the weekend.
The first three games were for deciding tournament placement.
In the first game, Handley lost to eventual tournament champion Appalachian. Jessi Gosdin led the Lady Tigers with two hits, but despite out-hitting Appalachian 9-4, the Lady Tigers lost 7-1. Seven Handley errors helped Appalachian's cause in that contest.
In the next game, Handley lost to Jacksonville 7-6 in a three-inning contest. Handley got hits from Ava Hill, Ella Hopper, Jessi Gosdin, and Kam Holloway. Malia Pike pitched all three innings and reecorded four strikeouts, but it wasn’t enough to seal the victory.
Saturday, the Lady Tigers had their first taste of victory against Ashville. Handley achieved seven runs with seven RBI’s to defeat Ashville 7-6. Kam Holloway led the Lady Tigers with two hits. Ava Hill, Jessi Gosdin, Alyssa Bickers, Alexis Henry, Raquel Joiner, and Malia Pike also all chalked up a hit for Handley. Mariana Whaley pitched the entire game and garnered four strikeouts. Handley’s committed just two errors.
The Whitney Gallaher tournament started at noon on Saturday. The first game of the tournament only lasted three innings and resulted in the Lady Tigers winning 7-2 against Ragland.
Malia Pike allowed two hits and two runs while pitching for Handley. The Lady Tiger’s offense was led by Ava Hill and her two base hits. Mariana Whaley, Alyssa Bickers, Jessi Gosdin, and Malia Pike also had one hit apiece.
The Lady Tigers' second game Saturday was against Ohatchee. Handley trailed all game until the last inning when Handley scored two runs to go up 5-4. Ava Hill took the circle for the Lady Tigers and controlled the game for four innings. Hill surrendered four hits and four runs, but struck out six batters. Ava Hill, Malia Pike, and Mariana Whaley all had two hits to lead the Lady Tigers to a semi-final victory.
In the championship game Handley’s Lady Tigers faced off against Appalachian again for a rematch. This turned out to be a lackluster final game that resulted in an 11-0 loss for the Lady Tigers. Mariana Whaley pitched the entire game in the short three inning match up. Handley only had enough time to go through their line-up one time, and Jessi Gosdin was the only Lady Tiger who managed a hit.
The Handley Lady Tigers are scheduled to play Dadeville this Thursday at Dadeville High School.