TUSCALOOSA — Pleasant Valley and Piedmont decided an area championship this season, and they decided which team lives on in the rain-wrecked West Central Regional on Friday.
Savannah Williams hit a grand slam and Cortney Williams a two-run shot, and the Raiders eliminated the Bulldogs 14-3 in Friday’s early 3A elimination action.
Pleasant Valley, which finished Thursday’s action after midnight and played at 9 a.m. Friday, moved on to face Lamar County in the elimination bracket.
“I’m just proud of our team and just our determination and will power,” Pleasant Valley coach David Bryant said. “I talk to them a lot about how our will has to be stronger than our skill, and I was proud of our will power.”
Piedmont finished 22-20, reaching the final day of the Calhoun County tournament for the first time in recent memory, the area finals and the second day of regional play.
The Bulldogs return all but seniors Amber Raney, Kenzie Tolbert and Rebecca Smart. Their roster includes 14 players from seventh grade to freshman year.
“I told them, we’re finishing now, and it’s sad,” Piedmont coach Rachel Smith said. “It’s not where we wanted to be, but I feel like things are going to be really good at our place for a long time.”
Williams home runs dotted a steady offensive flow for Pleasant Valley. Cortney Williams’ fourth-inning blast behind a Savannah Williams double put the Raiders up 7-0.
“Her approach to me was she had gone outside, and when she got two strikes on me, she came inside,” Cortney Williams said. “I knew she was going to come inside to get a strike on me again. When I saw that second inside pitch, I was like, ‘I’m taking it.’”
Savannah Williams’ grand slam in the sixth inning gave Pleasant Valley an 11-1 lead. The 2017 1A-3A Calhoun County player of the year said it was her first grand slam in high school ball.
“We were just having fun,” she said. “I was just working on barreling the ball, seeing it really good, and it just connected well.”