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Beulah softball advances to 3A East Regional Championship with top-10 win

After it defeated Reeltown in the 3A Area 7 tournament, Beulah softball coach Stan Pepper talked about his team was gaining respect around the state. His team gained more on Friday, defeating No. 4 Pleasant Valley 2-1 in the second round of the 3A East Regional tournament advancing to the regional championship game against Piedmont.

“First of all, I want to thank the Good Lord for our program for allowing us to participate in this great sport and all the glory goes to him,” Pepper said. “We did this because we’ve been through a lot this year. Our girls preserved. They wanted it. They wanted to be in new territory. We talked about doing something we’ve never done before. We’ve talked about taking the program to the next level, and that’s what we did today.”

The Bobcats started sophomore Brandy Phillips in the circle, but she was limited to just two innings because of a lingering side issue. Because of the injury, Pepper turned to University of West Georgia commit Katie Morris.

Morris threw five innings and struck out eight batters in her 74-pitch outing.

“Katie had a huge game,” Pepper said. “That’s Katie. That’s why she’s one of the best pitchers in the state. I’m just glad she’s on our team.”

Beulah struggled to start the game striking out eight times in the first three innings. Pepper said the girls were a little tight to start the game.

“We were tight. We were letting the pressure get to us,” Pepper said. “I told them before the game that we were the better team and if we didn’t help them, then we were going to win the ball game. Then they realized ‘what the heck, let’s go play Beulah Bobcat ball,’ and that’s what they did.”

Pleasant Grove got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead in the third inning. A Beulah error put a Pleasant Valley runner aboard with two outs. A stolen base and second error in the inning for the Bobcats led to the game’s first run.

Beulah struck back in the fourth inning. With one out, sophomore Savanna Clements singled to center field. Phillips followed with a single to right field. Clements scored on the single igniting both the bench and fans in attendance as she expertly avoided the tag at the plate by sliding wide of the Pleasant Valley catcher. Phillips advanced all the way to third on the throw to the plate. She scored moments later as Morris dropped down a perfect bunt to score Phillips.

In the first game, the Bobcats defeated Wellborn 10-0 in six innings.

After retiring the side in order in the top of the first inning, Beulah put its first two runners on in the bottom of the frame. Both scored on a triple from Phillips, who scored on a Morris single. A Wellborn error scored the fourth run of the inning.

Phillips scored in the bottom of the fourth, scoring on an error by the Wellborn center fielder after doubling to center field. She scored again in the fifth off a Morris single.

The Bobcats put the game away in the sixth inning.

Phillips started the game, throwing 2 ⅔ innings, allowing two hits while striking out three. Morris finished the game, striking out seven of the 14 batters she faced.

Beulah will play Piedmont at 9 a.m. CT in Montgomery. The winner will advance to the 3A state tournament in Oxford. The lower will play for the winner of the loser’s bracket at 1:45 p.m. CT

“I’m expecting the same type of game,” Pepper said. “They played [Pleasant Valley] and the games have been two or three runs apiece. I’m expecting the same type of game. We just need to come back with the same type of energy tomorrow.”