Hale sets career record as Warhawks down Martin Methodist 4-1

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (aumathletics.com)  The No. 2 Auburn Montgomery softball team defeated No. 12 Martin Methodist 4-1 to advance to the SSAC Tournament Winner’s Bracket Final, and senior Kayla Hale set a new school record for career home runs in the game.

NOTES                      
• The Warhawks improved to 46-5 on the year.
• The RedHawks fell to 44-13 on the season.
• Hale launched a two-run bomb in the seventh for her 39th career home run, and surpassed former NAIA All-American Katie Spain in career long balls, who set the record at 38.

STANDOUT PERFORMERS
• Hale finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBIs. She picked up her tenth home run, which is tied for the highest on the team, and continues to lead the team in RBIs with 44.
• Sophomore Amy Persinger gave the Warhawks their first lead of the game with her only hit of the game in the top of the seventh on a two-run home run. She is currently tied with Hale on the season in home runs, and leads the team with 51 hits.
• Sophomore Hayden Henderson finished the day 2-for-3 at the plate.
• Senior Taylor Powell improved to 28-3 on the year after tossing her 21st complete game of the year. She picked up eight strikeouts in the outing, and gave up just one run on seven hits. She currently sports a 0.69 ERA. Offensively, she finished the day a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate.
• Ashton Edwards led the way for Martin Methodist as she finished the day 2-for-3 with an RBI.

GAME 1 HOW IT HAPPENED
• Martin Methodist struck first in the home half of the opening inning. Ferguson singled up the middle, and a two out single from Edwards plated Ferguson for the first run of the game.
• Both teams stranded a combined eight runners in the second, third and fourth innings, which kept the score in the RedHawks’ favor.
• AUM had a chance to score in the top of the fifth after a Jenkins single and an error. Powell singled to load the bases with one out, but the Warhawks were unable to score as Martin Methodist held to its 1-0 lead.
• Each team added a hit in the sixth, but the Warhawks responded in the top of the seventh.
• Persinger launched her 10th home run of the year with one out to give AUM its first lead of the game, 2-1. With two outs on the board, Hale set the new school record with a blast to left-center, which extended the AUM lead to 3, 4-1. For Martin Methodist, a two out single from Grooms proved to be the final hit of the game as Powell retired the final batter of the inning to lift AUM onto the SSAC Tournament Winner’s Bracket final.

UP NEXT
• The Warhawks will return to action on Saturday, April 30, where they will continue to compete in the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament in Montgomery, Ala. at Fain Park. The Warhawks will take on Bethel at 10 a.m., since weather forced the games to be pushed back a day.