Falling short: Big plays absent for Hartselle

Mar. 14—MADISON — It was a frustrating night for the Hartselle Tigers in Thursday's 3-1 loss to James Clemens.

After falling behind 3-0, the Tigers couldn't make the crucial plays they needed to rally.

"We were a pitch or a hit from breaking that game open," Hartselle coach Jake Miles said. "Normally we're on the other side of that and we're making those plays, but tonight they just did a better job than we did."

James Clemens (13-5) opened the scoring with three runs in the second. Mistakes cost the Tigers a run and a chance to end the inning with the score still 2-0.

"We had some miscommunication, some situations where it was like we weren't sure of what to do," Miles said. "Our defense has been great all season, so I know we'll get that corrected."

Hartselle scored in the fourth inning when Jo Williamson doubled and then scored on a groundout. However, the Tigers stranded five runners on base after scoring, including two in the final inning. They began the inning with two singles before recording the final three outs.

Williamson and Cade Miles led Hartselle with two hits each. Brody Leathers pitched three shutout innings, allowing just one hit with two strikeouts.

Hartselle (10-3), after its first two scheduled home games were rained out, will play its home opener Saturday. The Tigers will host defending 6A state champion Oxford for a noon doubleheader.

"We've played one of the toughest schedules you could possibly imagine and we're 10-3," Miles said. "These guys have been road warriors and hopefully there's a big crowd there Saturday to welcome them home."

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