Prep softball: McCain, Steward power Spring Garden to next round of east regional

May 9—ALBERTVILLE — Ever since hitting her first career home run against Appalachian in March, Lilly McCain said she's developed as a hitter.

In the east regional, McCain displayed her growth at the plate and had another big game against Appalachian as Spring Garden downed the Eagles in a 13-3, six-inning victory on Tuesday.

"I think I've grown as a hitter, really," McCain said. "I used to not be able to do that, I couldn't hit far. In the infield is all I used to could hit, and I just really think I've grown."

McCain led Spring Garden with five total bases, finishing 2-for-3 with a double and a triple in the win. She also drove in a run and scored two of her own.

She said a large part of her success is embracing the words she's heard from Spring Garden coach Stephanie Steward.

"It's a mindset, you can do it," McCain said her coach told her.

Pitcher Avery Steward also flashed her abilities in the circle throughout the contest.

The pitcher held Appalachian scoreless until the fourth inning and finished allowing three hits, three earned ruins and five walks while striking out three.

Along with McCain's offense, Helena Ingram also knocked a double and a triple, scoring two runs and driving in one.

Catcher Maggie Jarrett finished 2-for-3, driving in a run and scoring one of her own.

"She's always really strong behind the plate and hitting the ball," Steward said. "I was glad to see her get some confidence today."

Layla Ingram and Kayley Kirk each finished with two RBIs.

"Really proud of the girls and how they played first game," Steward said. "Had some jitters, but we scored every inning, and that's huge for us to put the ball in play, move some runners and stand behind our pitcher."

Sports Writer Thomas Ashworth: 256-236-1551. On Twitter: @ThomasAshworth0.