DALE — The Lady Pirates of Dale advanced to their eighth straight fast-pitch state tournament with a 9-0 regional tournament plunking of Calera Thursday.
Addie Bell was in complete control on the mound, allowing four hits and striking out three in seven innings.
Bell was also 2 for 4 at the plate, including a 2-run double to left center as part of a four-run fifth inning.
Maddie Conley added a RBI single in the first and a run-scoring double in the fifth.
Calera avoided elimination earlier in the day with a 6-5, eight-inning victory over Boone-Apache.
Dale finished with seven hits to go along with six walks and two hit batsmen.
The Pirates are two-time defending state champions who are gunning for their seventh straight finals appearance.
Coach Andy Powell’s squad was the fast-pitch state champion in 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018 with runner-up finishes in 2015 and 2016.
Dale has defeated Silo in the last two fast-pitch state finals and the last two slow-pitch state finals.
The state tournament will begin Thursday at the Firelake fields. The pairings should be announced Monday.
Dale will warm up for state play by entertaining Newcastle at 4:30 Monday. Dale’s sole senior, Jalynn Haley, will be honored.
Note: Report compiled by contributing writer Fred Fehr.