DALE — Two down and one to go.
Two-time defending state champion Dale is within one victory of a 2A state tournament berth after registering regional tournament decisions over Calera, 9-3, and Boone-Apache, 5-1, Wednesday.
Calera and Boone-Apache will play a noon elimination game with the winner having to defeat Dale twice, beginning at 2 p.m., to claim the regional title.
Walters was the first team ousted, losing 12-0 to Boone-Apache and 5-0 to Walters.
Addie Bell and Anna Hester split the pitching duties against Calera. Bell, in four innings, gave up eight hits and two runs. She fanned one. Hester permitted two hits and one unearned run in three innings.
Dale, which tallied five runs in the first and three runs in the second, finished with 11 hits. Danyn Lang, Maddie Conley and Sam Hartman created two hits each with Hartman tripling and Conley doubling.
Calera was guilty of four errors, but only two of Dale’s runs were unearned.
The Lady Pirates finished the day with Bell twirling a seven-inning six-hitter against Boone-Apache. She walked one batter as her teammates played error-free behind her.
Dale was up just 2-1 after five innings but scored three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Hartman had a 2-run single in the sixth after a RBI groundout in the fifth. Conley cracked a 2-run double in the third and Jalynn Haley scored on a sixth-inning passed ball.
Note: Report compiled by contributing writer Fred Fehr.