Alcovy's impressive Region 2-AAAAAA championship season came to an end Thursday as Hillgrove won the decisive game of the best-of-three second-round matchup 5-0.
Alcovy (28-6-1) ripped through the opening round with a total of 39 runs against Westlake before running into the Hawks, which were able to tame the Tigers' bats this week.
"We didn't hit the ball and didn't play well," Alcovy coach Monica Marks said. "We just didn't play well."
After tallying two hits in an opening game loss, 4-0, Wednesday and then notching six in a series-tying victory 3-2, the Tigers struggled to find their stroke again Thursday. Alcovy managed just two hits, both coming without any runners on, in the second inning by Morgan Beshears and the third by Waneshia Morris.
Compounding the problem was defensive struggles from the usually defensive-solid team.
The Tigers committed four errors by the third inning, which proved to be critical as Hillgrove's Abby Evans controlled things from the pitcher's circle.
Qiley Lewis led off the bottom of the third with a hit down the right field line setting up a three-run inning by Hillgrove. Alcovy would struggle defensively during the frame after Lewis moved to second on a sacrifice and third on a slap bunt by Ambria Derry. Lewis scored on an error on the throw to third after Derry's bunt-single.
Brittany Ferrell then reached on a bunt that was played by both first baseman Chelsea Murphy and second baseman Waneshia Morris, leaving no one to cover first. She scored from third on an error by the centerfielder on a deep hit by Abby Akins. Kia Lang finished the scoring on a drive past shortstop to score Rachel Jarvis. The Tigers had three errors during the frame, leaving Hillgrove pitcher Abby Evans with a cushion to work with. In fourth inning, Alcovy committed its fifth error, as a hit by Katheryn Jackson went past Morris' glove to get the leadoff batter on base.
She then moved to second on a sacrifice and scored on a double to right by Derry. Derry was tagged out on a hit to shortstop by Ferrell, who scored on a double by Rachel Jarvis.
The Tigers' biggest scoring threat came in the second and third innings, when they got the lead runner on base but couldn't do anything with it tallying two straight outs.
It was the first time Alcovy had ever reached the second round of the state playoffs, after winning a region title and tallying streaks of nine and seven wins.
"We had a great season," Marks said.