Lady Hornets ascend to tie for first with win
EDITOR’S NOTE: In this time of COVID-19, with no sports action, BryantDaily.com will be posting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
The Bryant Lady Hornets pulled into a tie for first place in the 7A-Central Conference with a 4-2 win over the Russellville Lady Cyclones while the North Little Rock Lady Wildcats were knocking off the previously unbeaten Cabot Lady Panthers, 3-1, on Tuesday, April 17.
Bryant and Cabot each had one loss now, North Little Rock two. The Lady Hornets still have games to play against both of those rivals. Cabot, which accounted for Bryant’s lone league loss, 2-1, on March 22, was set to come to Bryant on Tuesday, April 24, with the Lady Hornets visiting North Little Rock on Thursday, April 26, in their final conference game.
All three teams have secured bids to the Class 7A State Tournament in Rogers but the top two from the league earn first-round byes at State, a step closer to the title game.
Bryant’s win over Russellville improved its overall record to 24-4-1 going into a trip to Conway on Friday, April 20.
The Lady Hornets took a 2-0 lead on the Lady Cyclones in the first inning. Kristen Dorsey drew a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Christen Kirchner singled her to third. Bryant coach Lisa Dreher then put on a double steal and, though Kirchner was chased back to first, Dorsey scored the game’s first run.
Kirchner proceeded to steal second and third. Lindsey Cason brought her home with a sacrifice bunt.
After going down in order in the first against Kirchner, Russellville made some noise in the second with a pair of one-out hits and a hit batsman. But Kirchner struck out the next batter and catcher Randie Juliusson picked off the runner at third to end the inning.
The Lady Hornets were unable to take advantage of a single by Sarah Hart, the first of her two in the game, in the bottom of the second and, in the top of the third, Russellville managed to get a run on a double, a passed ball and a two-out RBI single.
Bryant got that run back and another in the bottom of the inning. Paige Turpin battled through nine pitches to earn a lead-off walk. After she took second on a wild pitch, Turpin scored when Hailey King’s sacrifice bunt drew a wild throw to first.
King wound up on second and, after she stole third, Cason singled her home, making it 4-1.
Ashley Herndon made a sparkling over-the-shoulder catch of a fly to left to start the Russellville fourth. That proved fortuitous because, an out later, the Lady Cyclones got a base hit that, as it was, wound up being harmless.
The Lady Hornets turned a doubleplay to wipe out a lead-off hit in the fifth. That came after a Russellville doubleplay thwarted a Bryant rally that was fueled by singles from Hart and Juliusson in the bottom of the fourth.
After the Lady Hornets were retired 1-2-3 in the fifth, Sarah Taylor hit a home run with one out in the sixth to get her team within 4-2 but that was all the Lady Cyclones could muster. After retiring the next two on a tap back to the pitcher and a pop to shortstop King to end the fifth, Kirchner pitched around a one-out single in the sixth, recording a strikeout and getting the final out of the game on a pop to Laci Rowland at second.