So, in football, it’s the Salt Bowl. In basketball, it’s the Saline County Shootout. So what’s your suggestion[more] for softball when Bryant and Benton teams tangle?
The Saline County Salt Ball Classic?
The Saline County Diamond Dust-up?
You’re invited to enter your suggestion in the comments below.
Whatever it’s called, it’s happening this evening — weather permitting — at Bishop Park with a varsity game at 5 followed by a JV contest.
The varsity game pits two of the best high school softball teams in the state against each other. Benton returns all but a few players from a Class 6A State Tournament finalist while Bryant has literally everybody back from its second straight Class 7A State championship.
These programs are so good, in fact, that they have both been in the State finals the last three years in a row. Bryant was runner-up to North Little Rock three year ago before winning the last two. Benton is looking to break through with a title this season after suffering disappointment against Lake Hamilton in 2009, Mountain Home in 2010 and Searcy last spring.
Of course, the Lady Panthers won back-to-back State titles in 2004 (over North Little Rock in the finals) and 2005 (against Bryant in the title game). Bryant was also in the finals in 2006 against Fayetteville then made it to the semfinals in 2007 and 2008.