Bryant absorbs pair of tough losses to Lady Bulldogs

GREENWOOD — The long trip to Greenwood did not turn out so great for the Bryant Lady Hornets softball team Friday night. The Lady Bulldogs built leads in both ends of the 7A/6A-Central Conference doubleheader and held off Bryant rallies to sweep, 9-7 and 4-3.

The results made the Lady Hornets 12-10 on the season and 3-3 in conference play, though they’re still 2-0 in the all-important league games against 7A members. They’ll play another one of those on Friday, April 22, when they take on the Mount St. Mary Academy Belles. On Monday, they’ll host the rival Benton Lady Panthers in a non-league contest.

Greenwood 9, Bryant 7

After the Lady Hornets had taken a 3-1 lead in the top of the fifth, Greenwood scored eight times in the home half. The Lady Hornets rallied in the top of the seventh, capped by a two-out, two-run homer from Meagan Chism but the Lady Bulldogs held on for the win.

Chism finished with three hits in the contest. Shayla McKissock and Macey Jaramillo each had two.

The game was scoreless until Greenwood scratched out a run in the bottom of the fourth. Bryant countered with a three-run fifth, initiated by Chism’s single to center. Raven Loveless got a sacrifice bunt down and reached when the Lady Bulldogs made an unsuccessful attempt to get Chism at second. With Callie Bradley in to run for Loveless, the Bryant pitcher, Maddie Stephens belted an RBI single. Bradley moved to third and Stephens to second on the late throw to the plate.

With one out, Jaramiilo strokes a single to drive in a run then McKissock cracked a single to right to make it 3-1.

In the bottom of the inning, Greenwood took advantage of five walks and an error with five hits to make it 9-3.

In the sixth, Chism singled and Stephens walked but both were stranded.

Anna Turpin, on in relief of Loveless, and the Bryant defense retired the Lady Bulldogs in order in the bottom of the sixth.

The Lady Hornets’ seventh-inning rally began with a one-out single by McKissock. She stole her way to third then Regan Ryan slapped an RBI single to left. She stole second and, with two down, raced home on a double by Sarah Evans. That brought up Chism, who unloaded on a 2-1 pitch, driving the ball out of the park to center.

Greenwood 4, Bryant 3

The Lady Bulldogs managed just five hits but, together with four Bryant errors, it was enough to build a 4-0 lead before the Lady Hornets whittled two runs off the margin in the fifth and another in the sixth. They got the potential tying run to second before the sixth-inning ended then had runners at second and third with no one out and much to their frustration could not get a run in.

Regan Keesee, who opened the seventh by beating out a tap single, had raced to third on a double from Jaramillo. But a strikeout followed then Ryan hit a grounder to short. Keesee tried to score but was called out on the throw to the plate.

With Jaramillo at third and Ryan at first, Greenwood got the final out to survive with the win.

The Lady Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the home first on a triple and an error. In the second, Chism singled and Stephens worked a two-out walk but both were left on. Evans tripled with one out in the fourth but was thrown out at the plate on a groundball off Chism’s bat.

Greenwood struck for three in the bottom of the fourth. A walk, a double and an error produced the first two tallies then a two-out single made it 4-0.

Bryant broke through in the top of the fifth. Keesee got things revved up with a one-out single. She stole second and, after Jaramillo walked, McKissock swatted a single to left to drive in the first run.

Jaramillo and McKissock worked a double steal then Ryan blooped a single to right that got Jaramillo home. The Lady Hornets tried to steal a run when Ryan took off from first but McKissock was tagged out at the plate.

Loveless pitched around an error in the bottom of the fifth and the Lady Hornets went back to work at the plate in the top of the sixth. Evans reached on an error and moved to second on Chism’s tapper. She was thrown out at first by the Greenwood pitcher. But Loveless cracked a single to left to drive in Evans to make it 4-3. And when a late throw came all the way into home, Loveless took second to put the potential tying run in scoring position.

She got no further, however, when a strikeout ended the threat.

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