Bryant blasts Texarkana in benefit softball game

TEXARKANA — The two-time defending State champion Bryant Lady Hornets were in[more] “Beast” mode right off the bat.

And the forehead.

Peyton Jenkins, Jessie Taylor and Kaley Coppock each slugged home runs as the Lady Hornets pounded the Texarkana Lady Razorbacks 13-1 in a pre-season benefit game on Friday evening.

Jenkins allowed just one hit over five innings and freshman lefty Jordan Williams got her first varsity mound work over the last two.

Jenkins’ blast came on the second pitch she saw in the first inning. Jenna Bruick had singled, moved to second on Katy Stillman’s sacrifice bunt and to third on a groundout by Taylor ahead of Jenkins’ blast.

Taylor’s homer came in her next plate appearance then Coppock’s rip came in most unusual fashion.

“Kaley hit a shot to right,” recounted Lady Hornets head coach Kaley Coppock. “It bounced off the right fielder’s forehead and went over the fence for a home run. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that one before.

“In fact, I thought the ball had fallen right beside her,” she continued. “Ashley Chaloner was on base and I stopped them. I wouldn’t let them run because she was hurt. In a benefit game, you just don’t do that. But the umpire came up and said, ‘Coach, what are you doing?’ and I said, ‘She’s hurt. We’re not going to run.’ He said, ‘It went over the fence. It’s a home run.’ Kaley was at second base saying, ‘Coach, I know you don’t want us to run because she’s hurt but I really think it was a home run.’ The girl, they had to take her out and her grandmother came to pick her up.

“I mean, we hit the ball hard,” Clark emphasized.

“I ended up letting a lot of people hit,” she noted. “I think we only struck out twice.”

The coach said she kept her starting defense in the entire game for the work.

“Peyton pitched really well,” she noted. “The one hit was just a blooper. The girl just threw the bat out there and the ball hit the bat. But I was just really impressed. She did a good job pitching and when the ball was put in play, we made the plays.

“In fact, the first player up bunted on the first pitch right in front of Jessie and she bounced around, picked it up and threw her out at first. And everybody was moving to their position, to where they were supposed to be. I was really pleased to see us play against somebody else like that.

“Peyton was dominating them and I wanted to bring Jordan in just to see,” she continued. “I left the starters out there on defense. I wanted the ball in play just a little bit more. Jordan did a really good job stepping out there with that group of defending State champions.

“Texarkana has some good athletes,” Clark mentioned. “They do a good job there.

“I had so many compliments from the other coach, parents from the other team, the people doing the scoreboard, talking about the girls, the kind of hitters and players they were.

“It was good for us to go down there because they’re in our conference next year. We needed to see what the drive was like and it was a good night. I’m really pleased.”

The Lady Hornets officially open the 2012 season on Tuesday against the rival Benton Lady Panthers at Bishop Park. First pitch of the varsity game is set for 5 p.m., with a junior varsity contest to follow.

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