Bryant girls dismiss upstart Lady Tigers in six innings
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).
With wins over Van Buren and Conway along with Mount St. Mary and a winning overall record, the Little Rock Central Lady Tigers have kind of been the surprise team of the 7A-Central Conference this season. They’re in position to capture a bid to the State tournament as they come down the season’s home stretch.
So when the Lady Tigers’ Kayla Patton cracked a two-out, two-run homer in the top of the first inning to give her team a 2-0 lead over the 15-2 Bryant Lady Hornets, it was perhaps cause for some raised eyebrows among any casual observers that happened to be watching. After all, this was a team that Bryant had clubbed 13-0 back on March 18.
But any doubts about the outcome of the game were put to rest after Bryant countered with five runs in the bottom of the inning and eventually run-ruled the Lady Tigers again, 12-2, in six innings at Lady Hornets Field.
The win improved Bryant to 8-1 in the 7A-Central, keeping them on the heels of the rival North Little Rock Lady Charging Wildcats at the top of the league.[more]
“It’s a good win,” stated Lady Hornets coach Debbie Stepp. “It’s one of those have-to wins. We have to win these games.”
Bryant racked up 16 hits in the game. Peyton Jenkins went 4 for 4 and drove in three runs, Cassidy Wilson and Jesse Taylor had three hits each and Jenna Bruick had two hits.
In the bottom of the first, Bruick got her first hit, slapping a single to left. After she stole second, Wilson walked and Taylor whacked the first of her two doubles to drive them both home.
Jenkins’ first hit was a single to left, driving in Taylor to give Bryant the lead.
Kayla Sory reached base on an error by the left fielder and, after both runners moved up on a passed ball, Ashley Chaloner raked a two-out single to chase them home.
It stayed 5-2 for a while. After the Patton home run, Jenkins, the Bryant pitcher, allowed just two hits the rest of the game. Audrey Lloyd had a two-out infield hit in the third and Patton singled with two down in the top of the sixth. Jenkins walked one and struck out six.
The Lady Hornets, meanwhile, had runners on base in every inning but didn’t break through again on the scoreboard until the fourth. Bruick beat out an infield hit and Wilson doubled to left. With one out, Jenkins singled in a run then so did Sory to make it 7-2. Shanika Johnson beat out a bunt single to load the bases but all three were stranded.
In the fifth, Wilson drilled a two-out double and Taylor singled her home. After Taylor stole second, Jenkins singled and when the throw was cut off and relayed home, keeping Taylor at third, Jenkins hustled to second. A walk to Sory loaded the bases but Patton, the Central pitcher, got off the hook.
Despite the 12 runs, it could’ve been worse for Central. For the second game in a row, the Lady Hornets stranded 10 baserunners.
“That’s the thing we’ve got to work on,” Stepp said. “We are getting two outs and then getting someone on base. We’re putting ourselves in a pressure situation as it is. We left quite a few on base and we’ve got to be able to fight through that. It gives us something to work on in practice. We can improve and we have to get better.”
The Lady Hornets made it a run-rule win with a four-run home sixth. Kelsie Works singled and stole second. With two down, Bruick reached on an error and scored on a wild throw to home as the Lady Tigers tried to get Works who scored on the play. Bruick sprinted to third and scored moments later on Wilson’s third double. Taylor chased her home with a two-bagger then Jenkins ended it with a single, her fourth hit.
The Lady Hornets return to action on Thursday on the road against Mount St. Mary Academy.