Aly Bowers slugged a three-run homer as part of a five-run fifth inning as the Bryant Lady Hornets blew up their 7A-Central Conference game against the Little Rock Central Lady Tigers on Friday.
The Lady Hornets held a 4-0 lead going into the fifth then added a run in the sixth to make it a run-rule win, 10-0, over the Lady Tigers.
Bryant ran its record to 23-3 on the season and 9-0 in conference play, keeping a game ahead of the Cabot Lady Panthers in the league standings. Cabot pounded Conway 10-0 on Thursday to improve to 9-1 in conference play.
The Lady Hornets host Fort Smith Southside on Tuesday before heading to Cabot for a first-place showdown on Friday, April 28.
With Regan Ryan and Madison Lyles out with injuries, their replacements in the lineup came through well for the Lady Hornets as Bowers and Gabbie Bonvillain combined to drive in six runs on Friday.
Maddie Stephens, Brooklyn Trammell and Gianni Hulett each had two hits in the game.
Hulett and Raven Loveless continued their rotation of two innings apiece in the contest, combining to allow just two singles while striking out 13. Hulett, in her four innings of work, fanning nine.
The game was played at the Lady Hornets’ Yard but it was Central’s home game. Rain prevented the game from being played at either its original location or at a secondary field at J.A. Fair High School.
The Lady Hornets took the lead in the opening inning. Hulett led off with a line-drive single to left. She stole second and took third when the throw from the catcher was mishandled. After Sarah Evans walked, Macey Jaramillo delivered the run with a sacrifice fly.
After Hulett struck out two in a 1-2-3 home first, the Lady Hornets made it 3-0. Trammell and Stephens each singled and advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Bonvillain picked up her first RBI with a sacrifice fly then Bowers delivered a sac-fly to center to get Stephens in.
Central managed a two-out single in the bottom of the second but, otherwise, Hulett struck out the side. Loveless then fanned all three batters in the third.
Stephens walked to open the fourth inning. She stole second and, with one away, Bowers got a bunt down that was misplayed at first. Stephens took advantage and sprinted home to make it 4-0.
The Lady Tigers’ second hit opened the bottom of the fourth but the Lady Hornets turned a doubleplay to erase the base-runner before Loveless ended the frame with her fourth strikeout.
Bryant’s game-breaking fifth began with a one-out single by Jaramillo. She stole second and took third on a wild pitch but was still there with two away.
Trammell came through with an RBI single and the floodgates burst. Stephens and Bonvillain singled to bring Trammell around then Bowers unloaded to make it 9-0.
Hulett returned to the circle and struck out all three Lady Tigers.
Bryant’s 10th run was a result of Meagan Chism’s single to center, a steal of second and a two-out hit by Loveless.