MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — It was a long day but a productive one for the Bryant Lady Hornets softball team on Friday. The Lady Hornets, playing in the Southern Warrior Classic at Murfreesboro High School, played three games and won them all to improve to 10-3 overall this season and 5-1 at the Classic.
They opened the day at noon with an 8-1 win over the Plainfield, Ind., East High School Lady Quakers then thumped the Mother McAuley Academy Mighty Macs of Chicago, 13-2. After a break, they came back to out-slug the Coffee County Central Lady Red Raiders of Manchester, Tenn., 15-7.
Bryant is set to wrap up the Classic on Saturday with an 8 a.m. game against South Elgin, Ill., then a noon contest against Gibbs High School of Corryton, Tenn.
They’ll return home to play a 6A-Central Conference game against Little Rock Central on Tuesday, March 26.
Bryant 4, Plainfield, Ind., East 1
Gianni Hulett and Hannah Work combined to out-duel Plainfield’s Alyssa Dyhr in Friday’s opener. Maddie Thompson and Alissa Suarez each had two hits to pace the offense.
Over four innings, Hulett walked one, allowed three hits and struck out 11. Work pitched three frames and fanned two, giving up the lone run on five hits.
The game was scoreless through the top of the third. The Lady Hornets took a 2-0 lead when Thompson looped a single to right and Suarez beat out a bunt for a hit as Thompson hustled to third. Hulett came through with a sacrifice fly then so did Meagan Chism.
After striking out the side in the first two innings, Hulett surrendered a lead-off double to Katelyn Lamm but fanned two around a sacrifice bunt to keep Plainfield off the board.
In the top of the fourth, Lauren Urbanski led off with a single. Hulett struck out the next two before Emily Kruegel slapped a single to right. But another strikeout ended the uprising.
Work was greeted in the top of the fifth by singles from Lamm and Kiley Lamb but retired the next three to keep it 2-0.
Bryant added some insurance in the bottom of the fifth. Thompson led off with her second single then Suarez ripped a triple to right. Hulett made it 4-0 with another sacrifice fly.
The Lady Quakers used a one-out single by Jessica Bulandg, an error, and a double by Kruegel to plate their run in the top of the sixth. A single by Jaden Hagadus put runners at the corners. Hagadus stole second but Work got Lamm to groundout to Thompson at third as the runners held then struck out Lamb to end the inning.
In the top of the seventh, an error and a hit batsman had two on with no one out but, again, Work battled out of the jam to close out the win.
Bryant 13, Chicago Mother McAuley 2
Bryant built a 10-0 lead in three innings and won it in five as Hulett and Lexi Helton shared the pitching.
At the plate, Thompson and Bella Herring each had three hits. Suarez, Regan Dillon and Haleigh Beck added two each.
The Mighty Macs managed just four hits, all singles. Hulett didn’t allow a hit in her two innings in the circle. She fanned two.
The Lady Hornets grabbed a 4-0 lead in the first. Thompson was once again the instigator with a lead-off single. She moved to second on a roller to third by Suarez. Hulett got her home with a shot off the pitcher that was ruled an error. After Hulett stole second, Chism chased her home with a double.
Chism swiped third and scored on a single by Dillon, making it 3-0. Beck singled then Aly Bowers moved the runners up with a grounder to the right side. Herring’s first hit made it 4-0.
In the second, Suarez lined a single to left with one out then Hulett beat out a bunt for a hit. Chism sacrificed them to second and third for Dillon. After Suarez scored on a wild pitch, Dillon singled in Hulett to make it 6-0.
The top of the third began with Bowers reaching on an error and Herring lashing a single to left. Christine Mefford sacrificed them to second and third and Bowers scored on a passed ball. Thompson singled to plate Herring.
Suarez’s grounder to short was booted and, with two down, Chism’s grounder back to the circle was misplayed along two runs to score.
Down 10-0, the Illinois team got on the board in the home third. Clare Murphy led off with the team’s first hit, a bloop single behind second. Emily O’Loughlin walked and, with one out, both moved up on a wild pitch. Fiona Crane hit a grounder to Suarez at short. She threw home to Chism in time for the second out.
But an error on a grounder by Nikki Condon allowed the run to score.
Bryant’s fourth started with a walk to Beck. Bowers grounded into a force at second, but Herring smacked a single to left. With two away, Thompson shot a single to center to make it 11-1 then both Herring and Thompson scored on a double by Suarez.
Gianna Kmak singled for the Macs in the bottom of the fourth but was forced at second on a grounder to Avari Allen at second off the bat of Aaliyah Walker. Murphy singled and Emily Odenbach walked before a wild pitch allowed the second Mother McAuley run to score. Moments later, Walker was thrown out trying to steal second, ending the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, Helton pitched around a one-out single to Crane.
Bryant 15, Coffee County Central 7
The Lady Hornets got a run-rule win in walk-off fashion as Chism drilled a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the fifth to make it an 8-run lead.
It was one of two hits for Chism, who also tripled. Bowers had a double and a homer as part of her three-hit day. Thompson cracked three knocks as well including a double. Suarez had two singles.
Mefford, Work and Helton did the pitching for Bryant in the five-inning game.
Sarah West and Keri Munn each had two hits for the Lady Red Raiders.
After a scoreless first, the Lady Hornets actually found themselves behind after the top of the second. After Mefford set down the first two, walks to Gracie Pippenger and Haidyn Campbell set the table. J Turner singled in a run then K Rutledge tripled to make it 3-0.
In the bottom of the inning, Dillon singled, and courtesy runner Caitlin LaCerra scored when Beck’s grounder resulted in an error that also allowed Beck to reach third. Bowers singled her in to make it 3-2.
After Bowers stole second, Thompson doubled to tie the game. A single by Suarez and an error brought Thompson around as Bryant took the lead.
Coffee County tied it in the top of the third. West and Munn each had singles. On a comebacker to Mefford, however, West was forced at third. Munn scored on an errant throw to first, however, in an attempt to make it a doubleplay.
It didn’t take long to untie it. Chism opened the bottom of the third with her triple. She scored when Dillon’s grounder to second was botched.
Herring singled then, with one out, Bowers unloaded for a three-run blast that gave the Lady Hornets an 8-4 lead.
The inning continued with an infield hit by Heather Hammett. A bad throw to first allowed her to reach second. Thompson reached on another miscue as Hammett went to third and, after Suarez walked to load the bases, Hulett singled in two. And, when Chism’s fly to right was dropped, Hulett scored to make it 11-4.
The Lady Red Raiders kept after it in the top of the fourth. A walk, an error and a wild pitch had runners at second and third with two away. West singled to drive in two but was thrown out trying to reach second after Hulett’s throw from center to Chism at the plate was relayed to Suarez covering second.
Beck drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the fourth. Bowers doubled then Hammett got the run home with a squeeze bunt. Thompson singled in Bowers, took second on an error and scored when Suarez cracked another hit.
Down 14-6, Coffee County tried to rally in the top of the fifth. Munn doubled, took third when Haley Richardson reached on an error then scored when Kiya Ferrell grounded into a force at second.
Pippenger, however, grounded into an inning-ending doubleplay to set up Chism’s game-ending blast.