BAUXITE — In one of those games that the Bryant Lady Hornets hope to get out of their systems before post-season play, they committed six errors and, despite having eight hits, just couldn’t seem to get one in the clutch on Thursday night. The Bauxite Lady Miners, a powerhouse in Class 4A and fired up to play a top Class 7A team, took advantage for a 6-1 victory.
Bauxite improved to 23-2 overall this season. (The Lady Miners are 14-0 in their conference.) While Bryant fell to 23-3 going into Friday’s 7A-Central Conference game at Little Rock Central.
Bauxite’s pitcher Bailey Buffington scattered eight hits, walked one and struck out three, forcing the Lady Hornets to strand eight as her teammates turned five doubleplays.
Regan Ryan had three hits for the Lady Hornets and Maddie Thompson two. That was five hits out of the top two spots in the batting order with just three for the rest of the lineup.
Shelby Chavers had two hits for Bauxite. With the errors, only two of the Lady Miners’ runs were earned.
Bauxite jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Danielle Singleton, Destiny McClain and Ashley Redmon stroked consecutive singles to start the uprising. After Bryant pitcher Raven Loveless struck out Taylor Sledd, Chavers cracked a single to right that was misplayed. Chavers circled the bases as four runs scored.
Bryant’s lone run scored in the top of the second. With one out, Loveless singled to center and Brooklyn Trammell drilled a triple to right. But, with Trammell at third and one out, the Lady Hornets were unable to get home a second run.
Bauxite was set down in order in the bottom of the second then Buffington worked around one-out singles by Ryan and Thompson in the top of the third.
Likewise, Loveless pitched around a single by Sledd and a walk to Chavers with one out in the bottom of the inning.
Bryant threatened again in the fifth when Bella Herring walked with one down and Ryan beat out an infield hit. Buffington got Thompson to ground back to the circle resulting in a force at third then Sarah Evans blistered a line drive that Redmon speared at third.
Bauxite added to its lead in the home fifth. A dropped flyball with one away opened the door. Chavers singled then Buffington drove in Sledd, who had reached on the error. Bree Hardin singled to left and when the ball was misplayed, a second run scored.
The Lady Miners made a bid to get more when Olivia McDade flew to Maddie Stephens in left. Shelby Thornton tagged up at third but Stephens’ throw to Chism at the plate was in time for an inning-ending doubleplay.
Chism opened the sixth with a single and Loveless reached on an error. Chism and courtesy runner Joelly Calhoun worked a double steal but, when Chism tried to score on Trammell’s pop down the right-field line was run down by Chavers from second, she was thrown out at the plate. With Calhoun at third, Buffington got Stephens to ground out to short.
Consecutive errors allowed the Lady Miners to load the bases in the bottom of the sixth but Loveless worked out of the jam with the help of a 1-2-3 doubleplay on a comebacker.
Sledd walked to load the bags again but Chavers flew out to left to send it to the seventh.
Buffington retired the first two then Ryan kept Bryant’s hopes alive with her third hit. Thompson singled up the middle but that was all the Lady Hornets could muster. Buffington ended the game with a strikeout.