By Bridget Bauer
Despite accumulating 10 hits, the Bryant Lady Hornets only managed two runs and[more] suffered a 10-2 defeat Friday to North Little Rock.
The Lady Wildcats piled up 14 hits, but only led 6-2 going into the top of the sixth. Bryant (7-7) was hampered by a North Little Rock grand slam home run in that frame.
“We kept it close until the grand slam home run,” Bryant Coach Debbie Clark said. “We had three to four hits to the wall, but we just couldn’t put it together. We also had a couple of fly balls to the wall, and Carly (Yazza) hit one to the wall but their centerfielder is so tall she reached up and grabbed it before it went over.”
Junior Kaley Coppock led the Lady Hornets with her 3-of-3 performance which included a double. It was her extra base hit in the first inning that scored Katy Stillman, who also reached base on a double for her only hit of the night. Freshman Julie Ward was 2-of-3 and smacked a triple in the fourth inning that sent Yazza home after she had reached base on a single. Breanna Sanders, Sydney Gogus and Kayla Jolley also singled.
Sanders and Brianna Davis both walked twice, and Jolley also reached on four balls.
“We had some better at bats,” Clark said. “A couple of our stations this week have been working on what to do with a 3-1 count. We wanted to make sure we were just swinging at something.”
The Lady Hornets didn’t allow North Little Rock runs in the fourth and seventh innings. After the first inning, the score was knotted at one-all. The Lady Wildcats added one run in the second, three in third and one in the fifth before the grand slam.
“We kept them from scoring in two innings,” Clark said. “In a seven-inning game that is a win for us. We also scored the first inning. I try to emphasize to the girls to win each inning. If we tie, we want to make sure we are ahead.”
Jolley took the loss and pitched five of the innings. She was relieved by Abby Staton in the fourth and fifth innings before returning to the mound. Jolley struck out two hitters, walked one and yielded 12 hits. Staton gave up two hits, struck out one batter and walked five.
“They were hitting Kayla, so we brought Abby in to see what she looked like if we need her in conference,” Clark said. “Kayla had a 1-2 count (on the home run ball) and threw the wrong, wrong pitch which she knows.”
The contest was originally scheduled for Monday, but North Little Rock had to cancel to make room for a rescheduled conference game. Because both teams were anxious to get back on the field after the rain this week, they were eager to play.
“They are really, really young, and their pitcher is a freshman,” Clark said. “Playing them represents what 7A State will look like. We are not shying away from good competition.”