Jolley nearly perfect in opening win at Pine Bluff

By Bridget Bauer

PINE BLUFF — In the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday at Pine Bluff, Bryant pitcher Kayla[more] Jolley had chances at a perfect game and a no-hitter. Instead, she had to settle for a shutout as the Lady Hornets drilled the Lady Zebras, 15-0.

Because of the run-rule, Jolley pitched just four innings and retired the side in the first two innings. In the second frame, she stuck out all three batters, a rarity for her. She started the third stanza with a walk which took away the perfect game. In the fourth inning, she relinquished a double thus erasing the no-hitter. For the game, she fanned six batters.

“She did well,” Bryant Coach Debbie Clark said. “She always goes out and gives her best.”

In four innings, Bryant (10-8, 6-3 6A-South) scored three, five, four and three runs, respectively, smashing 10 hits. Freshman Julie Ward highlighted the Lady Hornets’ offensive production with her 3-of-4 performance. Her two-RBI single in the first inning capped off that frame. Her single in the fourth also plated a run, and a sacrifice fly in the third scored a run giving her four RBIs. Freshman Shayla McKissock also finished with four RBIs on a walk in the second, an error in the third and a two-run single in the fourth.

The Lady Hornets took advantage of eight walks and six Pine Bluff errors. In addition to Ward, freshman centerfielder Sierra Jones also had multiple hits with her two singles, scoring a run in the second. Also tallying base hits were senior Carly Yazza and sophomore Sydney Gogus with Jolley and junior Katy Stillman adding RBI singles.

“I told the girls they had to be patient and couldn’t swing away,” Clark said. “They had to be smart because if they grounded out, we wouldn’t have any base runners.”

In the first frame, Bryant scored after Stillman reached on an error and also went home on an error. Ward’s single plated Gogus and Jolley. The five-run sixth stanza was highlighted by Jolley’s and Jones’s run-scoring singles and McKissock’s bases-loaded walk. Stillman went home on a wild pitch, and Yazza reached base on an error but got an RBI as the runner would have scored.

In addition to Ward’s sacrifice fly and McKissock’s reaching on an error that scored a run, Stillman hit a run-scoring single in the third and Yazza went home on an error.

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