By Bridget Bauer
CABOT — Bryant and Cabot played even with each other until the seventh inning of their non-conference[more] matchup Thursday. In the top of the seventh, the Lady Hornets notched a run to break a 3-all tie and kept the Lady Panthers from scoring in the bottom for a 4-3 victory.
“It didn’t matter what we did, they scored the same,” Bryant Coach Debbie Clark said. “This was good for us particularly since the conditions weren’t that great. Losing to Lake Hamilton (Tuesday) was such a letdown, and this was close all the way. Winning it gives us added motivation and confidence against El Dorado (today).”
Smacking three singles in three attempts, Sydney Gogus’ final base hit put her on in the top of the seventh. Her courtesy runner, Mercedes Dillard went to second and third on passed balls and scored on Kaley Coppock’s sacrifice fly to center field. In the bottom of the seventh, pitcher Kayla Jolley retired Cabot’s final three batters to secure the 4-3 victory.
“We’ll remember tomorrow (Friday) what we did today and not what we did against Lake Hamilton,” Clark said. “This also showed us how we stock up against other 7A teams and was also good for our confidence.”
In fact, there’s a chance the Lady Hornets and Lady Panthers could meet again in the first round of the Class 7A State Tournament in Springdale next Thursday.
Bryant (12-13, 7-6 6A-South) got on the scoreboard first in the top of the second. Julie Ward singled but was out at second on Nikki Clay’s fielder’s choice. Shayla McKissock followed with a double, and then Brianna Forsyth ran for Clay and sprinted home on a passed ball.
The Lady Panthers notched a run in the bottom for a 1-1 deadlock.
The Lady Hornets broke that tie in the fifth stanza with two more runs. Katy Stillman doubled and Breanna Sanders walked and moved to third and second, respectively, on passed balls. Gogus’ second single sent Stillman home, and Sanders scored after Coppock reached first on an error. Once, again Cabot tallied two runs in the bottom to knot the contest at 3-all.
Jolley gave up the three runs on four hits, struck out six batters and walked two. She also added a single to Bryant’s seven-hit total.
In order to qualify for the state tournament, the Lady Hornets must defeat El Dorado today but also need some scenarios to pan out with other teams in the 7A-West.