Lady Hornets double up Lady Cats for first league victory

For the third game in a row and the sixth time this season, the Bryant Lady Hornets reached double digits in scoring and, this time, it came in a crucial 7A/6A-Conference game against a 7A rival. Bryant pounded out 14 hits in a 10-5 victory over the Conway Lady Cats to improve to 10-5 overall this season. It was their conference opener.

The Lady Hornets have followed up a three-game losing streak with a three-game winning streak going into a trip to Alma on Friday for a league doubleheader against a 6A team. Saturday, they’ll be in northwest Arkansas to take on 7A-West (and State) powers Rogers and Bentonville.

Bryant built an 8-0 lead over the first four innings. Conway rallied to cut the margin to 8-5 but, with a pair of insurance runs in the home sixth, and effective relief pitching from Anna Turpin, the Lady Hornets held on for the win.

Regan Ryan, Julie Ward, Sarah Evans, Macey Jaramillo, Maddie Stephens and Raven Loveless each had two hits in the game. Ward drove in a pair.

In addition, the Lady Hornets stole six bases.

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the second. Evans led off with an infield single, stole second and reached third on a wild pitch. Jaramillo promptly drove her home with a solid single to left. Stephens singled but Jaramillo was thrown out trying to get back to second after making a turn toward third.

Stephens swiped second and, after Meagan Chism singled, Loveless picked up an RBI with a grounder to short, making it 2-0.

Loveless, who pitched five innings as the starter for Bryant, worked around a lead-off single by Holly Stewart.

In the home third, the Lady Hornets scored four more runs. A one-out walk to Ryan got things ignited. Singles by Ward and Evans brought her around to score. Ward came in as well. Jaramillo knocked in Evans with a base hit and Stephens singled in a run to make it 6-0.

Bryant kept Conway off the board in the top of the fourth despite a one-out double by Olivia Canalichio. With two down, Rachel Jones reached on catcher’s interference but Loveless got Bailey Beckham to groundout to second to end the threat.

Bryant’s half of the fourth began with a single by Loveless. Callie Bradley came in as a courtesy runner and scored when Brooklyn Trammell reached on an error. Regan Keesee, whom Trammell had pinch-hit for, returned to run the bases. Ryan singled and when Ward grounded out, Keesee scored on an error.

A single by Stewart, a walk to Anna Reed and a base hit by Lindsey Williams produced Conway’s first run in the top of the fifth. After the Lady Hornets were retired 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning, the Lady Cats started their four-run uprising with consecutive singles by Canalichio, Allie St. John, Jones and Beckham.

Kerrigan Allen relieved Loveless but Stewart reached on an error as Jones scored to make it 8-4. A walk to Reed loaded the bases and Turpin got the call to the circle.

She induced a comebacker and started a 1-2-3 doubleplay that took a lot of the starch out of the Conway rally. Still, another run scored on an error before Canalichio popped out to Evans at short to end the inning.

For Bryant, Loveless led off the sixth with a single. Hennessae Shavers came on as a pinch-runner and stole second. Shayla McKissock singled her to third then stole second. With two down, Ward lined a two-run single to center.

St. John singled to open Conway’s seventh. Jones followed with a base hit. But McKissock fielded a shot to third and got a force then fielded Stewart’s grounder, got the force at third again and fired to second for a game-ending doubleplay.

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