SHERWOOD — Taking advantage of five errors and seven walks with 11 hits, the Bryant Lady Hornets overwhelmed the Mount St. Mary Academy Belles, 17-0, in four innings on Friday night.
Raven Loveless allowed just two hits, walked one and struck out nine over the four frames. Maddie Stephens went 3 for 3 and Julie Ward collected two hits while driving in a pair. Sarah Evans drilled a home run.
The win completed a sweep of the three 7A teams in the first round of 7A/6A-Central Conference play. They’ll play Mount, Conway and Van Buren again as they vie for a bid to the Class 7A State Tournament, which they’ll host May 12-14. The Lady Hornets are also hoping to secure a first-round bye as the top-seeded team from their league.
Bryant is set to host 6A Russellville in a conference doubleheader on Tuesday before Mount St. Mary visits on Thursday, April 28. The Lady Hornets travel to Conway on Friday, April 29, then heads to Siloam Springs for a league doubleheader on Saturday, making up for a rainout on May 14.
Against the Belles on Friday, the Lady Hornets staked out a 2-0 lead in the first. Meagan Chism singled, Ward reached on an error and, after a double steal, Loveless reached on an error as both runs score.
Bryant scored five runs in each of the next three frames. In the second, Brooklyn Trammell was struck by a pitch, moved to second on Shayla McKissock’s groundout and, after Chism walked and Ward flied out, moved up to third when Evans walked to fill the bases.
Loveless’ grounder to short was misplayed and two more runs scored. Stephens then singled in two runs. Macey Jaramillo’s grounder to third was booted and Stephens scored to make it 7-0.
After Loveless struck out the side in the bottom of the second, Anna Turpin opened the third with a one-out walk. McKissock walked then both moved up a base when Chism bounced out. Ward ripped a single to drive in two.
Evans walked and Loveless doubled to make it 11-0. Stephens singled to make it 12-0.
Mount managed its first hit in the bottom of the third but the runner was stranded.
Bryant’s fourth began with a single by Regan Keesee. With one out, McKissock looped a single to left, driving in Keesee.
Regan Ryan singled and stole second before Ward singled in McKissock. An errant throw allowed Ryan to score as well. Evans then capped off the scoring with her two-run jack.
An error and a single in the bottom of the fourth put Mount in position to score but Loveless closed out the game with three more strikeouts.