Lady Hornets find their stride in Tennessee just in time for rainout
EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, BryantDaily.com will continue posting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — The Bryant Lady Hornets softball team has shown that a little adversity won’t sidetrack them.
After a stunning loss at White Hall earlier this season, they bounced back to win six in a row including the championship of the Tournament of Champions in North Little Rock.
And it appeared they might put together the same sort of bounce-back on Saturday at the prestigious Middle Tennessee State Coaches Association tournament at Clarksville, Tenn. On a chilly, wet Friday, the Lady Hornets suffered losses to Smyrna, Tenn., 5-4, and Nashville Ravenwood, 3-0, to start pool play in the Gold Division B pool. But they bounced back on Saturday to defeat Nashville Creekwood, 3-1, heading into the single-eliminationg championship tournament. Creekwood wound up the top seed from the B Division.
Taking on the top team in the Division A pool, the Lady Hornets were up 1-0 against Clarksville Rossview, which came in undefeated, when the rain became too much to continue. The tournament was called off and Rossview was declared the champion of the tournament.
So the Lady Hornets wound up 3-2 at the event, including a pair of preliminary wins on Thursday.
“We didn’t play sharp on Friday,” acknowledged Lady Hornets coach Debbie Clark. “It had rained all day and I think our players felt like we wouldn’t play. Our focus was not where I like it.
“On Saturday, we were playing well,” she added. “We were in Beast Mode.”
In the win over Creekwood, Jessie Taylor smacked a solo homer in the third inning, one of five the Lady Hornets hit in the tournament.
The Lady Hornets had scored a run in the first when Hannah Rice walked, Taylor sacrificed her to second and Peyton Jenkins singled her home.
The third run came in the fourth. Cassidy Wilson, who had two hits in the game, stroked a single. Ashley Chaloner added a base hit and Carly Yazza beat out a bunt to load the bases. Katy Stillman singled to bring Wilson home.
Jenkins allowed one unearned run, four hits and a walk while striking out six in the victory.
Against Rossview, Taylor had a double and Kayla Sory a single as the game went to third tied 0-0. In the top of the third, Stillman and Jenna Bruick had singles then Rice bunted for a hit to load the bases. Taylor’s sacrifice fly gave the Lady Hornets the lead but the inning was never concluded. With runners in scoring position and two outs for Bryant, the rains came and the tournament was cancelled.
On Friday, Jenkins had blasted two home runs against Smyrna and all four runs batted in. Her first round-tripper came in the opening inning, the second in the third. When she came up a third time, she was walked. Taylor also had a hit in the game which had a 70-minute time limit.
“We just ran out of time,” Clark stated.
Jenkins struck out seven and walked two in the game. Smyrna managed just two hits as all five of its runs were unearned.
Ravenwood had won the last two MTSCA tournaments and won the pitchers’ duel with Bryant. Jenkins allowed just three hits and three walks. Only one of the runs was earned. She fanned three.
Offensively, Jenkins, Sory, Chaloner, Stillman and Kaley Coppock each had a hit for the Lady Hornets.
Weather permitting, the Lady Hornets, now 10-3 overall, are scheduled to host Mount St. Mary Academy on Tuesday in a 7A/6A-Central Conference doubleheader.