Jessie Taylor hammered two doubles, a home run and had five runs batted in to lead the[more] Bryant Lady Hornets to a 12-2 win in six innings over the White Hall Lady Bulldogs on Monday, March 12.
The Lady Hornets improved to 5-0 on the season and hit double figures in runs scored for the third time. They’re set to open defense of the 7A/6A-Central Conference championship on Thursday at Interstate Park against the Lady Tigers of Little Rock Central.
Bryant will then begin play in the annual Tournament of Champions in Burns Park, North Little Rock on Friday. The Lady Hornets, two-time defending Class 7A State champs, will take on Hope, the Class 5A State runner-up last year, at 7:30 p.m., on Friday. The tournament will also include Class 6A champion Searcy, Class 3A champion Atkins, Class 2A champion Foreman, Class 1A champion Nemo Vista, Beebe and North Little Rock.
The Lady Hornets played errorless defense behind the pitching of Peyton Jenkins who gave up two solo home runs among the six hits allowed, walked two and struck out nine.
Bryant wasted little time gaining the upper hand. After Jenkins worked a 1-2-3 top of the first, she walked to open the bottom of the inning. Breanna Davis came in to run for Jenkins and promptly stole second base. Jenna Bruick slapped a single to left then both moved up on a passed ball before Taylor belted a two-run double. Brittney Ball came in to run for Taylor and, after Kayla Sory smacked a single, Cassidy Wilson reached on an error that allowed Ball to score.
White Hall’s first solo homer started the second. But, after a one-out single, Jenkins fanned two to send it to the bottom of the inning when the Lady Hornets got the run back. McKenzie Rice singled and Jenkins drew a walk. Bruick sacrificed to put runners at second and third. White Hall retired Taylor for the only time in the game on a shot to center but then Sory drilled a single to drive in the run.
The Lady Bulldogs were retired in order in the top of the third but the Lady Hornets kept scoring. A four-run uprising put them in control. Kaley Coppock walked and, an out later, Katy Stillman’s sacrifice attempt drew a wild throw. With runners at second and third, Rice squeezed in Coppock. A wild pitch had Stillman at third and Rice at second for Jenkins whose grounder to short was misplayed, allowing a run to score.
Rice scored on Bruick’s grounder to third then Taylor crushed a drive to left for an RBI double to make it 8-1.
Neither team scored in the fourth but the fifth brought the second solo homer by the Lady Bulldogs and another three-run burst by the Lady Hornets on Taylor’s blast. Rice had walked and Jenkins reached on an error again to set the table.
Bryant made it a run-rule win with a final tally in the bottom of the sixth. Carly Yazza singled, took second on a sacrifice by Stillman, third on Rice’s second hit and scored on a drive into the left-field corner by Jenkins.