Photos by Rick Nation and Kevin Nagle
By Bridget Bauer
Sydney Gogus, Julie Ward and Sierra Jones all homered and pitcher Kayla Jolley held Texarkana[more] to just one hit as the Lady Hornets run-ruled the Lady Razorbacks, 12-0, Friday.
Ward struck first with her two-run shot in the second giving Bryant (11-12, 7-5 in the 7A/6A-South) an initial 2-0 lead. Jolley walked and her courtesy runner Nikki Clay scored on Ward’s trip around the bases.
Jones’ homer plated three of the four runs tallied in the fourth frame. Ward walked and Shayla McKissock doubled before Jones’ blast. McKissock’s double plated Carly Yazza who reached base on a fielder’s choice.
Yazza, the lone senior on the Bryant team, was honored prior to the game.
With a 9-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth, Gogus’ three-run smack to centerfield ended the game as the three runs captured the run-rule. Ward, McKissock and Jones led off the inning with singles, and Ward went home on Jones’ hit while McKissock scored on an error. Katy Stillman followed with an RBI-single and Breanna Sanders also singled before Gogus’ home run.
“Our seven through nine hitters were incredible for us,” Bryant Coach Debbie Clark said. “Sierra had never hit a home run in her life. As a coach, it is exciting about Julie. She walked and singled, and a lot of times after hitting a home run, you are swinging for the fence.”
Ward, McKissock and Jones, the seventh, eighth and ninth hitters, respectively, combined to record six of the Lady Hornets’ 12 hits. Ward was 2-of-2 with a walk while the other two were 2-of-3. The only other player with two hits was Jolley with her two singles and a walk. In addition to Stillman, Sanders and Gogus added hits, Kaley Coppock pitched in with a double.
In the first contest between the two teams, Bryant won 8-4 and had to come back to notch the win. In that contest, Jolley pitched in relief and gave up two hits. Last Wednesday, Benton only defeated the Razorbacks, 4-1.
“I didn’t know what kind of team was coming in here,” Clark said. “Kayla knew their hitters and where to throw the pitches and did a good job.”
The Lady Hornets committed no errors and didn’t score in three innings. But, the stanzas they did score where highlighted by the home runs. They had a chance for more in the fifth as, with two outs, Coppock doubled and Jolley singled but the inning ended on Yazza’s ground out.
“It is such a good feeling, and this was fun,” Clark said. “Here on out, we are going to have senior night every night. This is what we have been looking for all year long.”
The Lady Hornets head to Lake Hamilton next Tuesday, hoping to avenge an 8-6 loss on April 19. After a non-conference contest at Cabot on Thursday, they wrap up the regular season on Friday, May 3, at home against El Dorado.
The Class 7A State Tournament begins May 9 in Rogers. Friday’s win was a big step towards qualifying for the Lady Hornets.