FORT SMITH — Sarah Evans went 3 for 3 with a double and Gianni Hulett had two hits including a triple as the Bryant Lady Hornets opened 7A-Central Conference play with a 10-0 romp over the Fort Smith Northside Lady Bears on Tuesday at Martin Luther King Park.
Raven Loveless and Alexis Helton combined to blank the Lady Bears on two hits as Bryant, fresh from the championship of the Drew Melton Invitational tournament, improved to 7-0 overall going into Thursday’s league game at home against the Mount St. Mary Belles.
The Lady Hornets scored in each of the first four innings. In the first, singles from Regan Ryan and Hulett set the table for Evans, who shot a double beyond the reach of the center fielder for an RBI double. With one out, Meagan Chism’s pop up was misplayed. She reached safely as Hulett scored. A passed ball allowed Evans to score, making it 3-0.
Loveless worked two innings in the circle and retired all six batters she faced, fanning two.
Bryant’s second was highlighted by Hulett’s triple. It drove in Bella Herring who had led off the inning with a walk. Sacrifices by Maddie Stephens and Ryan got her to third before Hulett’s rip to right. Evans singled to plate Hulett, making it 6-0.
A one-out single by Brooklyn Trammell got the Lady Hornets’ offense revved up in the third. Maddie Thompson reached on an error then Herring singled to right, bringing pinch-runner Regan Keesee home.
When the ball was misplayed in the outfield, Thompson came home, and Herring wound up at third. She scored when Ryan’s tap to the pitcher was thrown away, making it 8-0.
Helton relieved in the bottom of the third and surrendered a lead-off single to Diona Perkins. An error allowed Jaleyia Perry to reach safely but Helton struck out Keiona Hartgraves, got Jazz Coleman to fly to Hulett in center then fanned Olivia Williams to preserve the shutout.
Evans singled to start the top of the fourth. Chism beat out a one-out bunt single and Evans, who had advanced on a wild pitch, hustled home. An error on the play allowed Chism to circle the bases making it 10-0.
Northside’s second hit was lead-off double by Sydney Green to lead off the bottom of the fourth. But Helton and the Bryant defense retired the next three in order, stranding Green at third.
Helton pitched around a two-out error in the fifth to close out the victory.