LITTLE ROCK — A day after suffering just their third loss in 26 games this season, the Bryant Lady Hornets headed to Little Rock J.A. Fair High School to play a 7A-Central Conference game against the Little Rock Central Lady Tigers on Friday.
But, along the way, their bus broke down on Interstate 30 and they had to wait for another one.
So, when the Lady Hornets arrived, they were ready to take out some of their frustration on the Lady Tigers, who had played them tough in a 4-1 game at Bryant on March 26. With 12 runs over the first three innings, the Lady Hornets surged to a 14-3 run-rule victory in five frames to improve to 10-0 in league play this season and 24-0 in conference action since the end of the 2016 season.
Sarah Evans and Maddie Thompson each had three hits and Meagan Chism added two as Bryant took advantage of four walks and seven Central errors.
Raven Loveless allowed three runs, one earned on five hits without a walk as the Lady Hornets improved to 24-3 going into Tuesday’s trip to Fort Smith Southside.
Bryant took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. One-out singles by Thompson, Evans and Chism loaded the bases. Thompson scored on a passed ball as Loveless walked and when the Lady Tigers tried to pick off Evans at third, the throw was errant, and Evans scored. Chism came in on another passed ball.
Central scored in the bottom of the inning when Paityn White tripled to center and scored on Jah’aiya Woods’ grounder to Alissa Suarez at second.
Bella Herring led off the Bryant second with a walk. With one out, Ryan’s grounder to second was booted and Herring scored. Ryan made it to second then she raced home when Thompson clubbed a double to left. Evans traded places with Thompson as she doubled to make it 6-1.
The inning continued with a walk to Chism and a single by Loveless that was misplayed in left allowing both Evans and Chism to score. Loveless made it 9-1 when she came home as Brooklyn Trammell’s grounder to third was misplayed.
After the Lady Tigers were set down in order in the home second, Bryant added on. Suarez walked and stole second, Ryan beat out a bunt single to put runners at the corners and Thompson got down a squeeze bunt to make it 10-1.
Evans belted her second double to chase home Ryan, then stole third and scored on Chism’s single to make it 12-1.
Loveless, who retired the Lady Tigers 1-2-3 in the second, worked around a two-out error in the third. In the fourth, another error allowed Skylar Whisnant to reach base to lead off but Loveless and the Bryant defense retired the next three batters to send it to the fifth with the Lady Hornets in run-rule territory already.
But they pushed the lead further when Suarez led off the fifth with a single and circled the bases when the ball was misplayed in the outfield. Ryan reached on a miscue, stole second and scored on Thompson’s base hit up the middle.
Those runs proved fortuitous when Central rallied for a pair of its own in the home fifth. With one out, White was struck by a pitch. Woods singled then Andie Priest hit a fly to center that was misplayed. A run scored but the second runner was thrown out at the plate.
With Priest at third, Brianna Shackleford singled and it was 14-3.
But when Whisnant flew out to Maddie Stephens in left, the game was over.