Lady Hornets tripped up by Lady Cats’ late outburst

NORTH LITLE ROCK — The North Little Rock Lady Charging Wildcats broke up a close game with a four-run sixth that spurred them to a 10-4 win over the Bryant Lady Hornets in 6A-Central Conference play on Monday.

The game, which was rained out on April 4, moved to April 24 then, with a threat of rain on the 24th, moved to Monday.

After a week of testing and four days out of school, the Lady Hornets struggled offensively, coming up with just five hits, two by Haleigh Beck.

North Little Rock had 12 hits, taking advantage of a pair of Bryant errors. The Lady Cats improved to 15-3 overall and 9-1 in league play. The Lady Hornets dropped to 16-8 and 6-3 going into a home game on Tuesday against Fort Smith Southside. 

The Lady Cats struck for a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Marissa Mitchell opened the game with a single on a bloop to right. Madi Bobbitt sacrificed and Mitchell beat a throw to second. A passed ball set the stage for an RBI single for Katelynn McMahan.

On a double steal, McMahan took second as courtesy runner Maddison Morrissey, running for Bobbitt, stole home.

McMahan wound up on third and, moments later, scored on a third-strike passed ball.

North Little Rock loaded the bases, but Bryant’s Gianni Hulett struck out Ali Hopkins to keep it 3-0.

And Bryant tied it in the top of the second. With two away, Regan Dillon singled to right and Alissa Suarez drew a walk. Bella Herring grounded a single up the middle to score Avari Allen, who was running for Dillon.

Suarez raced to third and, after Herring stole second, Beck came through with a single to center, playing both to tie the game.

Despite singles by Mitchell and Lauren Lester, the Lady Cats did not score in the home second. But, after the Lady Hornets were retired in order in the top of the third, a walk to Lily Douglass, a groundout to Suarez at second and a two-out single by Hopkins put North Little Rock back on top.

Neither team mustered much in the fourth. In the fifth, Beck singled with one out. Joely Calhoun came in to run for her and stole second then third but was stranded there as the Lady Cats escaped.

The game-breaking home fifth began with a one-out walk to Douglass. An errant throw to first allowed Josie Golden to reach safely. She raced all the way to third and Douglass scored. A wild pitch made it 6-3.

Mitchell doubled with two down then doubles by Bobbitt and McMahan followed as the advantage swelled to 8-3.

Bryant rallied to get a run back in the top of the sixth. A two-out error opened the door as Aly Bowers reached. She stole second then scored when Dillon’s grounder to second was misplayed. But that’s all the Lady Hornets could muster.

North Little Rock scored two more in the bottom of the sixth to set the final score. The Lady Hornets were retired in order in the top of the seventh.

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