Lady Hornets 2-1 at tourney
EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, BryantDaily.com will continue posting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
SHERWOOD — The Bryant Lady Hornets suffered just their second loss of the season but wound up going 2-1 at the Mount St. Mary’s softball tournament. On Friday, March 9, they edged Gentry 2-1. The next day, however, they suffered a 4-2 loss to Bentonville, snapping a five-game winning streak. They came back to bounce Russellville later in the day, though, 10-2.
The results left the Lady Hornets 12-2-1 on the season as they returned to 7A-Central Conference action at home against Pine Bluff on Tuesday, March 13 (see related story).
In the opener against Gentry, Bryant pitcher Tyler Cox recorded 12 of the 15 outs of the five-inning game by strikeout, allowing just one hit with a pair of walks.
Cox doubled in the decisive run in the top of the fifth, snapping a 1-1 tie. Hailey King had walked with one out and advanced on a single by Christen Kirchner to set the table for Cox’s big hit.
A lead-off walk in the bottom of the fifth gave Gentry hope but Cox proceeded to strike out the next three to end the contest.
Bryant had taken the lead initially with a run in the third aided by a two-out error that allowed Kirchner to reach base. Cox singled her to third and she scored when Allison Poteet’s grounder to second was booted.
Gentry tied it in the fourth on a walk, a wild pitch, a passed ball and a one-out RBI single. The Lady Pioneers got a runner to third but she was stranded when Cox got a strikeout then induced a fly to Dorsey in center to end the inning.
On Saturday, the Lady Hornets took a 2-0 lead in the third inning against Bentonville. After the first six Bryant batters were set down, Randie Juliusson reached second on a throwing error and Dorsey singled her home. After stealing second, Dorsey eventually scored as well on a squeeze bunt by King.
Cox had retired nine of the first 10 Lady Tigers but ran into trouble in the top of the fourth. An outfield error opened the door. A double produced the first run with the tying run scoring on a wild pitch. Three more errors came back to haunt the Lady Hornets in the inning as Bentonville took its 4-2 lead.
Lindsey Cason singled but was stranded in the bottom of the fourth. In the home fifth, Dorsey smacked a base hit to left, advancing to second but she too was stranded as Bentonville closed out the win.
The Lady Hornets appeared to be in for another close call in the second game on Saturday when Russellville jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first. The Lady Hornets’ run in the top of the inning came by virtue of a two-out error that allowed Cox to reach second. Courtesy runner Kristen Morehart stole third and drew a wild throw that allowed her to score.
In the bottom of the inning, a single, a wild pitch and, with two down, a two-base error and a double gave the Lady Cyclones the lead.
Kirchner, the pitcher for the Lady Hornets in the game, gave up a single to start the second inning but then retired nine in a row to close out the game. She wound up with eight strikeouts.
Bryant took the lead in the third when Kirchner led off and reached base on an error by the Russellville shortstop. She stole second and scored on a single by Cox that tied it. Cason singled and Laci Rowland sacrificed to put runners at second and third. Morehart scored when Juliusson reached on an error then Dorsey singled in a pair to make it 5-2. With two down, Herndon came through with a clutch RBI single.
In the fourth, the Lady Hornets blew the game up with four more runs. Kirchner was once again the instigator with a lead-off walk. Cox singled to left and the ball was misplayed. Cason bunted Kirchner home and with two down, Juliusson doubled. Monique McDaniel, running for Juliusson, advanced to third on a wild pitch and, after Dorsey reached walked, pinch-runner Brittany Welton stole second. A run scored when Stroud’s grounder to second was misplayed then Herndon capped the inning with her second RBI single of the contest.