SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Lady Jackets softball team is the defending Class 5A State champion and, from the looks of their regular-season success, they’re the favorites to win another title this year.
Sheridan improved to 17-1 overall this season with a 3-1 win over the Bryant Lady Hornets on Monday.
It’s been a tough place to win for Bryant over the years. The Lady Hornets haven’t beaten Sheridan on its home field since 2010.
Lady Jackets’ pitcher Katelyn Howard held Bryant, now 14-7, to just one hit in out-dueling the Lady Hornets’ Gianni Hulett. Regan Dillon had the lone hit for Bryant, a two-out single to center in the top of the fifth inning.
Neither team could get much going over the first three frames. Hulett pitched around lead-off single to Carly Strawn in the bottom of the second then a one-out single by Claudia Benning in the third.
Sheridan got on the board in the bottom of the fourth with the help of a pair of Bryant miscues. Strawn reached with one out when her grounder was booted. Regan Smith sacrificed her to second then Howard singled, putting runners at first and third. Kassi Martin’s grounder was misplayed as well, allowing the run to score.
Howard and the Sheridan defense had set down the first 14 Lady Hornet batters before Dillon’s single in the top of the fifth.
After Hulett pitched around a two-out single in the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Hornets could only manage a two-out walk to Maddie Thompson in the top of the sixth.
With two out in the bottom of the sixth, Howard hit a triple. Martin followed with an RBI single to make it 2-0.
Jordan Flora was hit by a pitch to extend the inning and Benning’s fly to left was misplayed. An error on the relay allowed Martin to score.
Bryant broke through for its run in the top of the seventh. Sheridan’s defense helped. Hulett’s grounder was misplayed then so was Aly Bowers’. The duo worked a double steal to get both runners in scoring position.
Meagan Chism got Hulett home with a sacrifice bunt but Bowers wound up being stranded at third.
Bryant is set to host Mount St. Mary Academy today in a return to conference action.