CABOT — Thirty wins in 30 games.[more]
The Bryant Lady Hornets took advantage of seven Cabot errors with nine hits including two each by Jenna Bruick and Carly Yazza to back Peyton Jenkins’ shutout pitching in a 9-0 win over the Lady Panthers.
Bryant came make it a clean sweep of the 7A/6A-Central Conference with a win on Tuesday night at home against the North Little Rock Lady Charging Wildcats.
Already set as the top seed from the Central at the Class 7A State Tournament, which they will host, the Lady Hornets will open post-season play at noon on Friday, May 11. Once at State, they’ll be two wins away from reaching the State finals for the fourth straight season and three wins away from their third straight championship. They’ll open against the winner of a first round game on Thursday probably between Rogers and North Little Rock.
Friday’s game was surprisingly tight until the Lady Hornets broke the game open with five runs in the top of the sixth.
They took a 1-0 lead in the top of the opening inning. Bruick singled but was forced at second on a grounder to short by Jenkins. With Kayla Jolley in to run for the pitcher, Jessie Taylor lined a single to center. Mercedes Dillard stepped in to run for Taylor, the Bryant catcher, but then Jolley was forced out at third on a grounder by Kayla Sory. But Kayley Coppock drew a walk to force in the run.
Jenkins, who struck out 13 in the game, got her first two in the bottom of the opening frame. She worked around a two-out double in the second then retired the side in order in the third.
After Katy Stillman and Jenkins both walked in the second but were stranded, the Lady Hornets went in order in the third.
The fourth brought two more runs. Yazza lined a single to left and Stillman sacrificed her to third. McKenzie Rice drew a walk after Yazza had reached third on a wild pitch. That set the table for Bruick, who singled in a run. Rice scored from third when Jenkins’ grounder to third was botched, making it 3-0.
A single to start the bottom of the fourth went for naught when, after a sacrifice, Jenkins fanned two more. She would pick up two more around a pair of singles in the fifth then Taylor picked the trail runner off first to end the inning.
The Lady Panthers only managed one base-runner (on a walk) the rest of the game.
The telling sixth-inning uprising for Bryant started with a one-out error that allowed Bruick to reach. Jenkins doubled her to third and she held there when Taylor’s liner to third was dropped. Bruick would score moments later on a wild pitch. With Jolley at third and Dillard at second, Sory smacked a single to center for an RBI to make it 5-0.
Sory stole second and, with two out, Coppock singled in Dillard. And when the ball was misplayed in the outfield, Sory scored as well. Coppock wound up at third and she came home on a passed ball to make it 8-0.
Bryant put the finishing touches on the win in the top of the seventh. Jenkins and Taylor both reached on errors and Sory walked to load the bases for Cassidy Wilson who delivered a sacrifice fly.
In the bottom of the inning, a grounder to Coppock at first, a strikeout and a liner to Wilson at short brought the game to a conclusion.