WHITE HALL — Head coach Lisa Dreher said her 2020 Bryant Lady Hornets could hit as the team entered the season and the first night out, they proved her point, bashing 21 hits including three home runs to bury the White Hall Lady Bulldogs, 16-6, in a pre-season benefit game on Thursday night.
Bella Herring mashed a grand slam and drove in five runs while going 3 for 3 at the plate. Caitlin LaCerra had five hits, Maddie Thompson four and Abby Gentry three.
Christine Meffort and Hannah Work combined to limit White Hall to just one hit, a two-run homer by Laykin Hartsfield. However, the Lady Hornets’ pitching duo combine to issue 10 walks and Bryant committed four errors behind them.
The Lady Hornets officially open the season on Monday at home against 6A-Central Conference rival Mount St. Mary Academy.
Thompson singled to center to start the game at White Hall. She stole second and third then scored on a bunt single by LaCerra. A throwing error allowed LaCerra to race all the way around the bases to make it 2-0.
Hartsfield tied it with her two-out blast in the bottom of the inning.
With one out in the second, Thompson doubled to right and LaCerra beat out another bunt for a hit. Herring came through with a sacrifice fly to center.
After Mefford pitched around a lead-off walk in the bottom of the inning, the Lady Hornets tacked on another run in the top of the third. Joely Calhoun singled with one out and stole second. Gentry walked as a wild pitch allowed Calhoun to take third. Gentry swiped second and, with two away, another wild pitch allowed Calhoun to score, making it 4-2.
In the fourth, LaCerra pulled a bloop single to right with one out and stole second. Herring beat out a bunt single and LaCerra raced home to make it 5-2.
Mefford pitched around a two-out walk in the bottom of the fourth then the Lady Hornets blew the game up in the top of the fifth, scoring eight times. Emma Bonvillain singled to right. Paolo Arona came on to pinch run then Avari Allen beat out a bunt single. On the late throw to third, Allen took second. Thompson got a bunt down and reached first as the Lady Bulldogs chose to hold the runners.
So, with the bases loaded, LaCerra lined an RBI single then Herring unloaded to center for her grand slam to make it 11-2. Regan Dillon followed with a solo shot.
With two down, Calhoun beat out an infield hit and, on an errant throw, circled the bases to cap off the scoring.
In the home fifth, White Hall used a walk and a pair of two-out errors to score twice.
Thompson’s one-out double in the top of the sixth led to another Bryant run. LaCerra singled and, with runners on second and third, Thompson scored on a delayed steal.
Work struck out the side in the bottom of the sixth but surrendered a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh. In the interim, Bryant got two in the top of the seventh. Calhoun reached on an error, stole second and took third before scoring on a wild pitch. Gentry singled but was forced at second on Bonvillain’s grounder. But Bonvillain was able to score when Allen’s grounder to short was booted.