NASHVILLE — Kayla Sory slugged a two-run homer and Carly Yazza belted a solo shot while[more] Peyton Jenkins took a no-hitter into the seventh inning as the Bryant Lady Hornets notched a 9-1 win at Nashville on Friday.
The Scrapperettes’ only hit of the game was a single in the bottom of the final frame, which came after a lead-off walk. A Bryant error allowed Nashville to load the bases and the lone run scored on a force out. Jenkins struck out eight and walked two.
Bryant accumulated 13 hits including two each from Yazza, Jenkins, Kaley Coppock, Cassidy Wilson, and Jessie Taylor.
The Lady Hornets are now 4-0 on the season going into a home contest against White Hall Monday. The Lady Bulldogs were one of the few teams that defeated the Lady Hornets last season.
Bryant took a 1-0 lead on Friday in the first inning when Jenna Bruick walked, stole second and raced home on a double by Jenkins.
Ashlyn Lessenberry came in to courtesy run for Jenkins but when Sory was robbed of a hit on a liner to short and the Scrapperettes got out of the inning by doubling Lessenberry off third.
In the third, McKenzie Rice led off with a double to right-center. She tagged and went to third on a long fly to right by Taylor then scored on a double by Bruick. With two down, Sory unloaded with her second homer of the season to make it 4-0.
Yazza then led off the fourth with her homer.
“She doesn’t look like a formidable ‘beast’,” commented Lady Hornets head coach Debbie Clark, “but she works hard and she has a great technique and she just kept plugging away. She fouled off several and then hit herself a home run down the left-field line. It was great for her and it just brings home the point that technique works. She’s taking advantage of every muscle that she can to make her into a ‘beast’ hitter.”
With one out, Rice reached on an error and stole second, Taylor doubled in the run then took third on a groundout. Jenkins walked to put runners at the corners but both were stranded.
Leading 6-0, the Lady Hornets threatened to make it a run-rule game in the fifth when Wilson reached on an error and Kaley Coppock singled. Yazza’s base hit loaded the bags then Katy Stillman drew a walk to force in a run.
But that was all they could get.
“My girls are good enough that I can, this year, coach a little differently,” said Clark. “We’re very happy when we see the win in the scorebook but because these girls have so much talent and ability, they need to win in certain ways. We won 9-1 but the field was muddy and Peyton had to pitch all seven innings. She did a great, great job on a field where we had to clean the mud out of our cleats after every half inning.
“We had opportunities in the fourth and fifth innings to put them away 10-0,” she noted. “We had the bases loaded with less than two outs and we only got one run, and that was because of a walk. Those are things — yes, we did win and we played well — that we can do better because there will come a time when we’re going to be 0-0 with somebody with the bases loaded and we have to come through offensively.
“I’m very happy for a win,” she reiterated. “That’s not what I’m saying. But we made some mental errors that we need to work on. In the seventh inning, they got the bases loaded and it never should’ve happened.”
The Lady Hornets added runs in the sixth and seventh. In the sixth, Jenkins doubled and courtesy runner Brianna Davis scored on a double by Wilson. In the seventh, Rice was hit by a pitch, Taylor singled and, after Bruick bounced into a force at third, Sory walked to force in a run.
“We’re in a process,” Clark said. “There are things we’re going to talk about. We made some base-running errors, a couple of fielding errors that shouldn’t have been made, not with this caliber of a team. It’s focus. I know there was the weather and we had our invitational tournament (the next day) but it doesn’t matter. For those two hours that we’re playing, we’ve got to take care of what’s between those white lines. It’s early in the season but that’s what we need to do.”
That being said, Clark added, “The (Nashville) assistant coach gave us a huge compliment. He said, ‘Your team looks like, acts like, they’re built like, they carry themselves like — they play like a college team.’ That’s a huge compliment from a coach who’s been in it a long time to another coach. So that’s what I’m going talk to them about. Yes, we have higher expectations. We have to take care of business. We have to score runs when we have the opportunity.”
The Lady Hornets start 7A/6A-Central Conference play Little Rock Central on Thursday.