May 13, 2009 Edition

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Hillcrest girls end season
with trip to state tourney

Hillcrest's Samantha Blevins prepares to release a pitch during the Lady Screamin' Eagles' 16-6 loss to Lockesburg in the state tournament on May 1 in Pine Bluff. Third baseman Natalie Johnson is in the background.
Submitted Photo ~ Melissa Durham
Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

The Hillcrest Lady Screamin' Eagles' softball season ended with 16-6 loss to the Lockesburg Lady Blue Darters in the first round of the Class A State Softball Tournament on May 1 at Pine Bluff.

Hillcrest started strong, scoring a run in the top of the second inning and adding four more in the third for a 5-0 lead.

The Lady Eagles carried a 6-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth inning, when Lockesburg struck for four runs to cut Hillcrest's lead to 6-5. The Lady Blue Darters exploded for 11 runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, aided by six Hillcrest errors, to end the game with a 16-6 victory.

Lauren Pickle and Miranda Doyle each had two hits and scored two runs. Breanna Doyle and Stevie Howard each had a hit and scored a run. Natalie Johnson, Kayla McBride, Samantha Blevins and Pickle each drove in a run for the Lady Screamin' Eagles.

Blevins was the starting pitcher and allowed 16 runs, of which only seven were earned, on 11 hits and recorded seven strikeouts.

"Samantha threw the ball exceptionally well for the first four innings," said Hillcrest coach Shawn Rose.

Regional tournament

Hillcrest competed in the Class A Region 2 Softball Tournament hosted by Izard County Consolidated on April 27 and 28.

Hillcrest ~Viola

The Lady Screamin' Eagles received a bye to the semifinals when the Shirley Blue Devils forfeited their first-round game against Hillcrest on April 25.

The Viola Lady Longhorns shut out Hillcrest 13-0 in the semifinals on April 27.

Viola broke the game open early, with nine runs in the second inning and four more in the third.

McBride and Blevins had the Lady Eagles' only hits.

Blevins took the pitching loss, allowing six earned runs and five walks, while striking out two in one and one-third innings. Johnson came on in relief and allowed four earned runs on one hit.

Hillcrest ~ Calico Rock

Calico Rock scored in every inning while rolling to a 16-1 win over the Lady Eagles in the consolation game of the regional tournament on April 28.

Miranda Doyle scored Hillcrest's run in the first inning.

Blevins was the losing pitcher, allowing two runs on one hit. Johnson pitched four and two-thirds innings and allowed 14 runs on nine hits before being relieved by Pickle.

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