April 14, 2010 Edition

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The Walnut Ridge Lady Bobcats claimed the title in the 2010 Lawrence County Softball Tournament. Team members include (front, from left): Ashlyn Cothern, Amanda Emison, Staci Spargo, Alivia Hackworth, Allison Bridges, Brittney Pinkston; (back) coach Joe Fisher, Whitney Ward, Josie Wagoner, Beth Massey, Ashton Lawson, Daniel Vaughn, Christin Holsapple, Brittney Dobbs, Taylor Brown, Audrey McElrath and coach Jacob Kersey.
Submitted Photo ~ Ashley George

WR claims softball championship

Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge Lady Bobcats emerged from the losers' bracket to claim the championship of the 2010 Lawrence County Softball Tournament with a 9-5 victory over the Hillcrest Lady Screamin' Eagles Saturday evening at Stewart Park in Walnut Ridge.

The Lady Bobcats defeated Hillcrest 10-1 earlier in the evening to hand the Lady Screamin' Eagles their first loss in the double-elimination tournament and force a winner-take-all rematch for the title.

In the final game, Walnut Ridge struck first, with three runs in the top of the first inning and added two more in the second. Hillcrest tallied a pair of runs in the bottom of the second to cut the Lady Cats' lead to 5-2.

After a Walnut Ridge run in the third inning, Hillcrest scored three times in the bottom half of the inning to close to within a run of the Lady Cats at 6-5.

Walnut Ridge responded with three runs of their own in the top of the fourth. Neither team was able to score in the fifth and final inning.

For Walnut Ridge, Josie Wagoner had two hits and scored two runs. Staci Spargo had a pair of hits and scored once. Alivia Hackworth had one hit and scored two runs. Christin Holsapple had one hit and scored a run. Ashlyn Cothern had one hit, while Amanda Emison, Beth Massey and Allison Bridges each scored a run.

Hackworth allowed three hits and five strikeouts to earn the pitching win.

For Hillcrest, Kellie Beasley had a triple and two RBIs, and Natalie Johnson added a double.

Samantha Blevins started in the circle for Hillcrest and allowed six earned runs on five hits.

"We're very disappointed that we couldn't defend our title from last year, but they played better defense than us and we couldn't get Spargo out in the tournament," said Hillcrest coach Shawn Rose.

In the first game of the finals, Hillcrest took a 1-0 lead with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Walnut Ridge tied the game with a run in the top of the second. The Lady Bobcats broke the game open with six runs in the fifth inning and added three more in the sixth to put the game away.

Ashton Lawson and Spargo had two hits apiece for Walnut Ridge. Wagoner, Emison, Brittney Dobbs, Holsapple and Massey also recorded hits. Spargo, Dobbs and Lawson each scored two runs, while Hackworth, Wagoner, Emison and Holsapple each scored a run.

Hackworth was the starting pitcher and allowed two hits, while recording three strikeouts to earn the win.

For Hillcrest, Blevins surrendered seven runs on three hits and struck out nine.

"Hackworth dominated our hitters in this game, and we fell apart in the fifth inning," said Rose.

Hillcrest - WR

Earlier in the afternoon, Hillcrest defeated Walnut Ridge 8-5 in finals of the winners' bracket to send the Lady Bobcats to the losers bracket.

Walnut Ridge took an early lead with single runs in the first and third innngs, before Hillcrest exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the third.

The Lady Bobcats scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning to set the final score.

For Hillcrest, Johnson batted 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Kayla McBride went 1-for-3, also with two RBIs.

Blevins was the winning pitcher. She allowed five runs on four hits and struck out nine.

For Walnut Ridge, Spargo batted 3-for-3. Wagoner had a hit and scored a run, and Emison recorded a hit. Hackworth, Cothern and Bridges each scored a run.

Hackworth took the pitching loss.

WR - S-H

Walnut Ridge advanced to the championship round with a 15-0 rout of Sloan-Hendrix in the finals of the loser's bracket on Saturday.

For the Lady Bobcats, Wagoner went 3-for-3 and scored three runs. Spargo batted 2-for-2 and scored three runs. Dobbs went 2-for-2 and scored twice. Hackworth had a hit and scored two runs. Emison and Lawson each had one hit and scored a run. Cothern had two hits, while Holsapple and Massey added one hit apiece.

Spargo earned the pitching win.

Hillcrest - BR

Hillcrest defeated the Black Rock Lady Zebras 12-2 on Saturday in the semifinals of the winners' bracket.

Hillcrest scored five runs in the second inning and seven in the fourth. Black Rock plated two runs in the top of the fifth inning.

For Hillcrest, McBride, Crews and Saffell each had two RBIs.

Blevins started in the circle and registered 12 strikeouts while allowing just two hits.

WR - S-H

Walnut Ridge defeated Sloan-Hendrix 11-1 in a winners' bracket semifinal on Friday.

Lawson led the Lady Cats' offense with three hits and one run scored. Wagoner had two hits and scored three runs. Emison had two hits and scored twice. Hackworth, Spargo and Holsapple each had a pair of hits and scored once. Massey and Dobbs had a hit apiece and each scored a run. Cothern had two hits and Bridges scored a run.

Spargo was the winning pitcher.

BR - Hoxie

The Black Rock Lady Zebras advanced with an 8-5 win over Hoxie's Lady Mustangs in the tournament's opening game on Friday afternoon.

Laney Robinette started in the circle for Black Rock and allowed just two hits to earn the pitching win.

Sarah Cullum and Brianna Liscomb each had two hits for Hoxie.

Hoxie - S-H

The Sloan-Hendrix Lady Greyhounds stayed alive with a 10-4 win over Hoxie in a losers' bracket match on Saturday.

For the Lady Hounds, Danyail Dail went 2-for-2 with two runs scored. Paige Ratliff batted 2-for-3 and scored twice.

For Hoxie, Cayley Rosson went 2-for-2 and scored two runs, and Hali Pratt had two hits.

S-H - BR

Sloan-Hendrix defeated Black Rock in a losers' bracket contest on Saturday to eliminate the Lady Zebras.

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