May 19, 2010 Edition

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Hillcrest softball team finishes
second in regional tournament

Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

Hillcrest's Lady Screamin' Eagles advanced to the finals of the 1A Region 2 Softball Tournament before falling to the host Viola Lady Longhorns 10-1 in the title game. The runner-up finish was good enough to qualify the Lady Eagles for the 1A State Tournament for the fourth time in six years.

Semifinals

Hillcrest earned their spot in the finals by outlasting Calico Rock 12-11 in a back-and-forth contest on May 8.

The Lady Eagles jumped out to an early lead, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single by Kellie Beasley, a two-run double from Natalie Johnson and an RBI triple by Miranda Doyle.

Hillcrest added three runs in the second inning, keyed by a two-run double from Lindsey Crews.

Errors took their toll on the Lady Eagles in the top of the fifth inning, when Calico Rock scored eight runs to move into an 11-8 lead. The Lady Pirates were aided by five Hillcrest miscues in the inning.

Hillcrest answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Elaina Pankey singled and Howard, Samantha Blevins, Kayla McBride and Johnson all drew walks, as the Lady Eagles cut the deficit to 11-10.

Blevins retired the Lady Pirates in order in the top of the sixth, then did damage with her bat in the bottom of the inning. Pankey reached on an error and Johnson followed with her third hit of the game. Blevins delivered a triple, scoring the tying and go-ahead runs.

Hillcrest's defense held the Lady Pirates in the final inning.

First round

Hillcrest routed Norfolk 15-0 in the first round of the tournament on May 7.

Blevins earned the pitching win, allowing just one hit and striking out nine.

Offensively, Blevins and Sarah Saffell each had two hits and two RBIs. Beasley and Howard also had two hits apiece.

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