April 06, 2011 EditionAlso in this issue...
Hillcrest claims softball titleNathan Hibbard
The Hillcrest Lady Screamin' Eagles defeated Walnut Ridge's Lady Bobcats 6-3 in the championship game of the 2011 Lawrence County Softball Tournament on Saturday at Black Rock.
Hillcrest jumped on top early, with two runs in the top of the first inning. Walnut Ridge got on the scoreboard with a run in the bottom of the second inning. The Lady Eagles added single runs in the third and fifth innings to move out to a 4-1 lead. Walnut Ridge threatened in the third, but Hillcrest second-baseman Kelsea Sneed turned a key double play to keep the Lady Cats from scoring.
Walnut Ridge closed to within 4-3 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth, but Hillcrest's defense came up big again in the inning, when Sneed's backhanded grab prevented a pair of additional runs from scoring.
Hillcrest tallied two runs in the top of the seventh, and then held the Lady Bobcats scoreless in the bottom of the inning to claim the title.
Samantha Blevins was the winning pitcher, allowing three runs (all unearned) on just three hits. She recorded four strikeouts and three walks in seven innings.
Hannah Massey started in the circle for Walnut Ridge and also pitched a complete game. She allowed six runs on four hits, while striking out three and walking seven.
Blevins also led Hillcrest at the plate, batting 1-for-3, scoring three runs and stealing four bases. Lindsey Crews had a hit, scored twice and had two stolen bases. Kellie Beasley had a hit and two RBIs, and Samantha Parker added a hit.
For Walnut Ridge, Amanda Emison went 1-for-3, with a double and two RBIs. Ashley Baker and Beth Massey each batted 2-for-3, with Massey scoring a run. Sabrina Knight and Whitney Ward each had a hit for the Lady Cats.
Hillcrest scored nine runs in the bottom of the first inning and added nine more in the second to defeat the Hoxie Lady Mustangs 18-0 in one semifinal contest.
Blevins started in the circle for Hillcrest and allowed one hit while recording nine strikeouts in the three-inning contest.
Crews went 3-for-4 at the plate, with one RBI and scored three runs. Blevins drove in two runs and scored three times. Beasley had two hits and four RBIs. Sarah Saffell had a pair of hits and drove in three runs. Sneed had two hits, an RBI and scored three runs.
Walnut Ridge advanced to the title game by defeating the Sloan-Hendrix Lady Greyhounds 13-3 in a semifinal contest.
Knight led the Lady Cats' offense with three hits and four runs scored. Hannah Massey had two hits and scored three runs. Amanda Emison had a pair of hits and scored twice. Baker had two hits and scored a run. Brittney Dobbs, Mackenzie Britton, Ashlyn Cothern and Beth Massey each had one hit.
Hannah Massey was the winning pitcher.
Sloan-Hendrix advanced to the semifinals by outlasting Black Rock 12-11 in the tournament's opening game.
Black Rock jumped to an early lead with three runs in the top of the first inning, only to see the Lady Greyhounds tie the game with three in the bottom half of the inning.
The Lady Zebras regained the lead with a pair of runs in their next at-bat before Sloan-Hendrix answered with six runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 9-5 lead.
Black Rock closed to within 9-8 with two runs in the third inning and one in the fourth. The Lady Hounds stretched the lead to 11-8 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth.
The Lady Zebras tallied single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to make it a one-run game at 11-10. Sloan-Hendrix pushed across a big run in the bottom of the sixth for a 12-10 advantage, and then held Black Rock to a single run in the top of the seventh to take the win.
Michala Stacy was the winning pitcher, allowing seven hits and recording nine strikeouts.
Stacy was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate, while Sara Childress batted 2-for-3.
For Black Rock, Megan Jones went 4-for-5, and Christian Ervin added two hits.