May 18, 2011 Edition

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The Hillcrest Lady Screamin' Eagles were runners-up in the 1A-2 East District Softball Tournament. Team members include (front, from left): Kelsea Sneed, Samantha Parker; (kneeling) Lindsey Crews, Mackenzie Nunnally, Ashley Mansfield; (back) head coach Shawn Rose, Shelby Whitmire, Sarah Saffell, Samantha Blevins, Kellie Beasley, Jennifer Riley and assistant coach Dustin Rose.
Submitted Photo ~ Becky Saffell

Hillcrest girls compete at state

Nathan Hibbard
Staff Writer

The Hillcrest Lady Screamin' Eagles' softball season came to an end with a 5-0 loss to Nemo Vista in the first round of the Class A State Tournament on Friday at Blytheville.

After a scoreless first inning, Nemo Vista broke through with a run in the bottom of the second inning.

With the Lady Red Hawks leading 1-0 with a runner on base in the bottom of the fourth inning, the game was halted for 20 minutes due to lightning in the area.

When the game resumed, Hillcrest pitcher Samantha Blevins walked a batter. Following a foiled sacrifice bunt attempt, Nemo Vista got back-to-back hits to take a 2-0 lead. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, the Lady Red Hawks came through with back-to-back hits, resulting in three more runs. Neither team was able to score for the remainder of the game.

"It was 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth, then the lightning delay, and then they put together some good hits and put the game away," said Hillcrest coach Shawn Rose. "We battled at the plate and put the ball in play. We only had six strikeouts, but they are really good on defense at every position."

Kellie Beasley and Ashley Mansfield had Hillcrest's only two hits. Blevins took the pitching loss, allowing three earned runs on seven hits, while striking out seven in six innings of work.

"This game, especially from a defensive standpoint, was our best of the season," said Rose. "They did everything they could to put pressure on us and our girls performed admirably."

The Lady Screamin' Eagles finished the season with 11 wins and 10 losses.

Regional tournament

Hillcrest advanced to the state tournament with a fourth-place finish in the 1A Region 2 tournament at Brockwell.

The Lady Eagles defeated Shirley 6-1 in the first round to clinch a spot in the state tourney. Hillcrest fell to Viola 7-1 in the semifinals and then lost to Calico Rock 12-1 in the third-place game.

Hillcrest advanced to the regional tournament after finishing as runners-up at district.

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