May 4, 2016 Edition

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Lady Cats advance to regionals

Walnut Ridge's Baylee Haskins pitches to a Salem batter during the first round of the 2A-2 District Tournament on Thursday at Pangburn. The Lady Cats clinched a spot in the regional tournament with a 7-5 victory.
TD Photo ~ Ashley George

The Walnut Ridge Lady Bobcats edged Salem 7-5 in the first round of the 2A-2 District Softball Tournament on Thursday at Pangburn. The victory secured a spot in the 2A North Regional Tournament, scheduled to begin Thursday at Marked Tree. It will be the Lady Bobcats first trip to the regional tournament since 2012.

Walnut Ridge got on the scoreboard first against Salem when Megan Jared scored on a single by Whitney Rider in the top of the third inning. Salem tied the contest 1-1 in the bottom of the third, but the Lady Cats struck for three runs in the fourth inning. A single by Briley Henson, and a walk to Mallory Spain gave the Lady Cats a pair of baserunners. Jared lined a triple, scoring Henson and Spain and putting Walnut Ridge ahead 3-1. Jared came home on a ground ball by Baylee Haskins for the final run of the inning.

Salem plated a run in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to 4-2. After a scoreless fifth inning, Walnut Ridge added to its lead when Rider belted a three-run homer in the sixth inning. Jared opened the inning with a walk, then stole second and advanced to third on a Salem defensive error. Haskins drew a walk, setting the stage for Rider's blast, which gave Walnut Ridge a 7-2 lead.

The Lady Greyhounds fought back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to close the gap to 7-5, but strong pitching by Haskins would not allow Salem to get any closer.

Haskins hurled a complete game from the circle, allowing three earned runs on 10 hits, while recording seven strikeouts.

At the plate, Rider finished 3-for-4 with four RBIs and scored a run. Jared had one hit, two RBIs and scored three runs. Haskins added a hit, an RBI and scored a run. Baylee Davis and Baylee Burris each had a hit. Henson had a hit and scored a run, and Spain scored a run.

Pangburn

Walnut Ridge closed out the regular season with an 8-1 road loss to the Pangburn Lady Tigers on April 25.

Burris went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Haskins scored a run. Davis also contributed a hit.

Haskins took the pitching loss, allowing four earned runs on nine hits and finishing with five strikeouts.

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