Lady Bobcats make their first trip to the big dance
The Berryville Lady Bobcats will be making their first trip to the Class 4A state softball tournament after a 14-9 win over the Dardanelle Lady Sand Lizards in the Class 4A north regional tournament on Saturday in Lincoln.
"It's great getting to make history and do something that no other Berryville softball team has done," Berryville coach Josh Hatfield said.
Berryville led 3-0 going into the top of the fifth inning. Anna Caroline Stone started that inning with a single to left field. Eve Linz drew a walk and Hayley Rivett reached base on a Dardanelle error. Lexi Woods followed with a three-run triple to center field, then stole home to give the Lady Bobcats a 7-0 lead. Woods finished the game with four hits and five RBIs. She scored three times and hit for the cycle.
"Several of the girls had good at-bats," Hatfield said. "Aspen Smith had a bases-loaded triple that drove in three. LoraGrace had a triple. Everything was just really clicking for the first five innings or so."
Berryville took a 14-0 lead in the top of the sixth inning. Taylor Kelley and Stone each singled to start the inning and Hill's triple to center field scored Kelley and Stone. A Woods line drive to center field scored Hill and Smith's double scored Linz, Rivett and Woods. Kate Powell's single scored Smith and gave the Lady Bobcats a 14-0 lead.
The Lady Sand Lizards fought to come back in the bottom of the sixth, though. Dardanelle scored two runs on a single to center field and trimmed the lead to 14-6 on a grand slam. The Lady Sand Lizards scored three more runs in the bottom of the seventh, but they were unable to make the comeback.
"Defensively, we were doing enough," Hatfield said. "They were getting runners on, but we were able to get out of the inning and not give up anything. Finally in the sixth inning, they got runners on, we just couldn't get out of it. It was good getting the win, though."
Stone had three hits, while Smith had three RBIs and Hill had two. Kelley had eight strikeouts.
Gravette 15, Berryville 0
The Lady Bobcats had to turn around and play against Gravette hours later in the Class 4A north regional semifinal game. That game didn't go as well for Berryville.
"Taylor threw 159 pitches in the first game, so we tried to come back with her in the second game," Hatfield said. "Of course, it's hot and she is tired. The defense had some letdowns. We tried making a pitching change, but it was the same result. They scored in bunches and we couldn't do a lot about it."
After the Lady Bobcats were unable to get a runner in scoring position in the top of the first inning, Gravette scored five runs in the bottom of the first, including a three-run home run. The Lady Lions added eight more in the bottom of the second to take a 13-0 lead. Gravette scored on a bases-loaded walk, scored two runs on a bunt and added another on a sacrifice fly. The sportsmanship rule went into effect in the bottom of the third when the Lady Lions scored two more runs.
Pea Ridge 16, Berryville 1
The Lady Bobcats were playing for seeding at the state tournament in Monday afternoon's game against Pea Ridge. The 15-run loss didn't help their cause.
"We came out there in the first inning and had a few errors," Hatfield said. "In the second inning, Taylor took a line-drive to the shin, so she had to come out. That changes things for us quite a bit. We never were really in it today. Once we found out we were going to state, we kind of forgot we had to play the other two games because we haven't showed up to play."
Smith had a double and Powell had an RBI. After Monday's loss, the Lady Bobcats will play Harrisburg on Thursday in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament in Nashville.
"I haven't had a chance to look at them yet, but I know they are the three seed out of the east and they have played some pretty good teams," Hatfield said.
First pitch is scheduled for 10 a.m.