While their destiny was not in their own hands when they took the field against Dover, the Booneville softball team knew they had to take care of their business to have any chance to claim a conference co-championship and a #1 seed at the district tournament.
The Lady Cats had no trouble with the last-place Lady Pirates, scoring eight runs in the third inning of a 10-0 run-rule win. Then they awaited the result of the Mena-Pottsville game.
On the bus ride home, they got the word: Mena had beaten Pottsville 5-2, which gave Booneville a piece of the conference championship. They also had control of the tiebreaker which gave the Lady Cats the #1 seed in the district tournament, a bye until Saturday and an automatic trip to the 4A North Regional the following week. Both the district and regional tournaments will be held in Mena.
“We have a 10-game season now, “ said coach Doc Crowley, referring to the number of games before the state championship game.
The Lady Cats (21-6) will play the winner of the game between Maumelle and Waldron on Saturday.
Lady Cats 10 Alma 3
For the first time since the Fayetteville/Farmington tournament the Lady Cats had to play from behind, as two walks and two errors gave the Airedalettes a 1-0 lead after three innings. Booneville took care of that in the top of the fourth as consecutive singles by Hannah McClung, Kaitlynn Davis and Carley Wooldridge were worth one run, with the other scoring on Taylor Bauer’s ground ball.
The Lady Cats blew it open in the sixth inning. Wooldridge was hit by a pitch to lead the inning off and Mariah Reagan sacrificed her to second. Bauer then lashed a double over the right-fielder’s head for the first RBI. Jaycie Rodatz then singled and stole a base and Bauer managed to get back to third on Camry Robertson’s grounder, loading the bases. One out later, Morgan Osborne whacked a two-RBI single and McClung followed with a shot that ate up the shortstop. Robertson scored and when the left fielder fumbled the ball, Osborne followed and the Lady Cats led 7-1.
Booneville added three more in the seventh, with the big blow a two-RBI double off the bat of Robertson, who would score on an Osborne single. Alma scored two meaningless runs in the bottom of the inning. Ashdon Ross gave up three hits and struck out seven to pick up her 18th win. The Lady Cats lashed out 15 hits in all.
Lady Cats 10 Dover 0
Booneville threatened in the first and second innings, but the third inning decided it as 14 Lady Cats came to the plate. Ashdon Ross led off with a single and stole second, scoring on a Morgan Osborne hit. The process repeated itself with Osborne stealing. Hannah McClung beat out a hit and also claimed a stolen base before Osborne scored on a wild pitch. Kaitlynn Davis then walked before Carley Wooldridge knocked McClung in. Taylor Bauer picked up Davis and Camry Robertson followed with a single before Jaycie Rodatz drove in Wooldridge. Ross then got her second hit of the inning, scoring Bauer, but Robertson was thrown out at the plate. Osborne reloaded the bases after being hit by a pitch and a bases-loaded walk to McClung sent Rodatz in before an error on a ball hit by Davis plated Ross with the final run of the inning.
Booneville added two more for good measure in the fourth. Mariah Reagan walked to lead off the inning and Bauer picked up her second hit of the game. Robertson moved the runners over with a bunt; a grounder by Rodatz was worth one run and Ross picked up Bauer for the last tally. Ross gave up only a fluke infield hit and struck out seven, including the last two, and added three hits and two RBIs at the plate as Booneville banged out 13 hits, all singles, and stole four bases.