Glove down. Jaycie Rodatz fields a base hit to left field in the seventh inning against Dardanelle Thursday. The hit only prolonged the inevitable as Rodatz and the Lady Cats beat the Lady Sand Lizards 4-0.
The Booneville softball team, after their stumble against Pottsville last week, needed a win at then-4A number 1 Mena last Tuesday to remain in contention for the 4-4A’s top seed.
With Ashdon Ross sharp and the defense coming through behind her, the game went to the seventh inning scoreless. In that Inning, Booneville used hustle and a couple of wild pitches to score twice, and then Ross retired the side in the bottom of the inning to complete a 2-0 win.
“I thought if we got past the fifth inning scoreless, that we would win,” said coach Doc Crowley.
The Lady Cats (19-6, 4-1) added a 4-0 shutout against Dardanelle on Thursday. Booneville is now ranked number 3 in Class 4A.
The team’s last home game — one of only three they will have played this season at the Billy Kiersey Complex — is tomorrow night when the Lady Cats host Class A Scranton. It will be Senior Night for center fielder Morgan Osborne. The ladies then hit the road for Dover in their final conference game Friday.
Booneville 2 Mena 0
Booneville loaded the bases in the top of the first on singles by Ashdon Ross and Hannah McClung and a walk to Kaitlynn Davis, but could not get anything across. Bailey Bunch led off the Mena half of the inning with a single but McClung caught her stealing to end the threat. Booneville got two runners on in the third but could not seal the deal.
In the bottom of the fourth Mena got Daryan Torix to third with two outs after a double and a fly ball, but Ross got Ariel Hartin to ground out. Booneville got two runners on in their half of the fifth inning but could not score. Mena again got something going in the bottom of the sixth as Bunch doubled down the right field line to lead it off. Torix, trying to bunt her over, lined out to Ross who threw to Whitney Tatum to double the runner off. This proved critical because Lexi Hansard smacked the next pitch from Ross to the fence in right-center for a two-bagger, but she was left stranded.
Ross singled to lead off the Booneville seventh and Morgan Osborne, who had not bunted well all night, this time got a perfect sacrifice down. McClung then hit it to the second baseman who threw to third, catching Ross in a rundown. But the Booneville pitcher managed somehow to avoid the tag at third, with McClung going to second. Hartin then uncorked two wild pitches, allowing both runners to score. Ross retired the side in order in the bottom half, getting Hannah Lochala to pop it to McClung in foul ground for the last out.
Ross scattered five hits; she only struck out two, but the Booneville defense kept her out of trouble. She was also 3-for-4 at the plate and McClung went 2-for-4.
Lady Cats 4 Dardanelle 0
The Lady Cats got two runners on with two out in the first but couldn’t dent the scoreboard. They more than made up for that in the fourth; with one out, Hannah McClung and Kaitlynn Davis both singled before Carley Wooldridge drilled a 1-1 offering from Tasha Marple over the right-center field fence for her second home run of the season.
The Lady Lizards threatened in the fifth, getting two runners on, but Ashdon Ross worked out of the jam. Booneville picked up an insurance run in the bottom of that inning; Wooldridge got a two-out single and Alyssa Adair, on as a pinch-runner, stole second. Mariah Reagan followed with a RBI single to left. Ross faced the minimum in the last two innings, ending it with a double play as Dardanelle played hit-and run. The ball was lined to Whitney Tatum, who then retired the runner going back to first to finish it. Ross (17-5) collected five strikeouts and lowered her earned-run average to 1.39.