The Booneville Lady Bearcats got back to their winning ways on the softball diamond, beating Fort Smith Northside and taking a doubleheader from Charleston before making a strong showing in the Fayetteville/Farmington tournament, beating Fayetteville twice and besting Northside again.
Ashdon Ross fired her first career no-hitter in the second half of the Charleston doubleheader on Tuesday, while Kaitlynn Davis had the hot bat at the tournament, going 8-for-13 with nine RBIs.
The Lady Cats are now 14-5 on the season.
Lady Cats 5
FS Northside 2
Booneville broke on top immediately as Hannah McClung doubled in the top of the first to drive in Ashdon Ross and Whitney Tatum, who had both reached on singles. They doubled their lead in the second inning as Mariah Reagan singled to lead it off. Taylor Bauer then rapped a double and the throw to third sailed over the fielder’s head allowing Reagan to score. Bauer then came in on a Ross single.
After Northside pulled within 4-2, the Lady Cats added an insurance run in the fifth inning. Morgan Osborne singled, stole second and scored on a Kaitlynn Davis hit. Ross pitched a complete game, striking out seven Lady Bears.
Lady Cats 4-4
In the first game, freshman Whitney Tatum made her debut in the pitching circle and nerves were evident as she walked the first two batters she faced, but then she settled down and worked out of the jam with two strikeouts. she then struck out the side in the second inning and two more in the third, but Booneville couldn’t break through until the fourth. Morgan Osborne singled, stole a base and scored on a hit by Carley Wooldridge to give the Lady Cats the lead.
Tatum pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom of the fourth by catching the last two batters looking at strike three. Booneville doubled their lead in the fifth when Ross singled, swiped a base and scored on a Mariah Reagan hit. The third Lady Cat run scored on two singles and two Charleston errors in the sixth and McClung doubled home Ross in the seventh. Tatum pitched around six walks and a hit batter, giving up only a meaningless run in the bottom of the seventh and striking out 13.
In the second game, where Booneville was the home team on the scoreboard, the breakthrough came in the bottom of the third. Again it was Ross who got it started with a single and a stolen base and again it was Osborne who picked her up.
Ross was pitching a masterful game but Booneville did not score again until the sixth inning, when Taylor Bauer started a two-out rally with a single. Holley Maness followed with a base hit and Ross drove in Bauer before Reagan drove in Maness and Ross with a single. Ross retired the side in order in the seventh to claim her no-hitter. Only two batters hit it hard against the lefthander and both resulted in line drives right at first baseman Carley Wooldridge. Ross fanned nine in the effort.
Booneville opened with a 6-0 win against co-host Fayetteville Friday night. The Lady Cats got a run in the fourth when Kaitlynn Davis doubled in Morgan Osborne, who had singled and stolen second. Camry Robertson started a rally in the fifth by reaching on an error. Ashdon Ross lashed a triple to drive her in and an error on a ball hit by Hannah McClung allowed Ross to score. Morgan Osborne was hit by a pitch before Kaitlynn Davis ripped a double to score both runners, later scoring on a Carley Wooldridge hit. Ross fired a four-hit shutout at the Lady Purple Dawgs.
Errors hurt Booneville in Saturday’s lidlifter against Mena, as two BHS errors led to four Mena runs. They added another run in the third but Booneville got that one back in the bottom of the fourth when Osborne singled and Davis chased her home with another double. However, Mena lashed back with five in the fifth to send Booneville to the losers’ bracket.
They took out their frustrations on Fayetteville in the next game, scoring two in the first inning on a McClung sacrifice fly and an Osborne groundout. Three walks set the table for the Lady Cats in the second as Booneville took a 5-0 lead with Robertson getting the first RBI and McClung the other two. BHS loaded the bases in the third and a Ross double picked up Davis and Wooldridge as the Lady Cats won 7-2.
Booneville rolled to a quick 3-0 lead against Fort Smith Northside as Ross and Robertson each singled and stole second. McClung picked up Ross with Davis knocking in the other two runs. Four Booneville runs in the third removed doubt. McClung started it with a walk and Osborne singled before Davis got an RBI single and Wooldridge doubled for two more. Taylor Bauer’s sacrifice fly scored Wooldridge and after Northside tallied twice, Booneville hit the Lady Bears for three. A Bauer squeeze bunt plated Davis and Ross drove home the other two with a triple for a 10-2 win.
In the next game Greenbrier scored first but Booneville regained the lead when Davis smacked a double off the wall to score Ross, who had singled, and McClung, who drew a walk. Booneville defense prevented a GHS rally in the second but the Lady Panthers scored one in the third, and Maranda Clendenin homered to left in the fourth.
The Lady Cats did not go down easily as Ross singled in the fifth and last inning and Robertson reached when the Lady Panther second baseman missed a tag on Ross going by. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch and Ross beat a throw to the plate on a McClung grounder. Osborne then laid down a bunt but the Lady Panthers caught Robertson too far off the bag and she was out trying to go back to third. GHS recorded the next out to take a 4-3 win.