Friday, April 04, 2008

SPORTS >>Lady Panthers post easy win over Pine Bluff

Leader sports editor

The wet spring is wreaking havoc on baseball, softball and soccer seasons around Pulaski, Lonoke and White counties.

But for some, it’s hitting harder than others. Young teams like the Cabot Lady Panthers could benefit more than most from critical playing experience, but so far, they’ve managed to play just four games this season.

They got one in on Wednesday and evened their overall record at 2-2 and their 7A-Central record at 1-1 with a 10-0, 5-inning romp past Pine Bluff behind a two-hit, six-strikeout gem from junior hurler Cherie Barfield. Still, playing only four games throughout the entire month of March has Cabot head coach Becky Steward a little frustrated.

“You don’t want a spring like this when you’re so young,” said Steward, who hoped to get in a game at Russellville on Friday, weather permitting. “We’re still feeling our way through. We’ve had a different lineup in the past three games.

“You can only have so many hitting and fielding sessions indoors.”

The Lady Panthers feature 10 freshmen on their roster and only four seniors and three juniors. The rest are sophomores.

On Wednesday, youth didn’t get in the way of Cabot’s easy time with the Fillies. Brooke Taylor led the way with a single, a double and four RBI. Becca Bakalekos singled and doubled and drove in a run. Chelsea Conrade added a two-run triple, and Meagan Rivera drove in two runs with a base hit. Kristi Fletcher added an RBI with a hit.

“Cherie made them put the ball in play and we made the plays,” Steward said. “The defense in our first four games has made some critical errors. But we feel like, later on, as we get some games under our belts, the fielding will get better.”

Barfield didn’t walk a batter and ran the count to three balls only one time.