Tuesday, May 18, 2010

SPORTS>>Cabot rips Wolf, rubs out Har-Ber

Leader sportswriter

Springdale Har-Ber’s Chani Wolf didn’t stay in the pitcher’s circle long, but it was long enough for Cabot to mount an overwhelming lead.

The Lady Panthers roughed up the Wildcats reliever for five runs in the top of the fourth inning Monday on their way to a 9-1 victory in the 7A state quarterfinals. Cabot advanced to the semifinals against Bryant on Tuesday night.

Cabot (23-9) came out strong in the top of the fourth inning, scoring a run off Har-Ber starter Hannah Bender. Har-Ber then brought on Wolf, and, four batters later, Bender returned to the circle.

“That was the pitcher we had prepped for,” Cabot coach Becky Steward said of Wolf. “We knew she was a spot pitcher, and all she throws is a fastball, rise ball. So that was the one we thought was going to start, so when they brought her in, I said ‘This is the one.’ So we went to work.”

Designated player Taylor Anderson got things going in the fourth with a double to left field and advanced on a bunt by Brooke Taylor. Tara Boyd then scored Anderson with a single to left, and Bender walked Jenny Evans to put two runners on base.

Wolf relieved Bender and gave up a single to Caitlinn Gunn that scored Boyd to give the Lady Panthers a 2-0 lead. Evans came in when the Lady Wildcats mishandled Chelsea Conrade’s grounder at first base, and Kristi Flesher drove in Gunn with a single to right field.

Cleanup hitter Pete Reed hit her second double to score Conrade and Flesher and extend Cabot’s lead to 6-0.

Taylor doubled to left in theCabot fifth and Evans drove her in two batters later with a single to left and scored on a triple to make it 8-0.

Sarah Martin doubled in the top of the sixth inning and scored Cabot’s final run when Taylor executed a squeeze bunt.

Martin hit a three-run home run, the first homer of her career, in the Lady Panthers’ 10-0 victory over Springdale on Friday.

Cabot senior pitcher Kendall Calderon held Har-Ber to four hits. Wildcats catcher Brittany Rodgers was the only hitter able to capitalize when she singled and later scored Har-Ber’s lone run on an error.

“That’s been our strong point all year long,” Steward said of the defense and Calderon’s pitching perfrmance on Monday. “We may have an error here, an error there, but it usually does not hurt us.”

The victory set up a semifinals showdown with 7A Central Conference foe and top seed Bryant. The Lady Hornets swept the Lady Panthers during the regular season.

“I told the kids when we saw where we fell in the bracket that they needed to take care of the first two opponents if they wanted another shot at Bryant,” Steward said.

“So, they’ve played focused; they’re hitting the ball right now. One through nine, you never know who’s going to hit.”

Conrade was 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run for the Lady Panthers. Anderson was 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored.

Reed was 2 for 5 with two doubles and an RBI. Flesher was 2 for 5 with a double, an RBI and a run, and Gunn was 2 for 5 with an RBI and a run.