Monday, April 23, 2012

SPORTS >> Lady Devils blow away Pats

Leader sports editor

Glancing at the box score, one would think there’d been a duplicate box score made of the same game. In fact, the Jacksonville softball team beat Parkview High School 17-0 twice Tuesday night at Interstate Park in Little Rock.

Not only did the Lady Devils win back-to-back games by the same score, they got 12 hits in each game, and the pitchers threw two no hitters while facing 10 batters each.

“It was kind of funny the way it worked out,” Jacksonville coach Kevin Sullivan said. “That’s the first time I’ve seen anything like that.”

And just to complete the strange set of coincidences, the two pitchers were twin sisters Whitney and Alexis House.

Whitney House threw the first game and was one hit batter away from a perfect game. She plunked the second batter of the game, but went on to strike out seven of the last eight batters she faced to end the three-inning game with the no-hitter.

Alexis House, pitching her first varsity since dislocating her kneecap before the season started, missed the perfect game by one error. A throw to first base was off the mark, leaving the Lady Patriot base runner safe.

She fanned four batters en route to her shutout win.

Mailani Walker led things offensively in both games. She went 2 for 3 with a double and a triple in game one, then went 3 for 3 with three singles in game two.

Bailea Jones got a triple and a single in game one. Keke Alcorn got two doubles while
 Whitney House also had two base hits in the first game. Eight of the nine starters got base hits in the win.

Jacksonville got one run in the first inning, seven in the second and nine in the third to end the game on the 15-after-three sportsmanship rule.

Haley Hickingbotham got a double and a single in game two while Coyja Hood and Alex House got two singles apiece.

As the home team, Jacksonville only batted twice in game two. The Lady Devils got six runs in the first inning and 11 in the second.

“I was really pleased with how we handled the pitching,” Sullivan said. “Parkview’s pitching was bad. Time and again I’ve seen it happen where teams do one of two things when the pitching is coming that slow and off the mark. They either get impatient and start swinging at bad stuff, or they fall asleep up there and when they do get something to hit, they let it go by. We didn’t do that. We drew six walks in both games and we got 12 base hits in both games. So we were being patient but we weren’t lulled to sleep out there.”

The 6A East standings are jumbled up in the middle. Marion is undefeated and all but has first place wrapped up. Almost every other team has split with each other except for Parkview and Hall.

Jacksonville has split with Mountain Home and Jonesboro and plays its second game against Searcy next week.

“We really need that one,” Sullivan said. “We’re fighting for possibly as high as a two seed, but if we lose that one, we’re at six and fighting for a five. After Marion, two through six could go just about anywhere. Between us, Searcy, Mountain Home, Jonesboro, then you got Russellville and Van Buren coming in here for the tournament, it’s all up in the air.”

The Lady Red Devils have lost once to Searcy this season. They will host the Lady Lions at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Dupree Park.