Tuesday, April 08, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> NP ladies roll early, lose tight ones late

Leader sports editor

The North Pulaski Lady Falcons went 1-2 in three markedly different games as the host team of the Jae Lynn Russell Memorial Scholarship tournament. The NP softball team completely destroyed Mills 28-0, then lost a heartbreaker 7-6 to eStem Charter in the semifinals, and was soundly beaten 10-2 by Maumelle in the third-place game.

Playing for a chance to face crosstown rival Jacksonville in the championship game, North Pulaski gave up five runs in the top of the second inning to eStem on just two hits. There was also a hit batter, a walk and two errors that led to the Lady Mets’ big inning.

North Pulaski had taken a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Kelsey Seats was hit by a pitch and scored an error. But the disastrous second inning put the host team in a hole.

eStem went up 6-1 in the top of the third, but North Pulaski got that run back in the bottom of the third when Raigen Thomas sent a 3-0 pitch scorching into right field fora stand-up double. She then scored on a hit by Allison Seats, who was also swinging with a 3-0 count.

eStem scored another run in the fourth to take a 7-2 lead, but the Lady Falcons stormed back to tie the game with four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Neiagha Thomas and Raigen Thomas sandwiched walks around a base hit by Anna Langrell that loaded the bases with no outs.

Allison Seats then hit an infield single to shortstop to score one run. Kelsey Seats drove in two more with a double to right-center field and Bailey Holt drove in the last run with a sacrifice grounder. The next two batters popped up to second base to end the inning.

North Pulaski held the Lady Mets scoreless in the fifth, but couldn’t get the bats going in the sixth inning when the tournament time limit put an end to the game.

Langrell was the only NP player with multiple base hits. Payton Mullen pitched for the Lady Falcons, giving up nine hits, including three to Callie Clement, while striking out four, walking none and hitting one batter.

In the opening game, North Pulaski batted around twice and scored 13 runs in the first inning off just four hits. There were also seven walks and three hit batters.

Two of the hits in the inning were by leadoff hitter Allison Seats. She started the game with a single to center field and walked in four batters later after an out, two walks and a hit batter.

The slow processional around the bases continued with three more walks before Seats came back to the plate and hit a grand slam home run to left field.

Kelsey Seats then tripled and scored on a fielder’s choice that left Holt safe. Two more walks sandwiched another hit batter before Neiagha Thomas drove in the final runs of the inning with a single to left field.

The second inning was worse, as the Lady Falcons sent 19 batters to the plate, scored 15 runs on eight hits while walking three times with five batters getting hit by pitches.

Starting at the top of the order again, North Pulaski’s first four batters got base hits before the first out was recorded.

The next three batters were hit, then one was walked, two more were hit and another walked before Madeline Graves got a two-RBI base hit. The second out was then recorded before another walk and three-straight base hits by Neiagha and Raigen Thomas and Makiyah Brown set the final margin.

Kelsey Seats threw a no-hitter with seven strikeouts over three innings.

North Pulaski, 8-4, was scheduled to host Mills again on Tuesday, but that game was canceled because of rain.