Wednesday, March 25, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Lady Panthers display power

Leader sports editor

The Lady Panther softball team suffered its first loss of the season at the North Little Rock Tournament of Champions, but not before winning two games in the two-day event. Cabot opened the tournament on Friday by beating White Hall 5-1, then hammered perennial 2A powerhouse Foreman 14-0 early Saturday. Later that day, the Lady Panthers were shutout in a 4-0 loss to Bald Knob.

Megan Goodnight shined against the Lady Bulldogs on Friday. She went the distance on the mound, giving up just two hits and zero earned runs while striking out five and walking two. At the plate, the southpaw hurler went 1 for 3, including a three-run home run in the bottom of the third that broke a 1-1 tie.

Hannah Montgomery also got to touch them all in the third. Her home run led off the inning and tied the game. Rachel Allgood followed that by drawing a walk. Macee Abbott sacrificed her to second before Lauren McCluskey singled to center to put runners on the corners, setting up Montgomery’s big shot to right field.

Cabot added a run in the bottom of the sixth on back-to-back doubles by Bethany Knowles and Heather Hill.

The Lady Panthers piled up 13 base hits against Foreman, including two more home runs. They scored three runs in the top of the first inning, and then broke the game open with an eight-run second.

Kaitlyn Felder hit a three-run shot in the second inning and Hill drilled a solo shot in the fifth to set the final margin. McCluskey went 3 for 3 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored. Erin Eckert went 2 for 4 with two runs batted in.

Knowles went 2 for 2 with two RBIs and two runs.

Goodnight started on the mound and threw just 10 pitches in one inning of work. McCluskey finished out the mercy rule shortened game, giving up one hit in four innings of work.

Despite the one-hit shutout, no Foreman players struck out. However, only two balls left the infield. Of the 15 outs recorded, there were 13 groundouts, one fly ball to right field and one pop-up to second base.

All the offensive fireworks ceased against Bald Knob. Cabot managed just two base hits while giving up all four runs in the second inning.

The Lady Bulldogs got three singles, one walk, one hit batter and a home run for all the runs they would need in that inning.

After getting knocked around in that second frame, Goodnight gave up just one other hit the rest of the way, and retired the last nine Bald Knob batters in order.

Cabot is set to host the third-annual Beebe/Cabot multi-site tournament on Saturday.