Friday, April 17, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Lady Bears beat North Pulaski

Leader sports editor

The Sylvan Hills softball team found itself in a pair of close games against North Pulaski on Tuesday, but one big inning in each led to wins of 12-1 and 10-4 at Dupree Park.

Sylvan Hills scored twice in the top of the second inning for a 2-0 lead, but found itself leading just 2-1 when it came to bat in the fifth. That’s when the Lady Bears exploded for eight runs to take command of the doubleheader opener.

“These were good wins for us,” said Sylvan Hills coach Mark Anderson. “North Pulaski is not a team you can take lightly. So we’ve taken care of them and Jacksonville, now we have a big one with Beebe coming up at the end of this month and that’ll be for the conference championship. We’ve put ourselves in good position to repeat again but it’s going to be tough.”

North Pulaski committed three of its five errors in the fifth, and Sylvan Hills had five base hits in the inning.

It started when Taylor Yeoman was hit by a pitch with one out. Lynlee Broadway singled to left field. Maddison Shelton laid down a sacrifice bunt that was fielded by pitcher Payton Mullen, but Mullen’s throw was wild, allowing Yeoman to score and leaving Broadway and Shelton in scoring position. Tristen Goodson then singled to score one run and Cara Pozza walked to load the bases.

Callie Cavender then singled to score Shelton, and Storm Ellis doubled to center field to drive in Goodson and Pozza. Doma’Nique Hunt made it consecutive two-RBI doubles to end the rally with the Lady Bears leading 10-1.

Sylvan Hills scored two more in the top of the sixth on a walk by Goodson, singles by Pozza and Hunt and a double by Cavender.

North Pulaski failed to score in the bottom of the sixth, ending the game on the 10-runs-after-five-innings mercy rule.

Sylvan Hills scored two in the top of the second when Mullen briefly struggled with control. She walked two batters before giving up base hits to Ellis and Hunt.

Mullen later scored North Pulaski’s only run after leading off the fourth inning with a hard ground ball to center field. She advanced to second on a single by Bailey Holt and scored on a base hit to right field by Raigen Thomas.

Sylvan Hills doubled North Pulaski’s hit total of six. Ellis and Hunt each went 3 for 5 with one double. Ellis tallied four RBIs while Hunt drove in three. Cavender went 3 for 3 with two RBIs and Broadway also went 2 for 4 for the Lady Bears.

Allison Seats led the Lady Falcons, going 2 for 3 at the plate.

Cavender went the distance on the mound, giving up one earned run while striking out five and walking one.

Ellis’ and Hunt’s bats stayed hot in game two. Hunt went 2 for 3 with two more RBIs while Ellis went 2 for 4 in game two. Madison Phillips and Goodson also got two base hits in the nightcap.

Sylvan Hills (9-4, 8-0) briefly took control with four runs in the bottom of the second inning, but North Pulaski came back with three in the top of the third.

“I thought we lost focus in that inning after we took that lead,” Anderson said. “I was a little disappointed in that. We’ve got to do better. We were able to bounce back but that’s the kind of thing that can come back and bite you if you keep letting that happen.”

The Lady Falcons got just one base hit in the inning, but a walk and two errors led to the three unearned runs.

North Pulaski’s Neiagha Thomas got two of the Lady Falcons’ three base hits and scored two of the runs.

Broadway threw all seven innings for Sylvan Hills, giving up one earned run on four strikeouts and two walks.