Tuesday, March 15, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> JHS ladies beat Pioneers

Leader sports editor

Catcher Allison Seats scored the game’s first run and then drove in the next three to help lead the Jacksonville Lady Red Devils to a 6-1 road victory over Batesville on Monday in Independence County. The game was originally scheduled for Dupree Park in Jacksonville, but weekend weather made the home field unplayable. Jacksonville showed no negative signs of traveling in beating the traditional 5A-East power.

“From top to bottom we had a solid hitting lineup,” said Jacksonville coach Hank Hawk. “The effort overall was very good throughout the whole lineup.”

Seats drew a leadoff walk to start the game in the top of the first inning, and Batesville’s pitching didn’t improve much from there. Zylah Richardson followed with another walk before Kinley Burrows sacrificed the runners into scoring position. Mackenzie Rodgers then walked to load the bases and Kym House hit a sac fly to right field to score Seats.

Conversely, House took the circle for JHS in the bottom of the first inning and struck out the first batter she faced. She then got two pop ups to set the Lady Pioneers down in order.

A pitch hit Jacksonville’s Brianna Loyd with one out in the second tostart a four-run rally. Emily Lovercheck got the game’s first base hit with a single to left field, bringing Seats back to the plate. She fell behind 0-2 in the count before stroking a three-run home run over the fence in left field to put the Lady Red Devils up 4-0.

Richardson followed with a single and stole second base. She moved to third on a passed ball and scored on an RBI groundout by Burrows.

Rodgers and House got two-out singles to follow, but the rally ended with a deep fly ball out to center field by Payton Mullen.

After a scoreless third, Batesville got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning on two base hits, a single by Destiny Keister and an RBI double by Ashley Gould.

Jacksonville (3-1) added the final run in the top of the sixth. Loyd hit a leadoff single to center field, and advanced to second with an error at the same position. She moved to third on a groundout to second base by Lovercheck, and scored on a groundout to the same spot by Seats.

Seats went 2 for 3 with a home run, a walk and four runs batted in. House went 2 for 4 and Jacksonville compiled nine base hits.

House blew through the Batesville lineup. After one strikeout in the first, she fanned two in the second and the side in order in the third. She finished with a four-hitter that included 10 strikeouts and zero walks.

Jacksonville hosted its conference opener yesterday with a doubleheader against J.A. Fair, and will host Maumelle on Thursday in a nonconference matchup.