Friday, April 01, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Jacksonville ladies get sweep at Beebe

Leader sports editor

The Jacksonville Lady Red Devils got their first signature wins of the season on Tuesday, traveling to Beebe and sweeping a doubleheader from the traditionally powerful Lady Badgers – Jacksonville’s first-ever win against Beebe. Scores were 4-3 in game one and 10-2 in the nightcap.

Jacksonville scored the first two runs of game one, but had to come from behind for the win. In the top of the first inning, Bailey Holt hit a one-out single to start a two-run rally. Emily Lovercheck laid down a sacrifice bunt, but a fielding error left everyone safe. Mackenzie Rodgers popped up to shortstop, but another Beebe error off the bat of Kym House led to both runners scoring and giving Jacksonville an early lead.

The Lady Badgers (4-6, 2-2) took the lead after scoring all three of their runs in the bottom of the second.

Shanie Young got the rally started when she was hit by a pitch with one out. Jacksonville’s Kym House struck out the next batter, but an error at second base allowed L.Devore on base and left runners on the corners.

Beebe’s Elizabeth Shellenbarger then doubled to left field to drive in two runs, and Caelyn Longing singled to score Shellenbarger and give the Lady Badgers a 3-2 lead.

That’s how it stayed until the top of the fifth.

Jacksonville (7-2, 4-0) put two runners on base with one out in the third, but Beebe pitcher Faith Rose struck out the next two batters.

In the fifth, Jacksonville leadoff hitter Allison Seats walked with no outs and Holt singled to left field to put runners on the corners. Lovercheck hit a fly ball deep to right to score Seats, tying the game and moving Holt to third. Rodgers then hit a fly ball to left. Holt tagged up and tried to score, but Beebe left fielder, Baylee Halford threw her out at home for the 7-2 double play.

House retired the Lady Badgers in order in the bottom of the fifth, and Jacksonville scored the game-winning run in the top of the sixth.

Senior Kinley Burrows worked Rose to a full count before hitting a leadoff double to start the inning. Brianna Loyd grounded out to second and moved Burrows to third. Zylah Richardson then hit an RBI single to left to drive in the winning run.

Beebe got its leadoff hitter on base in the bottom of the sixth but failed to move her around.

House threw a six-hitter over seven innings for Jacksonville, striking out two, walking none and hitting two batters. Rose gave up 11 hits, striking out three and walking two.

Holt went 4 for 4 at the plate to lead Jacksonville. Burrows went 2 for 4 with two doubles while House and Richardson each got a pair of singles. Shellenbarger and Halford got two hits apiece to lead the Lady Badgers.

Jacksonville never trailed in game two and blew the game open with a six-run third inning. Loyd took the mound for Jacksonville in the nightcap. Playing as the home team, she retired Beebe in order in the top of the first. Jacksonville then scored twice in the bottom half and held the lead for good.

Lovercheck hit a two-out single to start the opening rally. Rodgers walked and House hit a two-RBI double. Payton Mullen then walked and Burrows hit a hard line drive that was caught in right field.

Jacksonville committed four errors in the top of the second, but Beebe managed just one run. Loyd then led off the bottom of the second with a double to left centerfield, and scored on a slap single by Richardson for a 3-1 Lady Devil lead.

Beebe got four base hits off Loyd in the top of the third, but again managed just once run. Jacksonville put it out of reach in the bottom half.

Lovercheck drew a leadoff walk and scored on a double by Rodgers. House then singled and Mullen hit an RBI double to make it 5-2 and leave two runners in scoring position. Burrows then struck out, but Loyd got the rally started again with another double, this one just inches from a home run, bouncing off the top of the fence in left field and scoring two more runs.

Richardson singled to put runners on the corners, and Seats hit a two-RBI double to straightaway center field to make it 9-2.

The game’s final run came in the bottom of the sixth when Burrows and Loyd hit back-to-back doubles.

Beebe had ample opportunities to score, collecting 10 base hits. Loyd also walked three and hit one batter, and the Lady Red Devils committed five errors.

Sydney Smith and Aleighu Porterfield each got two hits to lead the Lady Badgers. Loyd went 3 for 4, all three doubles, drove in three runs and scored twice to lead Jacksonville’s offense. Jacksonville is scheduled to host a one-day tournament at Dupree Park on Saturday, and will a big 5A-Central Conference doubleheader against conference co-leader Sylvan Hills on Tuesday.