Tuesday, April 11, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot girls defeat FSN, fall at home to Mounties

Leader sports editor

The Cabot softball team got an easy win on Friday, but suffered its third loss of the season, and second of the week, on Friday when it fell 5-0 to Rogers in a nonconference home game on Saturday.

On Friday, Cabot scored all of its runs in the first three innings to beat Fort Smith Northside 12-0 in five. Hannah Montgomery got the win in the circle, hit a home run and drove in half the Lady Panthers’ runs against the Lady Bears.

The scoring started in the bottom of the first inning a Rylie Hamilton walk was followed with back-to-back doubles by Grace Neal and Montgomery.

Kaitlyn Campbell opened up the bottom of a five-run second inning with a leadoff triple. She scored on a sacrifice fly by Anna Beth Duncan. Leah Gerald hit a hard line drive that went right to second base for the second out, but Cabot started a two-out rally after that.

Riley Walthall singled to third base before Hamilton doubled down the left-field line to make it 4-0. Neal walked to put two runners on base, and Montgomery smashed a home run over the fence in straightaway center field to make it 7-0.

Northside got its second base hit of the game in the top of the third, but couldn’t advance the runner beyond first base. Cabot then opened the bottom of the third with three-straight singles by Duncan, Gerald and Wathall that loaded the bases.

Hamilton then fouled off five pitches in battling back from a 0-2 hole to draw an RBI walk. Neal doubled to center field to drive in two runs and make the score 10-0.

Montgomery’s sac fly scored Hamilton, and a single by Lauren McCluskey scored Neal to set the final margin.

Northside (3-7, 1-5) got a one-out base hit in the top of the fourth, but Montgomery forced a double-play ball on the next at-bat. The Lady Bears got a pair of two-out singles in the fifth, but an infield pop-up ended the game.

Montgomery went 2 for 3 with six RBIs. Neal went 2 for 2 at the plate with a walk, three runs scored and two RBIs. Hamilton went 1 for 1 with twowalks, three runs and two RBIs.

McCluskey went 2 for 3 with one RBI.

Montgomery gave up five base hits in five innings of work for the win. She neither struck out nor walked anyone, and the Cabot defense committed no errors.

On Saturday, the Lady Panthers (14-3, 5-1) gave up three unearned runs while the bats were silent. Rogers pitcher Sadie Beeman threw a complete-game two-hitter with three strikeouts and one walk. The Lady Mounties scored two runs with two outs in the top of the first, and then three more in the sixth.

In the first inning with one runner on base, Faith Edwards hit an RBI double. Sarah Hulsey followed that with a single for the sudden 2-0 lead. Hulsey tried to move into scoring position on the next pitch, but was thrown out by catcher Tracy Hanson.

The Lady Panthers went down in order in the bottom of the first, but Montgomery hit a leadoff double to start the second frame. She never advanced. Aubrey Lee struck out, McCluskey popped up back to the mound, and Hamilton flew out to right field to end the threat.

Neal drew a one-out walk in the fourth, but never advanced, and Cabot did not have another base runner until the seventh inning.

Meanwhile, Rogers took advantage of a two-out error in the top of the sixth to post three more runs. The mishandled grounder to third led directly to one run scoring. Rogers (9-5, 5-1) then got two more base hits to drive in the final two runs of the game.

Neal hit a leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh before Montgomery popped up to shortstop. Lee then reached on an error at third that left runners safe at first and second. McCluskey lined out back to the mound, and Beeman quickly relayed to first for the game-ending double play.