Wednesday, April 26, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> CHS ladies no trouble at Conway

Leader sports editor

In the first softball meeting this season between Cabot and Conway, the Lady Panthers committed some early errors and fell behind before rallying for a 5-2 victory.

There was no such trouble in a 10-0 rematch at Conway on Thursday. The Lady Panthers opened the game with a five-spot in the first inning, and went on to a dominant victory in five innings.

The Lady Panthers got 13 base hits and nobody struck out, while pitcher Lauren McCluskey threw a five-hit shutout for the win in the circle.

Cabot’s big first inning started with a one-out double by Bethany Knowles. Grace Neal walked and Hannah Montgomery loaded the bases with a single to right field.

Aubrey Lee then lined a double down the left-field line to score Knowles and Neal and leave two in scoring position.

McCluskey popped up in the infield for the second out, but Riley Hamilton tripled to center field for a 4-0 Cabot lead. She then scored on a passed ball to cap the early rally.

Walthall reached on an error to start the top of the second inning, and scored three batters later on a two-out single by Montgomery.

The score remained 6-0 until the top of the fifth, when four more Cabot runs forced Conway (12-11-1, 5-5) into a mercy-rule situation in the bottom half of the inning.

Hamilton led off the decisive fifth with a double to left field. Anna Beth Duncan singled hit a single to shallow center field that left Hamilton unable to advance.

Leah Gerald hit a hard line drive on the next at-bat, but right to Conway right fielder Brynn Schuetter for the first out. Walthall then singled to left to load the bases.

Knowles flew out to left, leaving the bases still loaded. Neal then walked to make it 7-0, and Montgomery made it a double-digit lead with a bases-clearing double to center field.

Conway needed a run to keep the game going, but didn’t come close. Lindsey Williams hit an infield single with two outs, but Tremere Harris lined to Hamilton at shortstop to end the game without the runner advancing.

Cabot (21-3, 10-1) added an 11-1 nonconference road win over Greene County Tech on Monday.

There was no huge inning in the six-inning affair. Cabot got two in the first inning, three in the third, three in the fourth, one in the fifth and two in the sixth.

Hannah Montgomery and Aubrey Lee each hit home rums and finished with three RBIs. Montgomery went 3 for 4 at the plate while Knowles went 2 for 3 with two RBIs.

McCluskey got the win in the circle, giving up four hits and one earned run with five strikeouts and two walks.

The Lady Panthers will host a huge 7A-Central matchup with league-leading Bryant on Friday. The Lady Hornets own the only conference win over Cabot, a 3-1 decision on April 4 at BHS.