Friday, April 07, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Power game lifts Beebe girls over Heber

Leader sports editor

The Lady Badger softball team only out-hit Heber Springs by one, but did a much better job of getting hits with runners on base, as well as extra-base hits in a 7-1 nonconference road victory on Tuesday.

Caelyn Longing and Hannah Gammill each went deep for home runs, while Katlyn Gordon and Molly Poe combined for three doubles.

Beebe’s first two runs came in the first inning, and the rally started when leadoff hitter Nikita Howell reached on an error at first base. Gammill walked and Howell stole third base during Haley Dinapoli’s at-bat. Dinapoli then hit a fly ball to center field to score Howell for a 1-0 lead. Gordon then hit her first of two doubles to drive in Gammill.

After a scoreless second inning, Gammill led off the top of the third with a single to left. Dinapoli sacrificed her to second before Gordon popped up for the second out. Longing then singled to left for Gammill’s second run scored and a 3-0 Lady Badger lead.

The fourth was also scoreless, but the odd innings continued to be kind to Beebe. Gammill led off again, and this time sent a 1-1 pitch over the wall in straightaway center field for a 4-0 lead.

Two batters later, Gordon hit her second double, and Longing followed that with her blast over the fence in center to make it a 6-0 game.

The Lady Panthers (10-6) finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth after a leadoff single and a two-out double.

Beebe (9-9) set the final margin Poe walked, and later scored on a two-out error in right field.

Beebe finished with seven base hits, two each by Gammill, Gordon and Longing, and one by Poe. Longing finished with three RBIs and Gammill scored three runs.

Beebe pitcher Abby Burch went the distance for the win in the circle, turning in a fine performance. She gave up six hits and one earned run on eight strikeouts and zero walks.

On Thursday, the Lady Badgers lost 5-4 to Wynne (8-10) in a 5A/6A East-Central Conference matchup. Dinapoli went 2 for 3 for half of Beebe’s base hits in that loss.

Beebe’s next game is technically a nonconference game, but it will likely determine the No. 1 in the postseason 5A-Central Conference tournament. The Lady Badgers will host Sylvan Hills (11-6) on Monday.