Wednesday, April 01, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Beebe goes 2-1 in home games

Leader sportswriter

The Beebe Lady Badger softball team was unable to repeat as champions of the Beebe/Cabot Highway 67 Softball Tournament on Saturday at BHS, but did finish 2-1 in the tournament, with its only loss coming to eventual tournament champion, Benton.

Beebe (7-2) cruised to an easy 10-2 win over Manila in the first round of the tournament, but had a much tougher game in the second round. The Lady Badgers went to extra innings in their second-round game against Atkins.

The score was tied at 2-2 when the game went to extra innings, because the one hour, 20-minute time limit had expired. Beebe, though, put the game away in the seventh inning by scoring seven unanswered runs to beat Atkins, 9-2.

That put the Lady Badgers in the semifinals against Benton (9-1), where the Lady Panthers put an end to Beebe’s reign as the tournament champions, winning that game by the final score of 5-2.

It wasn’t the way the Lady Badgers and head coach Eric Chambers wanted to finish the tournament, but Chambers was pleased overall with the way his team played Saturday.

“We would’ve liked to have won the whole thing, but we got more quality games today than we’ve had all year,” said Chambers. “We played three good teams and I was pretty pleased with our effort. We hit the ball quite a bit today.

“We had some people out of place and out of position due to some kids not here today. So we weren’t playing in the same places we normally play. That being said, we had a chance to beat Benton there. We just had one bad inning. So, overall, it was a good effort.”

Beebe was missing a few players Saturday because of spring break trips. Against Benton, Beebe fell into a 3-0 hole in the first inning, but made it a one-run game with two runs scored in the top of the third.

The Lady Badgers got their first three batters on base to load them up at the start of the inning, but Benton’s Kylea Brimhall, a freshman, took to the circle in relief of Grace Bryant and struck out the first two Beebe batters she faced.

Ellie Reaves then came to the plate and delivered a two-out single up the middle, driving in teammates Calah Hill and Courtney Shepard, which cut Benton’s lead to 3-2.

Benton, though, got out of the inning the next at-bat with a routine pop-up, and added two more runs in the bottom part of the inning to set the final score. Beebe failed to score again its next at-bat in the top of the fourth, which ended the game because the time limit expired.

Brimhall got the win in the circle. She gave up two hits and recorded three strikeouts, and no earned runs because the two Beebe scored were charged to Bryant.

Benton narrowly outhit Beebe, 6-5. Six different Lady Panthers had hits Saturday, while Shepard and Baylee Halford led the Lady Badgers with two hits apiece.

Against Manila, Beebe racked up its 10 runs with one in the first inning, six in the third and three in the fourth. Halford led Beebe at the plate in that game as well, recording three hits – all singles.

Hill, Aleighu Porterfield and Megan Davlin also had multiple hits that game – recording two each. Reaves earned the win in the circle. She gave up only three hits, and recorded 10 strikeouts and no walks.

Against Atkins, Beebe overcame a 2-0 deficit by scoring two runs in the third inning, eventually sending the game to extra innings – where the Lady Badgers blew the game away with their seven runs scored in the seventh.

Six different Lady Badgers had multiple hits that game. Hill, Shepard, Porterfield, Reaves, Sydney Smith and Brittany Dalrymple each had two hits in that game.

Reaves once again earned the win in the circle. She gave up three hits, two walks and recorded 13 strikeouts.

The Lady Badgers played at Jacksonville in a 5A-Central Conference doubleheader last night after deadlines, and they’ll play again tomorrow at home in a nonconference game against Class 4A Brookland. Tomorrow’s game is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.