Bentonville wants to break a trend Thursday — in a good way.
The Lady Tigers (25-1 overall, 12-1 7A-West) have won four conference championships since 2010, and they have achieved each title in even-numbered years. Bentonville can change that trend with a win at Bentonville West.
“That’s what we are going for,” Bentonville coach Kent Early said. “It was one of the goals we had before the season started because we’ve never had a repeat conference champion before. It would be a nice reward for these girls after all the work they’ve done.”
Bentonville already has a share of the conference crown after a 15-0 victory Tuesday over Rogers Heritage, but the Lady Tigers want it outright. Bentonville also needs a win to secure the conference’s top seed for the Class 7A state tournament.
“That’s our mindset,” Early said. “We want to win this last game. They say it’s harder to hard on top than to get on top, and this will be another challenge for the girls.
— Henry Apple • @NWAHenry
The Lady Wolverines are in search of at least one more victory before the regular season is over.
West (20-10, 8-4) needs another win to clinch the 7A-West Conference’s third seed in the Class 7A state tournament next week in Fayetteville. Both remaining games will be played at the Wolverine Athletic Complex.
The only problem is the games are against league-leading Bentonville and Van Buren, which is also battling for the same seed as the Lady Wolverines.
“If we can win just one more game, then we get that third seed,” West coach Anthony Cantrell said. “But if we lose both games, we may fall all the way down to fifth.
“And we’re playing some really good teams. We just have to play well enough to give ourselves an opportunity, so we’ll see what we can do. They have been a resilient team all year, even though we’ve faced some trials. We could have laid down earlier in the season.”
— Henry Apple • @NWAHenry
Narrow losses this week against Springdale Har-Ber and Springdale High this week eliminated Fayetteville from postseason play.
Only the top six teams from the 7A-West qualify for the state tournament and the Lady Purple’Dogs are three games behind sixth-place Har-Ber after the Lady Wildcats defeated Fayetteville 7-5 on Monday and the Lady Red’Dogs won 16-15 in eight innings on Tuesday.
Fayetteville (6-18, 1-12) can play the role of spoiler when it wraps up the season at Van Buren on Thursday. The Lady Pointers are tied for fourth-place with Rogers Heritage and a loss could knock them down to the No. 5 seed. The Lady Purple’Dogs lost 18-5 against Van Buren at home on April 11.
— Mike Capshaw • @NWACappy
The Lady Wildcats, following their 7-5 win against Fayetteville on Monday, wrapped up a state tournament berth. Har-Ber will be the conference’s sixth seed when tournament play begins next week.
Har-Ber will close out the regular season Thursday against Rogers Heritage, who knocked off the Lady Wildcats, 7-3, in their first meeting on April 11.
Honesty Holt led the way for Har-Ber in its win against Fayetteville. Holt, in the second inning, belted a grand slam, giving the Lady Wildcats a 6-0 lead at the time. Holt then tallied Har-Ber’s final run of the day, scoring on an error by Fayetteville’s shortstop.
Tuesday’s game vs. Van Buren didn’t go as well as the Lady Pointers dropped Har-Ber, 13-2. Van Buren out-hit Har-Ber 17-4 and the Lady Wildcats committed three errors in the loss. Har-Ber pitchers also surrendered three home runs.
As the six seed in the 7A-West, Har-Ber will face the 7A-Central three seed, which is likely to be either Cabot – a 20+ win team – or North Little Rock, which is allowing three runs per game in conference.
– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie
For the first time in conference play and just the second time all season, Springdale came out on top. The Lady Red’Dogs edged Fayetteville Tuesday, 16-15, in a dramatic eight innings.
Four players recorded four hits for Springdale, who, as a team, finished the day with a season-high 22. Braden Meredith was 4-for-6 and highlighted her big day with a three-run homer. Meredith also came up big for Springdale on the mound.
After starter Zoe Schmidt was pulled with one out in the first inning, Meredith entered and proceeded to pitch the rest of the day, striking out a pair while giving up eight hits and seven walks. Springdale trailed 9-2 after three innings, but rallied for 14 runs over the final five innings to secure the win.
Breanna Hornback, Maycee Trolinger and Bethany Counts joined Meredith with four hits on the day. Whitnee Patterson finished 2-for-4 and Schmidt 2-for-5. Mackenzie Wright and Ashley Bradley also tallied a hit.
The Lady Red’Dogs will close out their season Thursday at home against Rogers.
– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie
The Lady Mounties (15-6, 11-2 7A-West) secured the No. 2 seed in next week’s Class 7A state tournament in exciting fashion Tuesday evening at Veterans Park.<br><br>
Sarah Hulsey hit the first pitch she saw in the to bottom of the seventh inning out of the park to snap a 5-5 tie and celebrate senior night in style with a 6-5 Rogers win over Bentonville West.<br><br>
Hulsey finished 2-for-4 and drove in two runs, but she had plenty of help. Allyn Hensley went 2-for-3 and drove in three, while lead-off hitter Cassie Gonzalez went 3-for-4 and scored twice.<br><br>
Rogers closes the regular season on Thursday against Springdale High. <br><br>
The Lady War Eagles (12-13, 7-6 7A-West) picked up a big come-from-behind win this week against Van Buren.<br><br>
Heritage scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning capped by senior Sarah Pollock’s RBI-single with two outs to give her team the win. The Lady War Eagles have clinched a spot in next week’s state tournament, but Thursday’s game against Springdale Har-Ber is key for seeding.<br><br>
Pollock, Lora Brown and Brittney Dean had two hits each in Heritage’s win over Van Buren. Brown’s two-run double in the seventh tied the game.
— Paul Boyd • @NWAPaulB