If Bentonville coach Kent Early had any concern about his team having a lull following spring break, it ended after three innings.
Early, however, said the week off probably did his players more good because it gave them a change to rest and regroup.
“The break is good for the kids because we use the term ‘grind,’” Early said. “We’ve been grinding since we won the state title. We came right back in the summer, and every one of these varsity kids and some of the JV kids came to the weight room four days a week.
“In the fall, we came in and worked and worked. They needed the break to recover, physically and mentally, and take a break. But some of them took their gloves on vacation.”
The Lady Tigers returned to action and snapped a scoreless tie in the fourth inning, then posted a 4-0 victory over Greenwood. Bentonville (8-0, 3-0) then erupted for 18 runs in the first inning en route to a 27-0 rout of Springdale Har-Ber to resume 7A-West Conference play.
— Henry Apple • @NWAHenry
Bentonville West picked up where it left off in 7A-West Conference play Tuesday as the Lady Wolverines rolled past Springdale High for a 10-0 victory in five innings.
West (10-2, 2-0) banged out 13 hits and scored at least two runs in the second through fifth innings, with Brittany Crowson going 4-for-4 with two RBIs. Emma Wood, meanwhile, threw a one-hitter and pitched to the minimum 15 batters through five innings.
“It took us a little bit, but we fought through some stuff,” West coach Anthony Cantrell said. “We ended up winning, so that’s a good thing.
“I think it was good for us to get a break. We played a lot of games, including five games last Saturday. A week off was good for them, and I’m one of those guys who likes to take a break, then come back and regain that hunger.”
Cantrell said the Lady Wolverines have a big stretch of their schedule in front of them. After games Thursday against Springdale in over the weekend in Van Buren, West has games next week against Rogers Heritage, Van Buren (a rescheduled game from March 14) and Rogers Heritage.
— Henry Apple • @NWAHenry
Fayetteville (3-6, 0-3) have lost five of its last six games after a 9-3 loss against Rogers High on Tuesday.
Positives for the Lady Bulldogs was the team’s first home run this season by Morgan Stratton, a triple by Shalin Charles, a double by Baylee Andrews and a 2-run single by Kapriel Bowen. Also, Abby Richardson pitched two scoreless innings in relief.
Any offense was a positive sign for Fayetteville, which had lost its last three games by a combined score of 41-0.
As a team, Fayetteville is batting .188. Stratton (.333), Emily Lyles (.308) and Charles (.300) are the only players with a batting average above .300.
The Lady Bulldogs will look to get back on track and vie for their first 7A-West win when they host Rogers Heritage at Lady’Dawg Yard at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
Mike Capshaw • @NWACappy
The Lady Red’Dogs will continue their search for win No. 1 this season Thursday after a 10-0 loss to Bentonville West Tuesday.
Springdale’s Zoe Schmidt recorded the team’s lone hit in the loss. West pitcher Emma Wood went five innings, striking out seven without giving up a walk. Braden Meredith pitched four innings for Springdale, giving up 13 hits and 10 runs, though only five were earned thanks to a pair of errors.
Springdale (0-9, 0-3) faces Bentonville High Thursday to cap the week before traveling to Van Buren and hosting Fayetteville next week.
– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie
Bentonville High took it to Har-Ber early and often Tuesday, scoring 18 runs in the top of the first inning on its way to a stunning 27-0 win.
The Lady Tigers touched Har-Ber starter Cearra McPherson for 22 hits and 17 earned runs in win. On the other side, the Lady Wildcats were no-hit my Madison Prough, who struck out four in three innings. Har-Ber committed five errors behind McPherson as well, leading to 10 unearned runs.
Har-Ber (5-6, 1-2) hopes to bounce back Thursday at Bentonville West, who shut out Springdale High, 10-0, before beginning play in the Van Buren Tournament Friday. The Lady Wildcats face Brookland Friday at 5 p.m.
– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie
The Lady Mounties improved to 3-0 in the 7A-West with a solid 9-3 win over Fayetteville on Tuesday.
Lead-off hitter Cassie Gonzalez was one of four Lady Mounties to get two hits, going 2-for-4 with a triple, three RBIs and a run scored. Sarah Hulsey also hit her second home run of the season, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Junior left-hander Sadie Beeman improved to 3-1 in the circle. She allowed three runs on four hits over seven innings, striking out five and walking only one.
Rogers coach Mike Harper was pleased with his team’s performance, coming off a 12-day layoff because of spring break.
“I was proud of the way Sadie pitched the ball, hit her spots pretty well,” Harper said. “She mixed her pitches pretty well and we played good defense behind her. We manufactured some stuffs and got some big hits behind that. I was just proud of our execution. We didn’t miss hardly any signs, just overall really good.
“That makes us 3-0 in conference, which is a good start for us. We’ve got a big tournament this weekend in Van Buren. We get a chance to mix and match some players and get them an opportunity to play. We come back and it’s big week in conference play for us.”
Rogers (4-1) travels to Bentonville and Bentonville West next week in what proves to be early seaosn matchups between the league leaders. But first will compete this wekeend in the River City Rumble in Van Buren.
The Lady War Eagles saw a late-inning lead evaportate in a big inning for the second time in 7A-West Conference play on Tuesday.
Heritage (3-8), 1-2 7A-West) carried a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning at Van Buren, but gave up five runs that resulted in a 5-2 loss. The Lady War Eagles suffered a similar fate two weeks ago, giving up five runs in the top of the seventh in a 9-7 loss to crosstown rival Rogers High.
Heritage coach Tiffany Taylor the problem has been not executing fundamentals.
“We have to catch the ball,” Taylor said. “That’s been our biggest struggle. Not covering a bag on a bunt, dropping a throw at home. We had 10 hits and scored only two runs last night.I think we left runners on base in every inning.
Senior Brittney Dean, the team’s top hitter as a junior, is off to another good start, hitting .442 with a home run and eight RBIs. But junior first baseman Lora Brown is also off to a great start — hitting a team-best .444 with two home runs and eight RBIs.
Taylor likes what she’s seen from Brown, who struggled at the plate some a year ago.
“She’s coming on and we need her to keep coming,” Taylor said. “She’s been a nice surprise, kinda what we hoped for last year.”
Freshman Allyson Fultz has also emerged as another option in the circle, performing well at times early.
The Lady War Eagles are scheduled to play at Fayetteville on Thursday, then travel to a tournament in Conway over the weekend.
— Paul Boyd • @NWAPaulB