MENA – The Nashville Scrapperettes made a strong run during their division state softball tournament over this weekend, achieving as they have all season.
The team first saw action in the tournament Thursday afternoon against the Gravette Lady Lions in a game that saw early and undeniable dominance by the Nashville team.
Play began with the Scrapperettes jumping out to an initial two run lead as Mattie Jamison came in on a line drive to right field off Brookelyen Cox’s bat, then Bailey Dougan swatted another line drive, this time to center, that brought Alyssa Harrison home.
Gravette was obviously struggling for traction, but made no headway in the first four innings as the Scrapperette fielders made short work of their efforts and simultaneously extended their lead by one in the third as Harrison put a ball on the ground hard to get Madison Miller across the plate, making it Nashville 3-0.
The fifth inning was the definite tipping point of the game, with Nashville bringing Miller in on a line drive to center from Cox, Cox in on Dougan’s line drive to right, KeeKee Richardson making it across the plate from Hannah White’s fly to left, White coming in on Madi Horton’s bunt, and Horton home on an error for an huge five runs. The fifth was also where the Lady Lions decided to start playing ball, and made one run on a popup to set the score Nashville 8-1.
The Lady Lions continued their struggle, making a run each in the next two innings, while the Scrapperettes made a single additional run for the remainder of the game, White coming in on an error. The game concluded Nashville 9-3.
Offensively, the Scrapperettes were very balanced, with batters getting hits in half their plate appearances – Cox and Dougan each managed a pair of RBIs – but the real story, as usual for this season, was in the team’s pitching, with Anna Kesterson getting 80 percent strikes and four strikeouts in her seven innings of pitching.
That win set the Nashville girls to next face the Lady Jackrabbits from Lonoke in a game that was even more lopsided than the previous one.
The game began slowly, with both teams making little headway against competent pitching and tight fielding. That trend was finally broken in the third as Miller made a sacrifice play to bring in Kaylea Carver, then Jamison ran home off a line drive to center by Harrison, Dougan put up another sacrifice fly to get Richardson in, and Cox was brought home on a line drive to center by White to make the score Nashville 4-0.
The Scrapperettes extended that lead by two in the fourth with Kendall Kirchhoff being run in on Jamison’s fly to left and Jamison getting herself across the plate on a passed ball to make it Nashville 6-0.
One run came in on the top of the fifth as Horton hit a line drive to right to bring Dougan in, but then the Lady Jackrabbits came to attention and quickly put in two runs in the bottom of that inning.
That was apparently the Lonoke team’s last effort, and the Scrapperettes spent the next inning pounding in run after run: Cox knocking a line drive to center to bring in both Jamison and Miller, Dougan putting a hard grounder to right to bring Cox in, Olivia Herzog being swept in as Horton homered, and Kirchhoff scoring off a line drive to right from Carver. The game concluded without moving the score further, final Nashville 13-2.
Jamison shined in the batter’s box during the game, racking up three runs, four hits and an RBI in her four at bats, while Kesterson again was outstanding from the mound, striking out ten of Lonoke’s 14 batters.
But every run has its conclusion, and the end of the state tournament for the Scrapperettes came as they crashed up against the Bauxite Lady Miners in a hard fought game that went to extra innings.
Nashville again established their early lead, but only by one as Carver ran in on Bauxite’s sole error of the game in the first.
The teams then settled in to a heated but scoreless struggle for a while, Nashville playing shutdown defense but also unable to capitalize on the advances they made.
Bauxite was able to draw it even in the bottom of the third on the strength of a hard ground ball to left field, but things again went to a state of no motion thereafter.
At the conclusion of seven innings, the score still stood 1-1, sending the game to extra innings.
That extra inning began hard for the Scrapperettes, racking up an out before the first pitch due to offensive interference, and another on a sacrifice play to put them in scoring position – but they were unable to bring their runner in. The Lady Miners had no such issue, getting their runner across the plate after three plays and ending the game Bauxite 2-1.
That concludes the Scrapperette softball season.