GRAVETTE -- Gravette softball coach Taos Jones couldn't have been more pleased with his team's mettle Tuesday afternoon despite nasty playing conditions.
The Lady Lions (2-0) plated nine runs in the bottom of the third inning en route to a 13-6 win over Rogers Heritage in a nonconference game played in wind gusts of more than 40 mph.
Gravette 13, Roges Heritage 6
Pollock, Fultz (3) Pollock (3) and James; Elmore and Ellis. W-Elmore. L-Pollock. HRs-None.
Gravette broke open a 2-2 game with the big inning to take control, sending 12 batters to the plate to take command.
"I'm super proud of them. They've really stepped up and I couldn't be more happy," Jones said.
Gravette played without sophomore standout Cally Kildow, who is out indefinitely with an injury, Jones said. The Arkansas commit enjoyed a big freshman season, hitting .443 and going 23-7 with 0.53 ERA in the circle.
But the Lady Lions' huge inning was the difference, as they took an 11-2 lead on seven hits and two walks. Jaki Chalk, Keeley Bulza and Lizzy Ellis each drove in two runs in the big inning.
Ellis, a freshman hitting in the nine-hole, came up with a big at-bat with one out in the third. She fouled off a pair of tough 2-2 pitches from Heritage starter Sarah Pollock before lining a single up the middle to score two and push Gravette's lead to 6-2.
"She's really stepped up coming over from basketball and done a good job for us," Jones said. "I'm really happy to have her out here."
Bailey Elmore was also huge in the circle and at the plate. She finished 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. The sophomore picked up the complete game win, too. Elmore allowed six runs (four earned) on 12 hits, while striking out six and walking none.
Jones said losing Kildow is a blow, but the cupboard's not bare.
"Conditions were terrible out here for a pitcher and Bailey just worked her tail off," Jones said. "She's a consistent workhorse for us. I knew having Cally go down with the injury was not a good situation for us to be in, but it's not a bad situation for us to be in either. We've got some kids that can pitch and Bailey proved that tonight."
She had plenty of offensive support, too, as eight of the nine Lady Lions finished with at least one hit and combined for 13.
Heritage coach Tiffany Taylor said the big inning was unquestionably the difference.
"I was a little disappointed in how we played in that inning," Taylor said. "We kinda hung our heads as a team. But we came out of that and we battled. When you look back on it, and if we don't do that, we're still in the ball game."
Allison Fultz went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs to lead Heritage (4-2).
Sports on 03/07/2018
Print Headline: Big inning leads Gravette past Rogers Heritage