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SOFTBALL: Bentonville downs Rogers 9-1 to claim 6A-West championship

by Paul Boyd | April 28, 2023 at 1:00 a.m.
Bentonville’s Trista Peterson is congratulated by teammates after a home run during Thursday’’s 9-1 win over host Rogers. (Special to NWA Democrat-Gazette/Brent Soule)

ROGERS -- Bentonville clinched the 6A-West Conference softball title with a 9-1 victory over Rogers on Thursday afternoon.

The Lady Tigers scored all the runs they would need in the first inning, scoring two, but took control with four in the fourth and cruised to the win.

Trista Peterson hit a two-run homer and Sara Watson added a two-run double for Bentonville (26-1, 14-0 6A-West), which notched its 24th consecutive victory.

Bentonville, the two-time defending state champions, banged out 13 hits as a team. Watson, Peterson, Tallulah Pascucci and Demi Donahoe had two hits each for the Lady Tigers, who defeated Rogers 10-0 in the first game of the season on March 9.

Bentonville coach Kent Early said he felt like this group had a shot at winning a conference title heading into the season with eight seniors. He also said getting two-out hits is another key, which they did.

"We've got a lot of competitors," Early said. "They've been in big games before and so we've got experience on our side. Our bigs stepped up. They were big today. And that's what you've got to have. Your key players have got to step up. I thought they battled and did a heckuva job.

"One of our goals we talked about preseason. Good teams that win games especially close games, I know the score was a little lopsided, but you've got to have two-strike hits and you've got to have two-out hits and we were able to to that. If you win conference, it's huge because it means all year long you were better than everybody, not just one weekend. State tournament is one weekend. We've still got two conference games to go and this is a big one for them and they're excited, but they're still looking ahead."

Early said his group will continue to push forward with the state tournament on the horizon in Bryant in two weeks.

"We're going to keep improving and trying to get better," Early said. "We've got another goal in mind and we want to see if we can go all the way with it."

Lauryn Heinle went 2-for-3 to lead the Lady Mounties (23-4, 10-3), who fell back into a tie with Springdale Har-Ber for the No. 2 seed in the 6A-West.

Ryann Sanders picked up the win in the circle for Bentonville. She pitched four scoreless innings on three hits, while striking out five and walking none. Kasey Wood threw the final three innings, allowing a run on four hits. She struck out two and did not walk a batter.

Ava Johnson, who pitched five innings and took the loss in the circle, drove in the Lady Mounties' lone run in the sixth.

Springdale Har-Ber 13, Rogers Heritage 0

Anniston Reith dominated in the circle and at the dish to lead the Lady Wildcats to a 6A-West win Thursday.

In the circle, the sophomore right-hander allowed just one hit and struck out eight. At the plate, Reith homered twice and drove in four runs as Har-Ber (13-5, 11-3 6A-West) pulled back into a tie with Rogers for the No. 2 seed in the conference heading into the final week of the regular season.

Maddison Pratt was 3-for-4 with a double for Har-Ber.

Bentonville West 5, FS Southside 4

Olivia Thornton blasted a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning to lift the Lady Wolverines to a one-run victory on the road Thursday.

The game was tied at 4-4 after West (14-11, 8-5) rallied for three runs in the top of the fourth inning.

Emma Wheatley also homered for West, and Payeton Dilday was 4-for-4 with a double.

Olivia Washington was 2-for-3 for Southside (8-17, 3-10) and Reese Robinson was 2-for-4.

4A-1 Tournament

Gravette 14, Gentry 4

The Lady Lions trailed through four innings, but took over the game with 11 runs in the final two to claim a run-rule win in the semifinals Thursday.

Gravette (16-3), the No. 1 seed in the tournament, pounded 18 hits in the win. Laney Chilton led the way with two home runs and five RBI. Brynn Romine was 4-for-5 for the Lady Lions.

Brooke Handle earned the win in relief, going the final 2.2 innings and allowing just three hits with three strikeouts.

Pea Ridge 7, Farmington 3 (8)

The Lady Blackhawks scored four runs in the top of the eighth inning to advance to the championship game.

Pea Ridge trailed 3-1 entering the top of the seventh, but a two-run single by Emory Bowlin tied the game at 3-3.

In the eighth, Pea Ridge struck for four runs, three coming home on a bases-loaded double by Callie Cooper.

Bowlin earned the win in the circle with 10 strikeouts and allowed just five hits. Kamryn Uher took the loss for Farmington.

3A-4 Tournament

Booneville 11, Charleston 1

Lexi Franklin mowed down the Charleston Lady Tigers on a one-hitter with 12 strikeouts.

Cameron Parrish was 2-for-4 with three RBI and Karmen Kent was 2-for-3 with three RBIs for Booneville (14-11).

The Lady Cats will advance to take on No. 1 seed Hackett today at 2:30 p.m.

Print Headline: Bentonville clinches 6A-West softball title


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