Following a game in which the young Booneville LadyCat softball team made eight fielding errors which led to numerous Acorn runs, coach Ronnie Denton made a number of moves to shake up the defense, and also broke out gold uniforms instead of the purple they had been wearing.
While the errors did go down to three in the game against Cedarville, they all came in a row in the third inning, when the Lady Pirates scored three times without a hit to go ahead 9-0 and eventually win 11-3.
Those three Booneville runs came courtesy of Jessica Parrish. Hitting in bad luck much of the season, the sophomore second baseman is hopefully headed in the right direction as she hit her first career home run in the fourth inning of the Cedarville game.
The LadyCats will be busy in the upcoming week, hosting Waldron for Senior Day on Friday, playing in the rescheduled Magazine tournament on Saturday and going to Ozark for a doubleheader next Tuesday. Oddly enough, the LadyCats have yet to play anyone in the actual 4-4A Conference; they had been scheduled to play Dardanelle last Friday but that game, like so many others this season, fell victim to the weather.
Acorn 20 LadyCats 8
Acorn scored three runs after the first two batters had been retired in the first inning; Tori Barrett had the big blow with an RBI double. The Lady Tigers picked up three more in the second and two in the fourth, but then the dormant LadyCat bats came alive in the fourth. Baylee Moses, Shelby Posey and Bailey Denton all singled in succession; an error on the Posey hit allowed Moses to score. Posey came in on a wild throw from the first baseman who was trying to retire her after Denton reached. Denton went to third on the play and scored on a Callie Smith grounder. Caiden Haller then singled and Keara Ross came on to run for her; she stole a base but the LadyCats could not get her across.
Booneville hauled themselves back into the game in the fifth inning, scoring three more. Beth Wilkinson singled with one out and a bad throw from the Acorn catcher on a pickoff attempt enabled her to go to third. Posey singled her home and after Denton collected her second hit of the game and took second on the throw, Smith picked up two more RBIs with a single.
But the roof fell in on Booneville in the top of the sixth as Acorn sent 18 to the plate and scored 12 times. Mikayla Anderson and Hallie Holland each had two-RBI hits but the real story was that Booneville had four errors in the inning. Of the eight runs Brooklyn Zarlingo allowed in the inning, only one was earned. She was lifted and Carli Haller finished the inning, but not before four more runs scored.
The LadyCats’ offense wasn’t done just yet, though. Carli Haller led off with a single in the bottom of the inning but bad luck ensued as Hannah Gregory scorched one to right that was caught and Haller was doubled off. Zarlingo started things over with a single and Wilkinson then doubled before Moses brought both runners home with her second hit of the day. However, Posey grounded out to end the game.
The top four batters in Booneville’s lineup—Wilkinson, Moses, Posey and Denton—all had two hits and Smith contributed with three RBIs. Though Booneville had 12 hits, Acorn had 17, and 13 of the Lady Tigers’ runs were unearned.
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The LadyCats made several defensive changes with Keara Ross going behind the plate, moving Beth Wilkinson to third. Hannah Gregory took over in left field replacing Bailey Denton who took over at first base. But none of those changes could prevent Cedarville pitcher Lucy Shelly from connecting on a two-run homer. The Lady Pirates subsequently loaded the bases but Brooklyn Zarlingo got out of it with two popouts and an interference call on a Cedarville runner when she obstructed Shelby Posey on a grounder. Beth Wilkinson singled to lead off the LadyCat half of the inning and went to second on an error. She then stole third but Booneville could not get the key hit when needed.
Cedarville added four runs on four hits, a walk and a wild pitch in the second and tallied three more in the third on a walk, two dropped fly balls, a grounder that leaked through and a sacrifice fly. Booneville tried to rally in the fourth when, after one out, Denton singled and Callie Smith, now the designated hitter, followed with a double into the right-center field gap. One out later, Jessica Parrish was first-pitch swinging and connected with a Shelly pitch, driving it over the left-field fence.
However, the Lady Pirates would score two in their half of the fifth on a Haley Baker RBI single and a wild pitch. They threatened in the last two innings but didn’t score and the game ended in bizarre fashion. With one out in the seventh, Hannah Gregory dropped a pop fly just out of the reach of the second baseman. After Brooklyn Zarlingo was retired and with Wilkinson up, Gregory was ruled to not have returned to first base promptly after a pitch and was declared out on the look-off rule. When coach Ronnie Denton tried to get an explanation, he instead was the subject of a post-game ejection. This meant he was not allowed to coach the team in Monday’s game at Waldron.
Parrish, who had been 2-for-24 entering the game, tallied two hits on the day, adding a bloop single to her first career home run. Except for the third inning, the defense behind Brooklyn Zarlingo was solid, and the freshman pitcher tallied four strikeouts on the day. But Shelly struck out seven LadyCats to add to her three-RBI day at the plate.