Spellings lives out college dream, signs with OBU
Going from humble beginnings to a state championship contender in just five seasons, Lakeside’s wrestling program has staked its claim as one of the best in Arkansas.
Senior Judson Spellings gave the Rams another accomplishment on Monday, becoming the first Lakeside wrestler to sign a national letter of intent when he inked a commitment with Ouachita Baptist University.
“This is just a stepping stone,” Spellings said. “When I first started wrestling, it was the second year that we had the program, and we were not doing that well at state. We climbed up the ladder, and this year we got second (in Class 1A-5A), and we had four guys in the state championship match.
“It’s not going to be just me. I was lucky enough and blessed to be the first, but there’s going to be more.”
The Tigers followed the series win with two wins over second-place Arkansas Tech (33-12, 24-9) in games held at Central Arkansas in Conway to improve to 9-4. They were 6-18 in their next 24 games before the weekend tilt against Northwestern.
It was the first time this decade Ouachita achieved a four-game shutout sweep of an opponent. It was also Ouachita’s first four-game sweep of a conference opponent since March 2013.
Senior center fielder Kelly Powell reached base on an error to begin the bottom half of the first inning in Butler’s perfect game. Senior first baseman Gabby Gonzalez later bunted Powell home to put the Tigers on the board.
Senior left fielder Paige Purifoy helped add to the score in the bottom of the fourth. Her single to left field scored freshman right fielder Tobi Finley from second base.
Powell hit a bases clearing double with two outs in the sixth inning to give Butler a 5-0 cushion to start the seventh.
Ouachita scored its only run of the final game of the series on Sunday in the first inning. Powell doubled to right field to lead off the bottom half of the first. Senior catcher Sarah Johnson drove in Powell with a single to right field.
The Tigers did not score until the third inning of Butler’s no-hitter in the series opener on Saturday. Senior shortstop Madison Crosby opened the bottom half of the frame with a single to right field. Powell singled down the left line before freshman Sloane Precure hit an RBI single into left field.
Butler’s perfect game ended with an error in the fourth inning.
Gonzalez hit an RBI double to center field in the sixth inning for the Tigers’ second run of the game. Butler sent the Rangers down in order in the seventh to complete the no-hit bid.
Ouachita’s offense came alive in Saturday’s nightcap. The team finished with 14 hits in the game.
Purifoy, Precure and Johnson all picked up RBIs in the bottom of the second inning as the Tigers pounced out to a 4-0 lead. Johnson struck again in the fourth inning with a two-run home run into the trees beyond the left field wall. Powell picked up another RBI in the fifth inning to give Ouachita a 7-0 lead.
The Rangers threatened in multiple innings, but the Tigers pitching staff was able to prevent the runners from scoring.
Ouachita will have a short turnaround as the Tigers are scheduled to face rival Henderson State (26-19, 18-16) tonight in two games at Sully Anderson Field. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.
TIGER TOUGH: Lakeside senior Judson Spellings, seated third from left, signs a national letter of intent to wrestle for Ouachita Baptist University Monday at Lakeside High School. With Spellings, from left, in front are his father Jason Powell, his brother Trace Powell and his mother Keri Powell, and back, from left, assistant coach Tony Bradley, assistant coach Nick Ballard, his grandmother Phyllis Spellings, head coach H.E. Burchard and Lakeside High School Principal Darin Landry.