LADY CARDS SUFFER FIRST LOSSES OF SEASON
Farmington’s softball team opened the Farmington/Fayetteville Tournament with a 6-5 victory against Pottsville on March 18.
But losses against Fort Smith Southside and Pottsville the following day knocked the Lady Cardinals (6-2) out of the double-elimination tournament.
“It was a tough day,” said Farmington coach Randy Osnes. “We didn’t compete very well when we played Southside.”
Led by Andee Tiffee, Southside defeated Pottsville in the championship game. Tiffee, a left-hander, struck out 12 while allowing one-hit in four innings against Pottsville. That completed a three-day span in which Tiffee struck out 60 batters in 25 innings.
Despite only four of Tiffee’s strikeouts coming against Farmington, Osnes was not pleased with his team’s approach at the plate during the 4-1 loss.
“Fundamental flaws in our swings,” Osnes said. “We will work on that over spring break and be ready to go when we play Greenbrier [on March 29] after we get back from spring break.”
Later that day, Osnes said he liked the way his players competed during an 8-7 loss against the Lady Apaches, a team that put up 38 runs in four wins to reach the title game.
The Lady Cards trailed 6-1 before rallying to send the game into extra innings. They scored three runs in the fifth to tie the score at 5-all and added two more runs in the sixth after the game had passed the 70-minute time limit that was in place during the tournament.
But Pottsville answered with three runs of its own in the bottom of the sixth to create the final margin and eliminate Farmington.
Bethany McKnight was 3 for 3 with a walk while Alyssa Reed was 2 for 3 with three runs scored. Callie Harper also had two hits for Farmington.
“I think we changed a little bit there [against Pottsville],” Osnes said. “I think we had some opportunities to score some more runs, but we left way too many folks (11 total) on base.
“Of course, they hit it well, their kid pitched a good game against us and they are extremely well coached. We just didn’t take advantage of some opportunities.”
The Lady Cards took advantage of their opportunities better to send Pottsville to the loser’s bracket a day earlier as senior Bethany McKnight executed a suicide squeeze play to push across the winning run in the sixth inning.
Farmington trailed 5-4 heading into the bottom of the sixth after Pottsville (2-3) took the lead with a run in the top of the inning. The International tiebreaker rule was in effect, meaning each team began the sixth with a runner on second base.
The Cardinals were able to score two runs after Harper singled to lead off the sixth, setting up McKnight’s squeeze bunt that scored Harper from third to win it.
Harper, a junior first baseman, smashed a solo homer to put Farmington on the board in the second inning.