Bauxite bests Nashville, will face De Queen in finals
MAGNOLIA – After coming back from a 7-run deficit to outslug the Monticello Lady Billies 15-13 in the first round of the 4A South Regional, the Bauxite Lady Miners played a pitching duel with 7-4A Conference rival Nashville Scrapperettes in Sunday’s South semifinal. Coming up empty vs. the Scrapperettes twice earlier this season, the Lady Miners topped Nashville 3-2 in eight innings Sunday to make today’s regional championship game vs. the De Queen Lady Leopards. First pitch is 6 p.m. in Magnolia.
The Lady Miners (18-9) turned to junior pitcher
Ruby Hause in Sunday’s win. After giving up Nashville’s only two runs of the game in the bottom of the first to trail 2-1, Hause would blank the Scrapperettes the rest of the way, giving up two runs on 10 hits and three walks in eight innings of work.
“She did an outstanding job of keeping them off-balance and staying cool in the circle,” Bauxite Coach Sara Tew said. “She went eight innings and our defense made some outstanding plays behind her. I’m really happy with the way we are playing right now.”
Tied 2-2 after regulation, Bauxite senior Ashley Redmon started at second per extra-inning rules, was sacrifice bunted to third base by junior Bree Hardin and freshman Riley Larkin grounded out before junior Kaia Thornton singled to right field to plate Redmon for the eventual winning run.
The Scrapperettes would load the bases in the bottom of the eighth before Hause induced a fly out to centerfielder Thornton for the final out.
The Lady Miners would get the first three runners on in the top of the first inning when senior leadoff Taylor Sledd singled, senior Destiny Mcclain singled and Redmon walked to load the bases. After a strikeout and fly out, Sledd would score on a passed ball for the 1-0 lead.
Nashville responded with an RBI ground out and RBI single to take a
2-1 lead, but Bauxite came back with a run in the top of the second when freshman Haley Howard singled and Sledd doubled with one out before Mcclain’s sac fly plated Howard for the 2-2 tie, which it remained until Thornton’s eventual gamewinner in the eighth.
The Lady Miners were outhit 10-9, but Hause limited the damage done. Mcclain, Thornton and Howard all went 2 for 3, while Sledd was 2 for 4. Hause also added a hit in the win with a 1-for-3 day.
Harmony Grove’s Shanna Shoptaw smacks a ball during a recent game. On Sunday, the Lady Cardinals earned the No. 2 seed in this week’s 3A state tournament at Harrison after slipping to Baptist Prep 7-4. Shoptaw collected Harmony Grove’s only RBI of the day.
Bauxite junior Kaia Thornton lines up to catch a ball in a game earlier this season. Thornton would have the game-winning hit and caught the final out of a 3-2 extra-inning win over Nashville in the semifinals of the 4A South Regional Sunday in Magnolia.