Ben­tonville West Bombs Lady Car­di­nals


Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Mark Humphrey

— There were ma­jor dif­fer­ences from years past, yet one thing re­mained un­changed — the high level of com­pe­ti­tion at the Farm­ing­ton In­vi­ta­tional soft­ball tournament.

Ben­tonville West knocked off tournament host Farm­ing­ton, 16-2, to win the cham­pi­onship tro­phy cap­ping a whirl­wind of 20 games played over a 28 hour pe­riod fea­tur­ing 12 teams, three fields and lots of tra­di­tion.

“First and fore­most I’m so proud of our booster club, our play­ers and vol­un­teers for putting on a tremen­dous tournament,” said Farm­ing­ton coach Randy Osnes. “I’m proud of our games against Mena and Con­way.”

In years past, Fayet­teville played co-host with games split be­tween Farm­ing­ton’s home field and Lady Dawg Park in Fayet­teville. This year all games were played in Farm­ing­ton us­ing the Lady Car­di­nals’ high school field and two soft­ball fields at the City of Farm­ing­ton’s ball­fields com­plex on South­winds Road.

An­other dis­tinc­tion for 2018 was the elim­i­na­tion of the back door road into the tournament cham­pi­onship which re­quired teams bat­tling their way back through the loser’s bracket to play a marathon of games fre­quently back-to­back as long as they kept win­ning.

The Lady Wolver­ines took com­mand with six runs in the top of the third in­ning after the first two bat­ters got out. Four con­sec­u­tive sin­gles by Syd­ney Sneed, Brit­tany Crow­son, Alyssa Cordell and Jazmine Dodd re­sulted in a pair of runs. Hal­lie Wa­caser’s dou­ble into cen­ter field plated two more. Hon­estly Holt reached on an er­ror with an­other run scor­ing. Ryen Rassi’s sin­gle RBI capped the 6-run scor­ing out­burst putting West in front, 10-0.

“We swung it pretty well tonight,” said West coach An­thony Cantrell. “It (a 70-minute time limit on each game) worked out for us. We scored a bunch of runs. We woke up at the right time. I’m proud of our kids.”

Farm­ing­ton’s Eliana Marano turned a sin­gle into a dou­ble on a throw­ing er­ror. Then Car­ley An­twine blasted a 2-run homer to get the Lady Car­di­nals on the score­board, but West an­swered with Sneed’s solo homer and Holt’s RBI dou­ble when the ball bounced off a base run­ner slid­ing into sec­ond.

West be­gan the fifth in­ning with four straight sin­gles, scor­ing on Cordell’s RBI blast into right field. With the bases loaded Dodd’s sac­ri­fice fly drove in an­other run. Wa­caser and Holt sin­gled to drive in the fi­nal two runs for West.

Emma Wood (5 in­nings pitched, 2 runs, 4 hits, 6 strike-outs, no walks) recorded the win for West.

“We pitched it re­ally well,” Cantrell said. “Emma Wood pitched re­ally well.”

Osnes was far from sat­is­fied with the lop­sided con­test.

“Six­teen hits is what we gave up,” Osnes said. “What I’m not proud of is our five er­rors and 16 hits we gave up and us only get­ting four hits when we had done so well pre­vi­ously.”

In Farm­ing­ton’s 11-6 loss to West on March 8, the Lady Car­di­nals pro­duced 10 hits and drove in 5 runs.

“That tells me they ad­justed to our hit­ting and we weren’t up for the chal­lenge,” Osnes said. “I guar­an­tee you it won’t stay that way.”


Farm­ing­ton se­nior Car­ley An­twine rounds third base after blast­ing a 2-run homer out of the ball­park dur­ing the Lady Car­di­nals’ 16-2 loss to Ben­tonville West in the cham­pi­onship game of the Farm­ing­ton In­vi­ta­tional Soft­ball tournament Satur­day.

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