Bentonville West Bombs Lady Cardinals
FARMINGTON ABSORBS 16-2 LOSS IN TOURNEY CHAMPIONSHIP
— 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.