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Lady Bulldogs hanging tough in league standings

By Richard White
The Greenwood Lady Bulldogs softball team remains in the hunt for a conference title and a high seeding in the 6A state tournament coming up in May. Their recent win over Fort Smith Southside has only enhanced their chances of moving up in the league standings. They are currently third in the 7A/6A Central and second in the 6A East standings that will determine their post-season seeding.

Head coach Ronnie Sockey has his girls playing well, despite having no seniors on the team roster, and the future looks bright indeed for GHS softball. And despite a recent slump, the Lady Bulldogs are still 16-9 overall. This past Monday’s non-conference game at Waldron was rained out.

GHS pitcher Kelsey Knox (21)

GHS pitcher Kelsey Knox (21) winds and fires a pitch homeward in this recent softball action. Largely due to strong pitching, the Lady Bulldogs are playing well this season and have high hopes of making some noise in the post-season. They are third overall in the 7A/6A Central conference standings and second in the 6A East standings. (Photo courtesy of thegreenwooddogpound.com)

 

Fort Smith Southside

Last Thursday the GHS girls hosted Fort Smith Southside and earned a 3-2 victory behind the strong pitching effort of Victoria Taylor, who worked all seven innings, giving up just four hits in the game.

Scoreless after three frames, Southside managed to plate a run in the top of the fourth, but Greenwood countered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Both teams scored solo runs in the sixth, and Taylor made Greenwood’s one-run margin stand up by holding the visitors scoreless in the seventh.

The Lady Bulldogs had seven hits in the game, including two each by freshman Sydney Parker and junior Abbey Lejong. Parker also added a pair of RBIs for Greenwood.

 

At Rogers

It was a different story five days earlier on Saturday, April 12th, at Rogers as the two teams combined for 17 runs in a 9-8 loss for the Lady Bulldogs. Greenwood scored twice in the top of the first, but Rogers responded with five unanswered runs to lead 5-2 after five innings.

Four GHS runs in the top of the sixth and another in the seventh gave Greenwood the lead temporarily, but the home team scored twice in the seventh to tie the game at 7-7. After the Lady Bulldogs added another run in the top of the eighth, Rogers scored twice in the bottom half of the frame for the victory.

Both teams had 10 hits in the game, but Greenwood committed four errors. Sydney Henson had three hits for the Lady Bulldogs, while Devyn Gregory and Phoebe Ulmer had two RBIs each. Kelsey Knox started for Greenwood and pitched into the seventh inning before being relieved by Madi Pfeifer, who took the loss.

 

Rogers Heritage

Earlier that same day the GHS girls survived another high-scoring battle with Rogers Heritage, winning the game 7-5, holding off a late Heritage rally. Greenwood scored all of its runs in the second and third innings. They led 5-1 after two frames and 7-1 until Heritage scored a single run in the fifth. Three more runs in the bottom of the seventh made the game close as the two teams combined for 25 hits.

Sydney Parker had three hits to lead Greenwood, also driving home three runs. Mikayleigh Davis also had two runs batted in for the Lady Bulldogs. Victoria Taylor started the game and pitched all seven innings for the victory.

 

At Conway

The day before, on Friday, April 11th, the Lady Bulldogs motored down I-40 to Conway, only to lose to the Lady Wampus Cats in conference play, 3-1. Conway scored a single run in the first, only to be matched by Greenwood in the second inning. But solos runs in the third and sixth proved too much for the Lady Bulldogs to overcome against a strong pitching effort by Conway, limiting Greenwood to five hits.

Sydney Parker had two of those five hits, while Devyn Gregory drove home the only run for the visitors. Victoria Taylor pitched five innings and took the tough-luck loss, giving way to Kelsey Knox in the sixth inning. Taylor had six strikeouts in the game.

 

Russellville

On Tuesday, April 8th, the Lady Bulldogs’ bats were also quiet against the Lady Cyclones of Russellville in a 2-0 league loss at home. Both teams had just four hits in the game as both pitchers went the distance.

Victoria Taylor took the loss for Greenwood, fanning 14 hitters over seven innings of work. Russellville’s pitcher had 16 strikeouts. The visitors scored both of their runs in the top of the third inning.

 

At Mena

The Lady Bulldogs also dropped a non-conference road game on Monday, April 7th, falling 7-4 at Mena. Once again the bats were silent, generating just four hits in the game. Greenwood scored twice in the second and seventh innings, while Mena scored all of its runs in the second and third innings off GHS starting pitcher Kelsey Knox, who got little support from her defense with four errors in the game.

The only offensive highlight for Greenwood was a pair of quality at bats by Mikayleigh Davis and an RBI by Sydney Parker. Counting an earlier loss to Sheridan, the Lady Bulldogs suffered through a four-game losing streak, ultimately dropping five of six games before righting the ship against Southside.

 

This Week

After Monday’s rainout at Waldron, the Lady Bulldogs are slated to host Little Rock Hall on Friday in a conference doubleheader. Next Wednesday they will also host Fort Smith Northside in a conference game. Their final two league games will be at Russellville and at home against Conway on May 6th and 9th, respectively. The 6A state tournament will be in Benton on May 15-17.

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