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Lady Bulldogs Softball off to 14-5 Start
Greenwood sophomore Mikayleigh Davis (0) takes a whack at the ball in varsity softball action at the Farmington tournament at the beginning of spring break. (Photo courtesy of Lady Bulldogs’ softball)

Lady Bulldogs Softball off to 14-5 Start

By Richard White

The Greenwood High School Lady Bulldogs’ softball team and second-year head coach Ronnie Sockey are off to a great start this spring, posting a 14-5 overall record through last weekend. They remain unbeaten in 7A/6A Central conference play at 6-0. The GHS girls traveled to Mena this past Monday afternoon for non-conference action, but results were not available at press time.

The Lady ‘Dogs have been keeping themselves busy by participating in two tournaments, one before spring break at Farmington, and another one more recently in Van Buren this past weekend. Along the way they also managed to defeat conference foes Fort Smith Northside and Soutside and Mount St. Mary’s.


Conference play

Prior to spring break, on March 18th, Greenwood played at Fort Smith Southside, taking down the Lady Rebels in an offensive shootout, 18-11. The Lady Bulldogs scored seven runs in the top of the second inning, two more in both the fourth and fifth frames, then added seven more runs in the top of the sixth. Southside never led in the game, but did trim the GHS lead to 9-8 after fourth innings.

Pitcher Victoria Taylor got the start and the victory for Greenwood, going five innings before getting relief help from fellow sophomore Kelsey Knox. Junior Abbey Lejong led the way offensively with five RBIs for Greenwood on four hits. Sophomore Mikayleigh Davis and freshman Syndey Parker also had four hits each.

Two days later the Lady Bulldogs swept a doubleheader at home over Mount St. Mary’s, winning the first game 6-2 and the nightcap 12-6. To help with travel, both conference games were played at Greenwood, but the Lady ‘Dogs were the visiting team for the second game.

With Kelsey Knox pitching in game one, the GHS girls fell behind 2-0 after one-half inning, but rallied to tie the score in the bottom half of the frame. Greenwood added a single run in the second, two more in the fifth, and a final insurance tally in the bottom of the sixth for the win. The Lady Bulldogs out hit the visitors from Little Rock 6-3, and both teams made three errors.

Knox pitched five frames with nine strikeouts, and was relieved by Taylor, who closed out the contest with two scoreless innings of work. Sydney Parker had two runs batted in for Greenwood while Abbey Lejong drove home one run.

In the second game the Lady Bulldogs hit first, scoring three times in their first at bat, then added six more runs in the second inning before coasting to an easy 12-6 win behind a complete game pitching effort from freshman Madi Pfeifer. Greenwood out-hit the Catholic girls 13-9.

Defensively it was a sloppy game, with Greenwood making five errors. Junior Devyn Gregory led the way with three hits for Greenwood. Sydney Parker and Madison Jewell had two hits each, with Jewell and Abbey Lejong also driving home three runs. Parker had two RBIs as well.


Spring break tournament

Just prior to spring break the last week of March, the GHS girls traveled to Northwest Arkansas to take part in the Farmington tournament, losing their opening round game to the host team, 4-2. Victoria Taylor was the starting hurler for Greenwood and pitched a four-inning complete game.

Farmington scored twice in the first inning, then added single runs in the third and fourth for a 4-0 lead. Greenwood’s only runs came in the top of the fifth inning in their last at bat. Hunter Marquez was the offensive leader for the Lady Bulldogs with two of the team’s four hits. Madison Jewell had an RBI.

After the opening round loss, the GHS girls exploded for all seven of their runs in the fourth inning of a scoreless game with Rogers Heritage on Saturday morning, March 22nd. They earned the 7-0 victory behind the strong shutout pitching of Kelsey Knox, who threw four frames of two-hit ball.

Sydney Parker, Abbey Lejong, and Mikayleigh Davis all had three hits each, with Lejong, Madison Jewell, and Devyn Gregory each driving home a run in the game.

A couple of hours later the Lady Bulldogs also blanked the Pottsville girls 5-0 behind the one-hit pitching of Victoria Taylor. Greenwood scored two runs in the second and fourth innings, sandwiched around a solo run in the third. They had a total of seven hits in the game, led by Madison Jewell’s two-hit and two-RBI performance. Sydnie Henson also had a pair of runs batted in for Greenwood.

With no time to rest, the GHS girls then defeated Lavaca 3-2 to continue their march through the tournament’s losers’ bracket. Madi Pfeifer started the game for the Lady Bulldogs and departed with two outs in the fifth as Victoria Taylor got the final out to preserve the win.

Greenwood scored twice in the second inning and once more in the third, with Lavaca getting both of its runs in the top of the fourth while out-hitting Greenwood 6-5 in the game. No GHS player had more than one hit and Sydnie Henson had an RBI. Lavaca made a pair of errors.

The tournament winning streak ended later that afternoon with a rematch against Farmington, this time losing in a four-inning nail-biter, 2-1. Kelsey Knox went all three innings for the visiting Lady Bulldogs, surrendering just two hits. Farmington scored both of its runs in the second, while Greenwood scored its lone tally in the top of the fourth. The Lady Bulldogs had five hits, two by Sydney Parker.


At Northside

Back in conference action on April 1st, the Lady Bulldogs clobbered the Fort Smith Northside Lady Bears 9-1, pounding out 15 hits behind the strong pitching performance of starter Victoria Taylor and reliever Kelsey Knox, who pitched the final two frames. The visiting team, Greenwood scored four times in the second and fifth innings before adding a solo run in the seventh.

At the plate, Greenwood was led by Madison Jewell’s three hits and two RBIs. Devyn Gregory also had three hits, while Sydney Parker added a pair of hits. Hunter Marquez and Abbey Lejong also added solo RBIs.


Van Buren tournament

Last Friday, April 4th, the Lady Bulldogs opened play in tournament action at Van Buren, defeating the Lady Devil Dogs of Morrilton 5-0. Pitcher Kelsey Knox started the game and threw all five innings, allowing just three hits while fanning five Morrilton hitters.

Offensively, Greenwood scored three times in the opening frame, then added two more tallies in the third. Hunter Marquez led the way with two hits, as did Sydnie Henson. Sydney Parker drove home two of Greenwood’s five runs. Devyn Gregory added another RBI.

Later that same evening, the Lady Bulldogs were stymied by Bentonville’s starting pitcher, who limited Greenwood to just one hit over seven innings. The Lady Tigers scored their only run in the top of the first inning off GHS starter Victoria Taylor, who pitched a complete game and surrendered just three hits in the loss. She also had 10 strikeouts.

In their first game on Saturday, the Lady Bulldogs made quick work of Alma, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning on their way to an 8-1 victory. They added three runs in the third and a solo run in the fourth, while pounding out 13 hits. Taylor started the game and earned the win with three innings of one-run work. She was relieved by Madi Pfeifer who pitched the final two innings and fanned five of the six hitters she faced.

Sydnie Henson had three hits for the Lady Bulldogs and two runs batted in. Mikayleigh Davis also had three hits. Madison Jewell added a pair of hits and an RBI. Devyn Gregory also drove home a run.

Kelsey Knox followed up the win over Alma with a no-hitter, a 4-1 GHS victory over the host team, Van Buren. Knox had eight strikeouts in the game and gave up her only run in the fourth inning. The Lady Bulldogs had eight hits in the game and committed one error defensively.

Hunter Marquez had two hits to lead the team, along with Abbey Lejong’s two hits. Marquez, Sydnie Henson, and Makayleigh Davis all had solo RBIs.

In their final game last Saturday afternoon, the Lady Bulldogs lost to the Sheridan girls 4-2 to earn third place tournament honors. Greenwood scored first, pushing across both of its runs in the top of the second inning.

Behind the strong pitching effort of Victoria Taylor, that lead held up until the fourth inning, when Sheridan scored twice to tie the game. They scored twice more in the fifth for the victory. The Lady Bulldogs had only four hits in the game, with freshman Tatum Holland driving home both GHS runs.


This week

Besides Monday’s game at Mena, the Lady Bulldogs were slated to host conference foe Russellville on Tuesday afternoon, before hitting the road for another league game at Conway on Friday. They will travel to Rogers on Saturday for games against Rogers Heritage and Rogers High School.

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