After an opening loss at Van Buren the Booneville softball team had their home debut Thursday when they played Atkins. Having struggled with her control against Van Buren Booneville pitcher Whitney Tatum improved in that aspect, walking one batter and hitting one as compared to seven walks at Van Buren. However the Lady Red Devils rode timely hitting to a 5-1 win.

Tatum struck out 11 Atkins batters in the loss, and Bailey Denton scored the LadyCats’ first run of the season on a steal of home.

Booneville will host Danville on Friday and Mansfield next Monday.

Van Buren 13 LadyCats 0

Whitney Tatum got Booneville’s first hit of the season with two out in the first with a solid single, but she was left there. Tatum then could not find the strike zone and issued five consecutive walks, while also uncorking two wild pitches. This resulted in three runs. Tatum struck out the sixth-place batter, but Janelle Parga ripped a two-run single. Carli Haller then took over in the circle and got the next batter out, but Van Buren added another five runs before the last out was recorded.

Hannah Gregory singled up the middle with one out in the second and was able to take a base on Jessica Parrish’s grounder, but she was left stranded. The Lady Pointers scored three off Haller in the second inning before Tatum returned to the circle, pitching the last two innings and fanning three batters. However, Gregory’s hit would be the last the LadyCats would get on the night.

Atkins 5 LadyCats 1

The Lady Red Devils tallied three in the first inning, with the big blow coming on a two-RBI single off the bat of Stephanie Aldrete. Booneville got two runners on with two outs on singles by Whitney Tatum and Mariah Reagan but they were left on. Tatum struck out the side in the second, as she had in the first. Atkins added a fourth run in the third as Mary Kate Brown, who had doubled, scored on an error.

Booneville would not get another hit until the fourth when Reagan again ripped a single to left field. Hannah Gregory then worked Sydney Webb for a walk, but the LadyCats could not cash in. Booneville, however, got on the board in the fifth inning after two were out. Bailey Denton beat out an infield hit and went to third when the throw on Shelby Posey’s grounder evaded the Atkins first baseman. Posey took off for second on the second pitch to Tatum and beat the throw, allowing Denton to score from third. However, Atkins got that run back on a triple and a LadyCat error in the top of the sixth.

Tatum struck out 11 batters in the losing effort and also got a hit, while Reagan was 2-for-3. A heartening sight in the seventh inning was the return of Olivia Tomlin to the LadyCats after missing the entire basketball season with a knee injury. She came on as a defensive replacement at first base for Casey Townsend, who had handled the duties in the first two games.