Win streak reaches 10 with tournament title.
After beating Waldron and Ozark to extend their conference winning streak to 17 games over two seasons, the Booneville LadyCats turned their attention to the Magazine tournament on Saturday. Their toughest game turned out to be the first one, when they beat Hackett 3-2. The semifinals saw Whitney Tatum pitch a four-inning no-hitter against Paris and then the LadyCats scored four in the third inning to put away a stubborn Two Rivers team in the finals 5-0.
Tatum gave up only two hits in the entire tournament while striking out 32 batters, while Mariah Reagan, Shelby Posey, AshLeah Craig and Olivia Tomlin had hot bats throughout.
The LadyCats are slated to host Paris tomorrow, after playing them yesterday at Paris.
A good Hackett team was Booneville’s first-round opponent and the Lady Hornets tallied first. Audrie Chaney walked, advanced on a passed ball and wild pitch, and came in on Madison Bailey’s sacrifice fly. It took until the fourth inning for Booneville to respond; Whitney Tatum singled, Mariah Reagan reached on an error and Shelby Posey beat out a bunt before AshLeah Craig singled in two runs.
Hackett would tie it in the fifth and again it was Bailey who drove in the run, with an RBI single that scored Anaya Albert, who had walked and stolen second. The LadyCats got Olivia Tomlin to third in their half of the inning but left her there. The time limit had run out and so Hackett started the sixth with a runner at second. Tatum walked the first batter but then got the next three, two on strikeouts. Having made the last out of the fifth, Tatum took second and went to third when Reagan beat out a bunt. Posey then smashed a Chaney offering to center for the game-winner; she was 3-for-3 on the game. Tatum allowed only one hit and struck out 12.
After waiting eight hours, Booneville faced Paris in the semifinals and after a scoreless first inning, Booneville racked up four in each of the next two innings. Reagan led off the second with a single and courtesy runner Kasidey Thompson went to third on an error as Posey laid down a bunt. Craig then smashed a shot off the left-field fence to score both runners. Jessica Parrish then beat out a bunt and after going to second, she and Craig both scored when Tomlin hit a single down the line at third.
Reagan again singled with one out in the third and Thompson scored when Posey ripped one off the center-field fence on one hop. The Booneville shortstop then stole third and Craig bunted her way on, advancing to second before Parrish was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Tomlin again came through, scoring Posey and Craig with a single, and Parrish also scored when the ball got past the Paris left fielder to make it 8-0. That was all Tatum would need; the Lady Eagles only hit two pitches into fair territory all game, both infield ground balls. Tatum struck out Hannah Brewton to complete her first no-hitter; in all she retired 10 Lady Eagles on strikes. Tomlin had four RBIs and Craig added two; Thompson, Posey, Craig and Parrish all scored twice.
In the finals against Two Rivers, Tatum was opposed in the circle by the Lady Gators’ multi-sport star Grace Coates. Booneville threatened in the first on a Tatum double and Reagan’s infield hit but Posey flied out. TR got a runner to third in the second as Emily Linsinbey singled with one out and went to third when the ball got past Denton. But Tatum set to her task and struck out the next two Lady Gators.
Booneville took the lead in the third; Beth Wilkinson drew a walk and went to second when Coates fired a wild pitch. Tatum then repeated her feat of the first inning with another double, this one worth an RBI. The LadyCats put it away in the next inning as Craig started it with a single. Callie Smith ran for her and went to second on another Coates wild pitch, then after one out Hannah Gregory beat out a bunt. Tomlin’s fly ball was dropped, allowing Smith to score while Gregory was caught in a rundown. Denton reached on a bunt single before Wilkinson roped one down the right-field line for a triple and two RBIs. Intent on not letting Tatum hurt them again, Coates intentionally walked her opposite number but even that backfired, as Tatum, on a delayed steal, beat the throw to second while Wilkinson scored. The Booneville hurler then fanned the side after giving up a leadoff walk and the LadyCats took home the winners’ plaque with the 5-0 win.
Tatum struck out 10 batters for the third time in the tournament and only allowed the one hit while doubling twice. Wilkinson scored two runs.
In all, Tatum struck out 32 batters in the tournament while allowing just two hits. Craig and Tomlin (four RBIs each), Posey (4-for-5 with two runs scored and a game-winning RBI) and Reagan (4-for-8) were the hitting stars.
LadyCats 6 Waldron 3
Bailey Denton led off the game with a single but was caught stealing; however Shelby Posey replaced her at first base when she hustled to first after striking out on a wild pitch. Whitney Tatum then took a Jasmine Manning pitch over the wall for her second home run of the season. At one point Tatum struck out seven Lady Bulldogs in a row, and Booneville added two more in the third. After two outs, Tatum singled and Mariah Reagan drew a walk. Tatum and courtesy runner Brooklyn May would both score on Waldron errors.
Waldron got two back in their half of the fourth, scoring on a Booneville error and Emily Haga’s RBI single. But the LadyCats struck back with two more in the home portion of the inning. With one out Denton doubled down the right field line and scored when the Waldron catcher threw Posey’s sacrifice bunt into right field. Tatum followed with a double to plate Posey. Waldron picked up a run in the seventh but Tatum shut them down after that.
Tatum finished a triple short of the cycle, scored once and had three RBIs while striking out 13 batters. Denton added a pair of hits for the LadyCats and scored once.
LadyCats 8 Ozark 3
Booneville struck quickly with four runs in the top of the first, all after two outs. Whitney Tatum dropped one into no-man’s land between the pitcher and second base, then Mariah Reagan and Shelby Posey each drew a walk from Sydni Casto. Then, an AshLeah Craig grounder found its way up the middle to score two runs, and two more scored on a throwing error following Callie Smith’s infield hit.
The Lady Hillbillies instantly replied as Lexi McClellan scorched Tatum’s first pitch over the right field fence, and the Ozark catcher would pick up another RBI in the second inning as she rapped a hard grounder that Posey could only knock down; however, Posey then made an alert play to throw out a runner at third.
It remained 4-2 until the fifth when Booneville blew it open. Bailey Denton led off with a double and after the next two batters were retired, Reagan singled to short left and Posey ripped a double off the left-center field fence to score Denton. Baylee Moses, running for Reagan, then came in on a Craig single. McClellan drove in another Ozark run in the sixth, but the LadyCats got some insurance in the seventh. Beth Wilkinson drew a walk and after Tatum fanned, Reagan smacked a double to center for the game’s final run. Moses, who entered the game for defensive purposes, showed why in the Ozark seventh as she made a diving catch of a Jessica Turner line drive.
Reagan went 3-for-3 while Craig drove in three runs, both with two-out hits, and Posey reached three times in her four at bats, scoring two runs. Tatum struck out six.