The Booneville LadyCats headed to Mansfield last Thursday to open the combined-conference season. With the help of a Baylee Moses home run in the third inning, the LadyCats stayed close by scoring single runs in each of the first four innings, but then the offense dried up and Mansfield took the 9-4 win.
Booneville then headed to the Clarksville tournament, hoping to get multiple games in. After dropping a decision to Lamar Friday night, the LadyCats scored their second win of the season early Saturday morning as Brooklyn Zarlingo gave up only one hit and Beth Wilkinson had three RBI’s in Booneville’s 7-2 win. They had a bye in the next round and awaited one of three teams who could oppose them — Atkins, Mansfield or Paris.
It would be the Lady Eagles — and former Booneville assistant Donald Hart, now Paris’s coach — who emerged as the opposition. Booneville could not get any offense going as the game was dominated by Hart’s daughter, Jadyn. She allowed no Booneville hits and hit two home runs as Paris sent Booneville home 5-0.
The LadyCats head north tomorrow, when they will get another shot at Paris in their last game before spring break.
Mansfield 9 LadyCats 4
Booneville struck first, as Baylee Moses rapped a one-out single and stole second. On Shelby Posey’s groundout, Moses headed for third and the throw was wild, enabling the Booneville center fielder to score. After Mansfield replied with two in their half of the inning, Booneville again threatened in the second. Bailey Denton doubled and then Mansfield’s center fielder dropped Beth Wilkinson’s fly ball. Denton tried to score but was cut down on a close play. However, Wilkinson reached third on the play and Callie Smith’s single brought her in. Jessica Parrish then reached on an error, but Carli Haller hit into a double play to halt the rally.
A couple of walks and an error conspired to give Mansfield three runs in the bottom of the second, with Moses making a two-out diving catch to avoid further damage. The LadyCats promptly got one back when, with one out, Moses smacked a Caroline Nicodemus pitch over the right-field fence for her first career home run. Booneville couldn’t get anything else out of the inning and Mansfield plated two more in their half, again with the help of Booneville miscues. A potential third run was denied at the plate on a fine throw by Denton. She then led off the fourth with a single, advanced on another Smith hit and a passed ball, and scored on Jessica Parrish’s grounder. But that was all Booneville would produce, and Mansfield tacked on two insurance runs in the sixth.
Moses, Denton and Smith all went 2-for-3, with Moses scoring twice. But two errors and four hit batters hurt Brooklyn Zarlingo’s effort in the circle.
The first game Friday night saw Lamar touch up Carli Haller for three runs in the top of the first, but the LadyCats were having none of it. With two outs, Shelby Posey, Callie Smith and Brooklyn Zarlingo got back-to-back-to-back doubles. Hannah Gregory singled Zarlingo in, but then was caught too far off base and was tagged out between first and second. Lamar responded with five in the top of the second, which started with a LadyCat fielding error. Lakyn Sanders, Payton Preece and Maci Pelts all had doubles in that frame. The Lady Warriors got five more in the third, while Pelts held Booneville to only two more hits — a Beth Wilkinson double and a Carli Haller single.
It was early morning softball on Saturday as Booneville faced off with Greenland at 8 a.m. After spotting the Lady Pirates a run in the top of the first, Booneville got three with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Posey and Bailey Denton drew walks before Beth Wilkinson drove Posey in with a single. After a walk to Smith, Gregory drove two in with a single. Greenland tallied again in the second but Booneville again put together a two out rally. Zarlingo reached on an error and Posey followed with another walk. Denton was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Wilkinson followed with a two-RBI single. Smith then drew a walk on an 11-pitch at-bat, and two wild pitches during that time scored Denton and Wilkinson. That was enough for Zarlingo, who only allowed one hit and struck out two batters.
The LadyCats then had to wait over two hours before finding out they would play Paris, and another hour while another game took place. When things finally got underway, Jadyn Hart struck out the first three Booneville batters, then clobbered a two-out home run to give Paris the lead. Hart again would strike out the side in the second but Wilkinson managed to reach base when the Paris catcher could not hold on to the third strike. She then stole second, but the Lady Eagles got out of it.
Zarlingo struck out two Paris batters in the second, with the other out coming when Carli Haller made a diving catch in right field to rob Hanna Brewton of an extra-base hit. Jessica Parrish opened the third by giving Hart’s first offering a ride, but it was right at the left fielder. Moses then coaxed a two-out walk and stole second but Hart fanned Zarlingo to end the inning. With one out in the bottom of the third, Hart went deep again, this time with a three-run shot. Paris subsequently got two more runners on but Zarlingo got Brewton to hit back to her to snuff out the threat. The only other fair ball that was hit by Booneville was a high chopper by Denton in the top of the fourth, and Hart robbed her of a possible infield hit. Paris added another run in the fourth to set the final score.
Zarlingo hit her high strikeout number of the season, fanning four Lady Eagles while walking only one, and the LadyCats played errorless defense behind her. But the Booneville batters could not catch up to Hart, who struck out 12 while giving up no hits.