If Booneville pitcher Ashdon Ross continues to be as sharp as she has been in the first two games of the conference season, then Booneville will be a tough team to get by.
Ross had a total of 26 strikeouts in two wins last week without giving up a run as the Lady Cats (16-5, 2-0) won against Waldron 9-0 and Maumelle 2-0.
A lot of help came from Mariah Reagan, who had been in a batting slump. The freshman went 5-for-7 for the week, raising her batting average by 75 points. Morgan Osborne drilled a two-run homer while going 3-for-4 against Waldron.
A key conference matchup comes about this Friday as the Lady Cats play Pottsville.
Lady Cats 9 Waldron 0
Morgan Osborne led off the second inning with a single and Kaitlynn Davis reached on a bad throw from second to short on an attempted forceout. Osborne was out stealing at third, but Davis reached second and came home when Mariah Reagan lined one off the left-field fence. The Lady Cats added three in the fourth inning after loading the bases with nobody out. Osborne singled and Davis and Carley Wooldridge drew walks, then Reagan singled for an RBI, Taylor Bauer’s groundout produced another and Whitney Tatum drove one to the right field fence for the third run.
Two more runs scored in the fifth as Hannah McClung singled with one out. Davis then drew another walk; Wooldridge picked up an RBI with a single and Reagan got her third RBI of the game with another base hit. A two-out rally put the game away in the sixth; Camry Robertson got it started with a double and scored on a McClung single to left. The throw to the plate got by the catcher and McClung motored on to third, where Alyssa Adair came in as a courtesy runner. Osborne, who had flown out deep to center in her previous at bat, this time added some distance and took Emily Black’s offering over the fence to set the final score.
Osborne and Reagan each went 3-for-4 as Booneville pounded out 12 hits, while Ashdon Ross pitched around threats in the first and third innings. With runners on second and third in the first with one out, she struck out the next two batters and in the third, she fanned Brianna Allen with runners on first and third and two outs. Ross struck out 10 Lady Bulldogs in all.
Lady Cats 2
In their first home game of the season after playing their first 20 contests on the road, Booneville found it tough to get around a much improved Maumelle team, but Ashdon Ross kept Maumelle off the board until Booneville finally broke through. The Lady Cats got three runners on base in both the second and third innings, but the Lady Hornets got out of it by turning a pair of double plays. At one point, Ross struck out seven consecutive Maumelle batters and pitched her way out of a jam in the fourth inning by inducing Shelbie Holladay to hit the ball back to her with runners at second and third and two out.
The breakthrough came in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Ross singled and stole second, then Camry Robertson rapped one up the middle for the RBI. She took second on the throw and came in on a Hannah McClung base hit. Maumelle threatened in both the sixth and seventh innings. but Ross got out of both difficulties by simply throwing it by batters. She struck out Nicole Vandervort with two runners on base in the seventh to end the proceedings.
Ross struck out 16 and gave up just four hits while going 2-for-3 at the plate. Reagan also had two hits.