After two close losses to Lamar earlier in the week, the Booneville softball team found themselves facing an unlikely 6-0 deficit against winless Fountain Lake on Friday. Errors and walks had staked the Lady Cobras to a 6-0 lead after three innings.
But patience proved to be a virtue as the Lady Cobras’ pitcher began to tire; the LadyCats scored two in the fourth, three in the fifth and then the floodgates opened in the sixth. Walks and timely hitting led to Booneville sending 23 batters to the plate, with a team-record 17 scoring, as BHS went on to win in a rout, 22-6.
Four different LadyCats scored three runs and four more drove in three, while Brooklyn Zarlingo struck out 10 batters in relief of Brooke Turner to pick up the win.
The LadyCats find themselves busy this week; starting with traveling to Paris for a pair of five inning games yesterday. They then head back to Paris to play Jessieville on Friday and have a home game later the same day with Hackett. That game will serve as the finals of the Magazine tournament. The LadyCats then play a doubleheader at Perryville next Tuesday and, with the rest of the week off, await word on whether they will be in the regional tournament. There is no district tournament in the 4-3A so Booneville would need to move up one spot from their current fifth-place position to continue their season.
Lamar 8 LadyCats 7 (Monday)
The very first pitch of the game hit Brooklyn Zarlingo, who advanced to second on a groundout and scored when Lamar’s left fielder dropped Brooke Turner’s fly ball. The Lady Warriors got that run back in the bottom of the inning, then tallied four in the third with three scoring on wild pitches. The LadyCats loaded the bases in the fifth inning but could not take advantage.
Lamar’s pitcher began to tire in the sixth inning as she walked the bases loaded with one out. Her replacement, Macie Pelts, plunked Kasidey Thompson with her first pitch and Hannah Gregory with her fourth to force in two runs. Zarlingo then grounded one past the shortstop to score Joleigh Tate and Gregory. Shelby Posey was intentionally walked, but Turner hit a seeing-eye single for two more RBIs. Zarlingo retired Lamar in order in the bottom of the inning, but the Lady Warriors tied the game in the bottom of the seventh. Keara Ross, playing first, then saved the game for the time being by snaring a Lakyn Sanders line drive and tagging the bag for a double play.
Booneville loaded the bases in the eighth—they did not go to tiebreak rules—as Baylee Moses singled, Posey was again intentionally walked and Turner was unintentionally walked, but Ross couldn’t get one by the third baseman who got the forceout. Lamar also threatened but didn’t score in the bottom of the eighth and Booneville got two runners on in the top of the ninth but couldn’t score. But with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, an error on a ball hit by Pelts and three wild pitches plated the winning run. Zarlingo both drove in and scored two runs and Turner also had two RBIs, but BHS only managed four hits.
Lamar 8 LadyCats 5 (Tuesday)
Booneville threatened in the bottom of the first as Baylee Moses walked and Shelby Posey doubled, but they could not score and Lamar tallied three in the top of the second. But Booneville got those runs right back as Haley Gray doubled and was sacrificed to third by Joleigh Tate. After an unsuccessful squeeze play, Hannah Gregory was hit by a pitch—for the seventh time this season—and Zarlingo followed with an RBI single. She went to second on an error and then Moses doubled both runners home.
The LadyCats got runners to second and third with one out in the fourth as Tate walked and Kasidey Thompson beat out a bunt. They were sacrificed over by Gregory, but Lamar got out of the inning. They then got two in the top of the fifth to take the lead and added three more in the sixth. Booneville tried to rally in the seventh as Zarlingo singled and Moses walked. Shelby Posey forced BZ out at third, but Brooke Turner smacked a single and Keara Ross hit a soft grounder that she beat out, with Moses and Posey scoring, but after Haley Gray hit into a fielder’s choice Tate popped up to end the game. Zarlingo, Moses and Turner all went 2-for-4 with Moses picking up two RBIs.
LadyCats 22 Fountain Lake 6
Three walks, an infield single and an outfield error staked the Lady Cobras to a 4-0 first-inning lead and Fountain Lake added two more in the second on walks and another Booneville error. Meanwhile, FL pitcher Hannah Vaughn was very stingy through the first three innings, facing only one more than the minimum.
The LadyCats began to eat into the lead in the fourth inning as Baylee Moses reached on an error and stole two bases, and a dropped fly ball off the bat of Shelby Posey sent Moses in. Posey eventually went plateward on a Keara Ross grounder. Brooklyn Zarlingo, meanwhile, was settling in while relieving starter Brooke Turner and kept the Lady Cobras off the board the rest of the game. Booneville added three more in the fifth on RBI singles by Hayley Lunsford and Zarlingo, with the latter then scoring on a wild pitch.
Booneville ripped it open in the sixth, sending 23 batters to the plate. Haley Gray got the first RBI, driving in Keara Ross, who had walked and stolen second. The next four batters received bases on balls with Lunsford and Zarlingo getting RBIs, then FL changed pitchers and Moses greeted the new hurler with a two-RBI single. Posey then walked and Moses beat out a force play on a ball hit by Turner, with Zarlingo scoring. Ross was then hit by a pitch to score Moses and Gray walked before Joleigh Tate lashed a two-run single.
Two runs then scored on an error and a Lunsford grounder made it 18-6. Zarlingo and Moses then singled and Posey was called out on an infield fly, but the second baseman didn’t catch it and both runners advanced. Turner then drove in two with a single and Ross, up for the third time in the inning, tripled her home. Gray got the last RBI with a single through the left side and Zarlingo shut down the Lady Cobras to pick up the win.
Gray, Ross, Turner and Lunsford all drove in three runs while Zarlingo and Moses—both with two RBI as well—Tate and Ross each scored three times. Zarlingo struck out 10 batters after coming on in the second inning.