Leader Blues

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

SPORTS>>Beebe ladies keep winning

Leader sportswriter

The amazing season for the Beebe Lady Badgers continued on Friday with a conference doubleheader sweep over Greene County Tech. The Lady Badgers handled their hosts rather easily in both contests, taking the win in game one 8-1 before shutting out the Lady Eagles in game two 4-0.

Ace pitcher Callie Mahoney had her typical day at the mound, striking out 14 batters in the opener while only allowing four hits. Ashley Watkins allowed even less when she threw in the second game, giving up only one hit while striking out nine batters.

The Lady Badgers have played like a machine in the first weeks of the conference season, giving up one error in six league games. Beebe coach Terry Flenor has zero complaints about his powerhouse team and their performance through the first half of the season.

“We’ve been really fortunate,” Flenor said. “They have made every play they should make. We’ve given up a few hits, but most of them have been little drippers that you really can’t make a play on. They have had good concentration; there haven’t been a lot of mistakes. They have done a good job of making the play when they need to.”

The Lady Badgers jumped out to the lead in the opening inning of game one and never looked back. Brandi Burkhalter started things off in the top of the first with a single, and was driven in two batters later when Chelsea Sanders knocked one out of the park for a two-run home run. It was Sanders’ second homer of the year.

Ashley Watkins set up the lone score in the second inning when she walked. Watkins crossed the plate moments later when Micah Cox doubled.

Sanders produced her second score in the top of the third after a GCT home run in the bottom of the second made the score 3-1. Sanders led off with a double to start the third, and was driven in on an RBI single from Sara Flenor. The fourth and fifth innings did not produce a score for Beebe, but business picked back up in the top of the sixth inning. Watkins walked to lead off, and was advanced on a SAC bunt by Bailey Thomas. Emily Bass followed that with a double to score Watkins, making the score 6-1.

The Lady Badgers had the game within hand in the final inning, but added two more scores for insurance. Mahoney singled to lead off, and followed by a base hit from Flenor. Watkins got the final hit of the game with a single that scored both Mahoney and Flenor to set the final margin.

The offensive highlights in the nightcap were not quite as rampant as in the first game, but it didn’t stop Beebe from controlling the game from start to end. Thomas set up the first score in the second inning with a triple, and was scored on a single from Bass. Watkins drove in Mahoney in the fourth inning for the second run, and Thomas sent in the final two scores off a single in the fourth inning.

Although the Lady Badgers have looked flawless through the first few weeks of conference play, Flenor says the remaining games will not be a cake walk by any means.

“We feel like all the conference games are going to be tough,” Flenor said. “We have Wynne next Tuesday, and those games will go a long way in helping determine who has the lead through the first half.”

The Lady Badgers are now 11-1 overall and 6-0 in the 5A-East. They will play at the Van Buren tournament over the weekend, and will return to conference play Tuesday on the road against Wynne, who is also undefeated in East play.