Leader Blues

Friday, April 18, 2008

SPORTS >>Lady Devils pick up critical sweep of doubleheader

Leader sportswriter

Jacksonville made the most of its first 6A-East Conference doubleheader at Forrest City on Tuesday. The Lady Red Devils improved to 5-2 in league play with a sweep of the Lady Mustangs. Jacksonville took Game 1, 8-1, off big hits by Jennifer Bock, Taylor Norsworthy and Paula Burr, and sophomore pitcher Jessica Lanier continued her dominant performance on the mound on the way to a 10-4 win in the nightcap.

Lanier was even better in game one, allowing only two hits while striking out 12. She collected eight more strikeouts in game two, and also surrendered just two hits.

FC’s hurler Marlowe was not as fortunate on the night, giving up 20 total hits and striking out only five on her way to collecting the pair of losses.

Sophomore shortstop Bailee Herlacher was 3 of 3 in the first game, while Bock was 3 of 4 with a game-high three RBI.

Norsworthy also drove home two with her 2 of 4 performance, but it was Burr’s triple and home run in a 2 of 4 showing that highlighted the Lady Devils’ night at the plate. Burr drove in two runs.

Along with taking the win, Lanier added one of the 12 Jacksonville hits in the opener, with another hit coming from starting catcher Alexis Oakley.

Lanier was working on a no-hitter until the bottom of the fifth inning, when the Lady Mustangs collected both of their hits and their only score.

Forrest City took the early advantage in game two courtesy of two Lady Devils’ errors. The Lady Mustangs brought in two runs with some aggressive base running to take the lead in the top of the first, but Jacksonville answered one of those scores in the bottom half to cut the score in half.

It wasn’t until the bottom of the third when the Lady Red Devils were able to tie the game, but the following frame was the decider. They had three hits in the fourth inning, but it was a series of FC errors that allowed them to break the game open.

The Lady Mustangs scored two more off Lanier before game’s end, but it was not enough. Jacksonville protected its lead in the late going to earn the sweep.

Herlacher and Bock each finished 2 of 4, while Lanier was 2 of 3. Burr and Brandi Holder earned the other two hits for the Lady Red Devils.

The Lady Red Devils improved to 7-3 overall for the season.