Leader Blues

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

SPORTS>>Bryant grand slam dooms Lady Panthers

By JASON KING
Leader sportswriter

Pitchers normally love an 0-2 count against a batter, but the goose-deuce spelled disaster for Cabot junior hurler Cherie Barfield on Monday night at Conrade Sports Complex.

Bryant belted three of its biggest hits — including a grand-slam home run by Moesha McDaniel in the top of the fourth inning — on 0-2 offerings from Barfield on the way to a 6-1 win to stay atop the 7A-Central Conference standings. The Lady Hornets also took the win in the nightcap 7-1 to improve to 6-2 in the league.

McDaniel’s blast over the left field wall broke a scoreless game in the fourth. A double by Christen Kirshner in between walks from Barfield loaded the bases for the Lady Hornets with only one out, but Barfield got a strike out.

Barfield then served up two perfect strikes to McDaniel, and was seemingly on the way to working herself out of the tight spot when the Bryant PH knocked it over the fence.

Bryant added another pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning, highlighted by a triple RBI from Paige Turpin on another 0-2 pitch from Barfield. The Lady Hornets also hit a double off a 0-2 pitch one inning later, but a double play by Lady Panthers Kristi Flesher and Brooke Taylor off a pop-up prevented another score.

Pop-ups were problematic for the Lady Panthers. Eleven of their outs came via that route. The Lady Panthers failed to cash in an opportunity at taking the initial lead in the bottom of the third inning when they missed a tag-up opportunity at third base.

Flesher hit a deep fly to left, but the courtesy runner did not get in position to make the tag in time, and was left stranded one batter later when Conrade popped up to first.

The Lady Panthers avoided the shut out when a bases-loaded walk scored K.P. Danielson for the only Cabot score. Tara Boyd was the first to reach when her pop up to first was missed.

Danielson then came in as a courtesy runner, and advanced on a single to left field by Central Baptist signee Ashton Seidl. Another Bryant error loaded the bases before Barfield drew the walk.

The Lady Panthers are now 4-8 overall and 3-6 in the 7A-Central Conference. The Lady Panthers will visit Pine Bluff on Thursday.