Leader Blues

Friday, April 24, 2009

SPORTS >> Lanier takes tough-luck loss to Searcy

By JASON KING
Leader sportswriter

The rematch ended with the same result as their first meeting, as the Lady Lions of Searcy squeaked by the Lady Red Devils of Jacksonville with a 1-0 win on Tuesday at Searcy.

The opposing pitchers on Tuesday put up similar numbers. Jacksonville junior hurler Jessica Lanier finished with five strikeouts and gave up two hits, while Searcy sophomore sensation Amber Rollins gave up four hits and had six strikeouts.

The Lady Red Devils’ best opportunity to score came in the second inning, when Lanier led off with a stand-up triple. But Lanier had to hold at third when Paula Burr was safe on a fielder’s choice. Rollins then struck out the next three Jacksonville batters to end the threat.

Searcy came away with the game’s only score in the bottom of the second with a leadoff single, followed by a sacrifice and an RBI single.

A spectacular defensive play by Searcy junior left fielder Olivia McConnaughhay ended the Lady Devils’ chance to tie the game in the top of the sixth inning. Jennifer Bock led off with a line single to right field, and advanced to third on bunts by Raven Pickett and Brandi Holder.

With two outs, Burr sent a fly deep into left field that began to go foul, and McConnaughhay chased it down to make the catch as she ran into the fence.

Pickett, Burr and Bock all finished with singles, with a triple by Lanier.

The Lady Red Devils are now 11-7 overall and 8-5 in the 6A-East Conference.

Jacksonville took a 7-2 non-conference loss against Arkansas Baptist on Thursday, and closed out the 6A-East schedule on Friday when it hosted West Memphis. The Lady Red Devils had to beat the Lady Blue Devils by more than one run in order to get the No. 3 tournament seed; a win for West Memphis or loss by only a run gave it the third seed and moved Jacksonville to a No. 4.