CALERA – The Lady Bear claws are just as sharp in fast-pitch as they were last spring.
Bennington, just three months removed from their appearance at the slow-pitch state championship tournament, are a perfect 3-0 this week. They started the season with a pair of run-rule wins over Pittsburg (11-1) and Stuart (8-0) at the Caney Festival.
On Thursday, they rallied to defeat the Turner Lady Falcons 7-6 at the Calera Softball Tournament. The win helped Bryan County salvage the afternoon as local teams went 2-3 against out-of-town competitors.
Turner went ahead 3-0 in the first, but a single for Ashten Belvin allowed Erica Noland to bring her home with an RBI single to cut the lead to 3-1.
The Bennington defense clamped down in the second, helped by a nice catch down the first base line by infielder Marynna Mays. The Lady Bears then rallied for a 4-3 lead on hits by Harley Minyard, Tristen Allen and Erica Noland.
The Lady Falcons took back the lead 5-4 with two runs on two hits and a walk in the third. Turner got another run in the fourth but stranded two runners with a 6-4 advantage.
Allen got the fourth inning rally started with a first-pitch, in-the-park standup home run. Belvin followed this feat with an infield single to represent the tying run. Marynna Mays’ RBI triple tied the game at six apiece.
Ciara Parker laid down a bunt single which brought Mays home for the 7-6 lead and the eventual final. On defense, Anna Folsom made a good recovery on a grounder to short for a critical out.
Callie Clark struck out six and walked only three to go with seven hits for Turner.
“We threw a lot of strikes, and our defense was behind her,” said Bennington Coach Matt Ward. “And we got timely hits. The best thing we did all day was get our bunts down. This shows they’ve got a lot of heart and confidence. They know if they get down, they can score some runs and get back on top.”
The Lady Bears will play the winner of the Coleman-Calera game at 4 p.m. today (Friday).
Kiowa 5 Boswell 3
CALERA – The Lady Scorpions went toe-to-toe with Kiowa on Thursday, losing 5-3 despite losing another starter just hours before their Calera Tournament appearance.
“They put out an outstanding effort today,” said Boswell Coach Guy Snow. “All we had were nine girls. We’re kind of short on numbers but they played well.”
Snow said three returning starters quit the team before the season began, including one on Thursday. Also, there were no incoming freshmen to replenish the ranks, so the Lady Scorps will likely be short-handed all season long.
Still, Chelsea Burns pitched well, and runs were scored by Jonna Belvin in the first and Sarrah Crawford and Courtney Fomby in the fourth. Sarah Blankenship’s two-RBI triple in the fourth cut the lead to 5-3 before Boswell’s rally fell short.
The Lady Scorps will play the loser of the Calera-Coleman game at 4 p.m. today (Friday).