Bryant, Ark. — One of the reasons that the Bryant Lady Hornets' trip to Tennessee for a tournament that included 33 other teams from seven other states was to see some top-notch competition including some excellent pitching.
It just so happened that the first game back from the trip came against the North Little Rock Lady Charging Wildcats on Tuesday, March 31. North Little Rock features one of the best pitchers in the state, Jessica Sheldon, who's been handcuffing opposing batters in the 7A-Central Conference and the state for three years before this, her senior campaign.
Sheldon led the Lady Cats to consecutive State championship games. They lost in 2007 then won it all last spring.
So, the Lady Hornets were geared up for Sheldon's fireballs come Tuesday.
But, as it turned out, Sheldon was unavailable to pitch and the back-up pitcher took to the circle. And it took the Lady Hornets a little while to adjust. But a 7-run fifth overcame North Little Rock's 3-0 lead as the Lady Hornets prevailed to improve to 9-4 overall and 3-1 in league play.
By Rob Patrick
BRYANT, Ark. — This was kind of indicative of the way things went Tuesday night: On two occasions, North Little Rock batters came to the plate with runners on in bunting situations. Both times, they failed to get the bunts down as the count went to 0-2. The next pitch, both Cody Cormier (in the second inning) and Kody Gill (in the fourth) drilled run-scoring singles.
It was North Little Rock's night in Bryant's yard. The Charging Wildcats banged out 16 hits and, riding a 6-run second, retained a share of first place in the 7A-Central Conference with an 11-4 win over the Hornets.
The Wildcats are 5-1 in the league. Little Rock Catholic, which had its game on Tuesday against Little Rock Central postponed due to rain, is 4-1. Bryant drops to 5-2. The Hornets visit Central (2-3) on Thursday.
MURFREESBORO, Ky. — Dodging rain drops and lightning bolts while playing musical softball diamonds, the Bryant Lady Hornets finished off the Southern Warrior Invitational Tournament with a pair of wins on Friday and a time-limited loss on Saturday.
The Lady Hornets had opened the tournament on Thursday, March 26, by splitting a pair of pool play games.
The abbreviated tournament began with 34 teams from eight states but finished with fewer than that and no champion. All the teams were guaranteed six games at the event and Bryant got in five, more than many.
The Lady Hornets rode a grand slam homer in the top of an extra inning to down the Catholic Aces from Owensboro, Ky., 8-5, on Friday. They followed that up with a 13-1 win over St. Bede Academy of Peru, Ill., behind one-hit pitching from Christen Kirchner and Kayla Sory.
On Saturday, Bryant traveled 60 miles south to Fayetteville, Tenn., to take on the Franklin, Tenn., Raptors, dropping a 2-1 decision after the 70-minute time limit expired.
By Rob Patrick
BRYANT, Ark. — The junior varsity game got a head start on Monday, March 30, when the Bryant Hornets hosted the out-manned Little Rock J.A. Fair War Eagles.
The Hornets varsity put up 10 runs in the bottom of the first and head coach Kirk Bock subbed out everybody in the lineup except freshman pitcher Jordan Taylor. Bryant went on to win 12-0 in five innings before the JV game started for real. Fair sent out the same nine players in the JV game and Bryant's reserves continued the onslaught, winning 20-0 in three frames including a 16-run second in which 21 batters came to the plate.
The varsity improved to 10-3 on the season going into Tuesday's first-place showdown with 7A-Central Conference rival North Little Rock at BHS field.
Taylor wound up tossing a one-hitter, recording 12 of the 15 outs on strikes. He faced one over the minimum, hitting a batter in the fifth inning.
To soccer, softball and baseball youth league coaches and organizers:
As indicated elsewhere on this site, Kirk Stewart (and others) will be providing photos and information occasionally from the action at your respective parks. And, like the photo essay below, they figure to be fun.
But we'd like to offer you more exposure on the site by inviting you to submit team photos, action shots, information about your team, its players and its games. You can send information like that to either Kirk at firstname.lastname@example.org or me at email@example.com. Regarding photos, they should be in focus and please identify those in the photo. Write-ups will be subject to editing. And if you send in a game report, please provide information and names from both teams. Game reports should primarily be scoring summaries and/or stats. Game-turning highlights can also be included.
For softball and baseball, if you have someone that keeps a scorebook well, you could send me the scorebook from a game and I can write it up from that. Please include rosters from both teams (or the full names of the players from both teams and their numbers on the scoresheet) and a phone number for me to call if I have questions.
By the way, the key thing about scoring is often judging what is a hit and what is an error. An error is charged on a play that the fielder should've made with routine effort. (That's where the judgement comes in.) The scorer's handbook actually includes the line: "give the hitter the benefit of the doubt."
It also helps to show who drove in runs as well as who scored them.
We want BryantDaily.com to be a place where youth sports can be celebrated. It's at your service.
* * *
Community events and information about classroom and club events at the schools are also welcome here too, including photos. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
* * *
Contrary to a report in the Murfreesboro newspaper, the Bryant Lady Hornets and a few of the other softball teams at the Southern Lady Warrior Classic over the weekend got to play more games after Thursday despite heavy rains. The Lady Hornets finished 3-2 in their games there.
* * *
I'm excited to say that the site passed 40,000 impressions in less than two months. Thanks!
Please continue to spread the word, encourage local businesses to advertise with us, and visit the websites of those already advertising by clicking on their ad. Let them know you saw their ad on our site and, by all means, support them with your business.
Bryant, first and foremost!
Wet weather has once again affected the schedules of the Bryant Hornets baseball team and the Bryant Lady Hornets softball.
The Hornets were scheduled to play Little Rock J.A. Fair this afternoon (Saturday, March 28) at 1 p.m., but the game has been moved to Monday, March 30, at 5 p.m. Bryant's game on Friday night at Benton was also postponed but a make-up date has not been nailed down yet.
On Tuesday, March 31, the Hornets host North Little Rock in a return to 7A-Central Conference action, with first place in the league on the line.
In addition, rain wiped out the second day of the Lady Warrior Southern Classic in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Friday. According to the Daily News Journal of Murfreesboro, 23 of the original field of 34 teams from eight states were still in town to play on Saturday at Riverdale High School. Riverdale's field was one of the few used for the tournament that had a tarp. No word yet on whether Bryant was one of the teams that was sticking around, though the Journal story indicated that teams that were booked in hotels in Murfreesboro were the ones that were staying which would include Bryant.
The Lady Hornets split their first two games in pool play on Thursday. They too will host North Little Rock, the defending Class 7A State champions, on Tuesday.
* * *
Tough news from Tracy Wood, mother of former Hornets standout Richie Wood, that he suffered a broken leg nine games into the 2009 baseball season at Henderson State University. He should be back for his senior season next spring and a medical redshirt could give him another year beyond that.
* * *
Word about Aaron Davidson from his dad, that he's in spring training in Arizona at the San Francisco Giants' Minor League facility, pitched well in his first outing and will probably be assigned to the Giants' Class A entry in the Arizona League.
* * *
Anyone with news about other Bryant alums, please leave a comment or email me at email@example.com
By Kirk Stewart
Overheard at the ballpark…
“Stand in there, son”
“Now you know what it looks like!”
“You’re dipping your shoulder”
“My son forgot his hat already”
“That’s my grandson… right there”
“If we lose, do we still get ice cream?”
And my personal favorite, “Rub some dirt on it!”
Wet conditions shut down two of the four fields at Ashley Park on Thursday night, the opening night of the preseason tournament for all divisions of the Bryant Athletic Association’s baseball season. The makeup games will be held Sunday afternoon.
By Mark Hart
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The Bryant Lady Hornets softball team began pool play at the Riverdale Lady Warrior Southern Invitational High School Softball Tournament on Thursday, March 26.
In their opening game, they absorbed a 5-3 loss to the host Riverdale Lady Warriors. But they bounced back with a 4-0 win over the Point Pleasant, Va., Lady Knights.
The tournament was plagued much of the day on Wednesday and Thursday with rain but, after a change in fields, play got under way in the evening with clear skies.
Friday night’s pool games, the Lady Hornets were set to play against Baylor, Tenn., and Bolton, Tenn., high schools are uncertain as more rain is in the forecast.
Wet grounds and the threat of more rain have forced the postponement of the Bryant-Benton baseball game to be played this evening at Panthers Field. According to Hornets head coach Kirk Bock, an attempt to reschedule the game will be made. The Hornets are scheduled to host Little Rock J.A. Fair on Saturday at 1 p.m., with a junior varsity game following the varsity contest, again weather permintting.
Bryant returns to 7A-Central Conference action on Tuesday, March 31, when they host North Little Rock in a first-place showdown starting at 5 p.m.
By Rob Patrick
BRYANT, Ark. — Productive outs: Moving a runner from second to third with a grounder to the right side; a sacrifice bunt; putting the ball in play on a hit-and-run; producing a flyball to the outfield with a runner at third and less than two outs — those little things can make a team that's not hitting productive on offense. They can also turn a team that hits pretty well into a very productive offense.
There have been times this season when the Bryant Hornets were an example of the former, scratching out runs with execution on offense backed by solid defense and effective pitching. But, on Thursday, March 26, they proved to be a prime example of the latter, combining productive outs and 10 hits with a determined pitching effort, most notably from sophomore right-hander Caleb Milam, to overcome a few uncharacteristic defensive breakdowns.
The result was an 8-3 win over the Texarkana Razorbacks at Bryant High School Field.
Milam picked up his first varsity victory with four innings of relief in which he allowed just one run, scattering six hits and working around a trio of Hornet errors. Ben Wells closed out the game retiring all five batters he faced and getting out of a two-on, no-out fix with an inning-ending doubleplay.
Offensively, the Hornets used three sacrifice bunts, two sacrifice flies and — though it didn't play into the scoring — executed a hit-and-run perfectly along the way.