Scrapperettes take 2 of 3 games during Benton tournament

SCRAPPERETTE SENIORS. Seniors on the Scrapperette softball team hold their day in the life jar of game marbles after they defeated Magnolia Friday afternoon at the Benton Tournament. They include Kathleen Lance, Shayla Wright, Keeley Miller, Avery Kesterson, Brittany Middleton and Kynnedi Gordon.

By John R. Schirmer
Leader staff
The Scrapperettes picked up 2 wins in 3 games during the weekend at the Benton Tournament.
They opened the tournament with a 6-3 win over Magnolia Friday, March 14. The next morning, they led Sheridan 1-0 before a five-run fourth inning led the Yellowjackets to a 5-1 victory. The Scrapperettes bounced back Saturday afternoon by defeating Wynne 11-1 in four innings.
The tournament games were played with a 90-minute time limit.
“We competed well,” Coach Paul Ernest said. “We played good defense. We had great pitching all weekend.”
Class 4A Nashville and Class 3A Perryville were the smallest schools at the tournament, according to Ernest. The other teams were 5A or higher.
“We saw some of the teams we’ll see this weekend at the tournament of Champions,” Ernest said. “We can compete.”
The Scrapperettes will face Brookland Friday at 9:15 p.m. at Burns Park in North Little Rock. The tournament continues Saturday.
The game started slowly for the Scrapperettes, who had defeated Magnolia 14-5 in a regular season game earlier in the week.
“We looked a little like we thought we’d won 14-5 again. We didn’t hit as well,” Ernest said of the early going.
The Lady Panthers took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, and neither team managed another run until the fourth, when Kynnedi Gordon hit a 3-run home run for the Scrapperettes, who went on top 5-2.
Magnolia scored again in the bottom of the fourth, and the Scrapperettes added a run in the top of the fifth to take the 6-3 win.
Nashville put up 7 hits against the Lady Panthers and had 3 errors. Magnolia had 3 hits and no errors.
Scrapperette scores came from Gordon, Avery Kesterson, Hannah White, Shayla Wright, Kaylea Carver and Maddi Horton. Scrapperettes recording hits included Kacey Hinds, Gordon, Kesterson, Brittany Middleton, White, Miller and Carver. Gordon led the team in RBIs with 3; Miller had 2, and White added 1.
Brittany Hilliard pitched 3.1 innings, giving up 3 runs and 2 hits. She struck out 3 Magnolia batters. Anna Kesterson pitched 1.2 innings, giving up no runs and 1 hit while striking out 2 Lady Panthers.
Horton put the Scrapperettes on top 1-0 early in the second inning Saturday morning against Sheridan. However, that would be the only score for Nashville as the Lady Yellowjackets put together a 5-run fourth inning of their own to take the win.
“We won 4 of the 5 innings and had 1 bad inning when Sheridan hit the grand slam home run” in the fourth, Ernest said.
Nashville and Sheridan had 5 hits each for the game, and the Scrapperettes recorded the only error of the contest.
Nashville hits came from Carver with 2 and 1 each from Alyssa Harrison, Kathleen Lance and Miller.
Miller pitched the entire game, facing 25 batters.
The Scrapperettes wrapped up the tournament by defeating Wynne 11-1 Saturday afternoon.
Nashville led 201 after the second inning but added 5 runs in the third and 4 in the fourth. For the game, the Scrapperettes had 11 runs, 4 hits and 1 error. Wynne had 1 run, 5 hits and 4 errors.
Gordon, Wright and Miller had 2 runs each, with 1 run a piece from Hinds, Lance, Chelsey Hile, Horton and Kendall Kirchhoff.
Nashville had 7 RBIs from Hinds, Lance, Kaycee Patrick, Middleton, Wright, Gabi Dougan and Carver.
The 4 hits came from Harrison, Lance, Patrick and Miller.
Anna Kesterson pitched the 4-inning game, facing 17 batters and giving up 1 run.
Regular season
The Scrapperettes traveled to Magnolia March 11 and came home with a 14-5 win. Nashville had 12 hits against the Lady Panthers but also committed 8 errors. Magnolia had 6 hits and 3 errors.
The Lady Panthers led 4-0 after the first two innings before the Scrapperettes began their comeback. Nashville put up 5 runs in the third inning, 2 in the fourth, 3 in the fifth, 2 in the sixth and 2 in the seventh to take the win. They gave up only 1 other run to Magnolia.
Four RBIs from Miller helped lead the Scrapperette rally. Other RBIs included 2 from Gordon and 1 each from Harrison, Avery Kesterson and White.
Avery Kesterson and Carver scored 3 runs each, Lance added 2, with 1 run a piece from KeeKee Richardson, Harrison, White, Wright, Miller and Mattie Jamison.
Miller and Avery Kesterson were the leading batters with 3 hits each. Harrison, Gordon, Lance, White, Wright and Carver had 1 each.
Miller pitched the entire game, facing 34 batters, giving up 5 runs on 6 hits and striking out 6.
Nashville visited Horatio Monday afternoon
“We have a lot of talented girls,” Ernest said. “There are 28 on the roster and 20-plus can help us. We’re young. We have 12 freshmen.”
The Scrapperettes also have “great senior leadership. They’ve put a lot of time and energy into the program,” Ernest said. The seniors won back-to-back state championships their sophomore and junior seasons.
The Scrapperettes are batting well so far, with a .342 average.
Avery Kesterson has the highest percentage so far at .562 and has 7 runs on the season.
Miller has a .524 average and 10 RBIs.
Carver is batting .500 through last week’s games.
The Scrapperettes’ on-base percentage so far is .447. “We’re drawing some walks. Seven have been it by pitches,” Ernest said.
Carver’s on-base percentage is .636. “She has yet to strike out.”

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