EL DORADO â€“ The Benton Panthers lost a close one 2-1 to the El Dorado Wildcats in 6A South conference action on Monday night in El Dorado. Other than a forfeit win over J.A. Fair, the Panthers have lost three in a row after ending a 10-game winning streak.
â€śIt was a pitching duel,â€ť Benton Coach Mark Balisterri said. â€śBoth pitchers did a heck of a job; they just scored one more run than we did.
With the 2012 regular season coming to a close for many high school softball teams across the state, the Benton Lady Panthers are trying to keep the momentum in their favor before heading into the 6A State Tournament that begins on May 10. Coming into Fridayâ€™s match against Pine Bluff, the Lady Panthers were the proud owners of a 24-2 overall record, an undefeated 6A South record of 11-0 and a three-game winning streak.
MALVERN â€“ Coming off of a 10-7 11-inning win against the Maumelle Hornets in the first round of the 7-4A District Tournament on Wednesday in Malvern, the No. 7 seed Bauxite Miners had nothing left for the No. 3 seed De Queen Leopards on Friday, losing 11-1 in the quarterfinals. The Leopards had a bye in the first round, so they were rested and fresh, something Bauxite Coach Michael Mattox knew was going to be a challenge.
â€śWe were just wore out, lost our focus and they took advantage of it,â€ť Mattox said. â€ś[De Queen] hit the ball well. They did a good job.â€ť
BRYANT â€“ The Bryant Hornets dropped a 7A Central conference game when they lost 3-2 to the Van Buren Pointers on Thursday at Hornets Field. The Hornets are now in second place in the conference with Russellville in first by a game, and Conway in third, behind a game of Bryant.
MALVERN â€“ Leading by seven runs after five innings, the No. 7 seed Bauxite Miners allowed the No. 6 seed Maumelle Hornets to tie the game in the last inning, but came away with a 10-7 win in 11 innings in the first round of the 7-4A District Tournament on Wednesday at Morrison Park in Malvern.
â€śIâ€™m disappointed we couldnâ€™t finish it in the seventh inning,â€ť Bauxite Coach Michael Mattox said, â€śbut for [the Miners] to hang around for four more innings and compete showed me a lot about this team, something I knew was in them, but havenâ€™t seen all year long.â€ť
SHERIDAN â€“ Vying for first place in the 6A South, the Benton Panthers committed five errors and allowed four unearned runs in a 7-3 loss to the Sheridan Yellowjackets on Wednesday in conference action in Sheridan.
â€śWe struggled. Thatâ€™s uncharacteristic of us,â€ť Benton Coach Mark Balisterri said of the errors. â€śWe donâ€™t usually make errors like that. As a matter of fact, going through the first round of conference only losing one game; it was because we played great defense.
This column won third place in the 2011 Associated Press Managing Editor Association of Arkansas contest for a sports column. It ran in the Courier on Sept. 26, 2011.
The Arkansas Travelers were swept in the Texas League Championship series by the San Antonio Missions, but the Travs definitely had their chances. The Missions won games one and two by 5-4 scores in San Antonio and came from behind to defeat the Travs 10-6 in North Little Rock on Sept. 16. Walks were a factor in every Travsâ€™ loss.
BENTON â€“ Benton Panthers senior track & field athlete and school record-holder Zach Riley signed a letter of intent to run at the University of Central Arkansas (Conway) on Tuesday afternoon in front of students, friends and family at Benton Arena.
â€śItâ€™s a big day for me,â€ť Riley said. â€śIâ€™m glad that I made it this far. Itâ€™s a big step in life.â€ť
BENTON â€“ The Bryant Jr. Hornets capped off a stellar track season with a conference championship Saturday at the Central Arkansas Junior High Conference Track Championships in Benton. Â The Jr. Hornets led the way with a total of 148 points, followed by Lake Hamilton (108), North Little Rock (98), Cabot South (90), Conway White (68), Conway Blue (63), Cabot North (41), and Benton (8). Â
LITTLE ROCK â€“ After storms on Friday, the Bryant Hornetsâ€™ game with the Little Rock Catholic Rockets was postponed until Saturday at Lamar Porter Field in Little Rock and the Hornets came away with a 3-1 extra-inning victory in 7A Central conference action.