JACKSONVILLE - The Benton Lady Panthers ended their regular season with an outstanding overall record of 29-2. The Lady Panthers also won the 6A South with a perfect 14-0 conference record. On Thursday, the Lady Panthers continued their tear through 6A as when they took on Little Rock Parkview in the first round of the State Tournament.
Benton, the No. 1 seed, demolished Parkview winning 16-0 to move into the second round with ease. Starting pitcher Jessica Franklin made easy work of Parkview, striking out eight straight in the game on her way to a no-hitter.
Weâ€™re basically a month into the season and former St. Louis Cardinal and current Los Angeles Angel of Anaheim Albert Pujols is batting .190 with just one home run and nine RBIs (as of Tuesday). I wonâ€™t lie, I love it. Once an avid Pujols supporter, he left a bad taste in my mouth when he left the Cardinals after 11 Hall-of-Fame seasons. In just those 11 years with the Cardinals, Pujols had a .328 average with 445 home runs, 455 doubles,1,291 runs and 1,329 RBIs. Those are Hall-of-Fame numbers already.
BRYANT â€“ The Bryant Lady Hornets ended the regular season on Tuesday night at Lady Hornet Field the only way they are accustomed to doing it this year â€“ with a win. The Lady Hornets routed the North Little Rock Lady Cats 13-0 on Senior Night leaving no doubt that Bryant means business going into the State tournament, Which starts Thursday at Lady Hornet Field.
LITTLE ROCK â€“ Lack of offense did it again for the Benton Panthers as they fell 4-3 to the Little Rock Central Tigers at Buddy Coleman Field in Little Rock in non-conference action on Monday to end the regular season. The Panthers start the State Tournament on Thursday against Jacksonville having lost 5 of their last 6 games after a 10-game winning streak. Benton was just 3 for 23 at the plate on Monday and the Panthers are hitting just .203 (26 of 128) in their past five losses.
PEARCY â€“ Senior Zach Riley broke a state record and the Benton Panthers placed sixth in the 6A State Track and Field Championships held at Lake Hamilton High School on Friday. The Panthers scored 47 points for the meet, while Russellville took the championship with 118.50 points. The Lady Panthers placed 11th out of 16 teams with 57 points. Texarkana placed first with 202.50 points.
â€śWe had a good day,â€ť Benton track Coach Lewis Pryor said.
SEARCY â€“ The Harmony Grove Lady Cardinals made easy work of Bald Knob on Friday, winning 7-0 to guarantee them a spot in the 2012 3A State Tournament that starts Thursday in Harrison.
The Lady Cardinals were held scoreless in the first inning, but broke out the bats in the second, scoring three on one hit, two errors and a hit by pitch, to take an early 3-0 lead.
After putting up zeros once again in the third and fourth, the Lady Cardinals scored four more runs in the fifth to seal the deal, beating Bald Knob 7-0 to move into the second round of the 3A Regional Tournament.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK â€“ The Benton Panthers stepped out of the 6A South conference and dropped a 9-6 decision to the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats on Wednesday at Vince DeSalvo Stadium at Burns Park. It was the fourth consecutive loss for the Panthers after winning 10 in a row.
â€śWe got what we needed to get,â€ť Benton Coach Mark Balisterri said. â€śI wanted the win, but right now, the most important thing is playing games is a lot better than practicing.â€ť
BRYANT â€“ They may have just been biding their time, but the Bryant Lady Hornets clinched the 7A Central conference in convincing fashion with a 10-0 win over the Conway Lady Wampus Cats on Tuesday night at Lady Hornets Field. Conwayâ€™s only previous conference loss came at the hands of the Lady Hornets, which picked up their 15th shutout of the year.
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.