Bryant wins without rest

SHERWOOD – The Bryant Lady Hornets have been busy. After routing Van Buren 17-0 in 7A Central conference play on Thursday, the Lady Hornets played six games in two days in the Van Buren Invitational, winning it to remain undefeated on the year. With an off day on Sunday, Bryant suited back up and traveled to Sylvan Hills to face the Lady Bears in non-conference action and came away with a 7-2 victory.

“We weren’t sure how they were going to respond,” Bryant Coach Debbie Clark said of her team, “but we found out that our players are resilient. They get over things like that much quicker than their coach.”

The Lady Hornets (19-0, 3-0 7A Central) picked up a run in the top of the first when senior leadoff Jenna Bruick walked and moved to second on senior starting pitcher Peyton Jenkins’ single to left field. Bruick was out on a fielder’s choice and senior Kayla Sory singled to move fresman Abby Staton, who pinch ran for the pitcher Jenkins, to third base with one out. Senior Cassidy Wilson hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Staton for a 1-0 Lady Hornets’ lead.

The Lady Bears got the run back in the bottom of the inning when their leadoff walked, went to second on a groundout and scored on a double to tie the game at 1-apiece. After Jenkins walked the next batter, she struck out two in a row to get out of the inning.

“Peyton pitched through a lot,” Clark said. “The field wasn’t in the greatest shape. She had to pitch through some adversity, but she did really well.

After a scoreless second frame, the Lady Hornets got back to their scoring ways when they put five on the board in the top of the third inning. Consecutive singles by Bruick and Jenkins put runners on first and second, and with one out, Sory singled in Bruick to put Bryant up 2-1.

Wilson singled to score a run and sophomore Kaley Coppock singled to score one to make it a 4-1 game. Wilson scored on junior Carly Yazza’s fielder’s choice and Coppock scored on sophomore Katy Stillman’s groundout to put Bryant up 6-1 after three innings.

Jenkins cruised the rest of the way, giving up one more run in the fifth inning for the win. She gave up seven hits and walked three, but struck out 13 batters.

Bruick went 3 for 3 with a walk to get on base every plate appearance. Bruick now has four consecutive three-hit games dating back to the Van Buren Invitational.

“She is such a smart hitter,” Clark said of Bruick. “She is our slapper leadoff. She can work a pitcher and work a pitcher. She’s such a weapon. They don’t know if she’s going to two-hand bunt, one-hand drag bunt, or slap the ball. They just don’t know what she’s going to do. She reads the defense, she sees the holes; she has such a good game face and never gives up what she’s going to do.”

Sory joined Bruick in the three-hit column going 3 for 4 with a run and two RBIs, Jenkins went 2 for 3, Wilson went 1 for 3 with a run and an RBI and Coppock went 1 for 4 with a run and two RBIs.

“With this group, they are so talented, they benefit more playing sometimes than practicing,” Clark said. “I wasn’t sure about our little road trip today mentally for them, how tired they would be, but they were ready to play.”

The Lady Hornets continue conference action when they travel to Conway to take on the Lady Wampus Cats. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.