RUSSELLVILLE – The Bryant Lady Hornets softball team saw their 37-game win streak come to an end in the first game of the 2013 season with a 2-0 loss to the Russellville Lady Cyclones on Thursday at Russellville. Bryant has won the past three 7A State Championships and went a perfect 34-0 last season.
Russellville pitcher Andrea Kindrick gave up just one hit to the Lady Hornets (0-1), dominating Bryant on the night.
“She is amazing,” Bryant Coach Debbie Clark said of Kindrick. “Probably one of the best pitchers in the state, and one of the best we’ll see all year. She’s a sophomore. We saw her last year. The first time we played them, we beat them 4-0. We did a squeeze play with Jessie Taylor at the plate. That tells you how good she is. The player (Taylor) which hit the state record for home runs [laid down a squeeze bunt].”
Kayla Sory hit two homeruns off Kindrick the second time the two teams played in Bryant, but Kindrick didn’t have to face the same players she faced last year.
Graduated and state record-holding players Taylor, Sory, Peyton Jenkins, Cassidy Wilson and Jenna Bruick have all moved on, and on Thursday, Lady Hornet Sydney Gogus was the only Bryant player to get a hit.
“She’s a tough one to face for the first game of the season, but that’s what I want for everybody,” Clark spoke of the tough competition. “We’re not going to back down at all. [Kindrick] had [scholarship] offers from Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisville. That’s the kind of pitcher we faced. We’re going to be watching her on TV one day, possibly in the SEC.”
Kindrick pitched five innings of scoreless softball striking out 11 and walking one.
“We had a hard time and that’s OK,” Clark said. “After our first inning, there were no runs scored on our pitcher. We made two errors on one batter that scored the first run. We take that away, it’s 0-0. I knew she was going to be tough for us to hit.”
Bryant starting pitcher Jordan Williams picked up the loss pitching a compete game and giving up two runs in six innings, giving up six hits and striking out four while walking four.
“We only put the ball in play six times and we only put two on base,” Clark said. “We can’t make that a habit. It’s OK to strike out, but it’s not OK to make it a habit. We’re going to work on that. We also can’t make mental errors. If you do make an error, you better get in that [batter’s] box, put the ball in play and get on base.
“We needed to start with a team that is really good. I needed to see who could perform under pressure for us. And that’s what we saw. It was really good game. I saw some things we need to work on that are fixable. There isn’t anything that happened last night that we can’t fix.”