Benton tosses perfect game, moves streak to 12

The Benton Lady Panthers made short work of JA Fair on Tuesday as they extended their winning streak to 12 with a 15-0 rout. Both coaches agreed to put in a five-run limit per inning rule before the game started.

Benton scored five straight runs on four walks, two hits and an error in the first to take the early 5-0 lead.

Jessica Franklin shut down Fair in the bottom of the first by striking out the side, but was injured on the play. Immediately after releasing a strike three fastball to the third-place hitter to end the inning, Franklin hit the ground in pain as she grabbed her knee.

According to head coach Heidi Cox, Franklin’s knee moved out of place but popped back in after she got the dugout.

“She has done this once before, but they said that it was 10 times worse then,” Cox said. “We will be without her the rest of this week and hopefully the next week so she can recover.”

Franklin had a doctor’s appointment today at 1 p.m. to make sure nothing else is wrong with her knee.

Benton added five more runs in the second. Fair did record an out, but Benton was still too much for them.

Amanda Jones came in to pitch for Benton and continued to shut Fair down from the circle. Jones struck out two and forced a fly out in the bottom of the second.

The third inning was the same story for Benton as it plated five more runs to go up 15-0.

Jones finished Fair off in the bottom with a ground out, fly out and another strikeout to end the game, giving Benton the perfect game and a 12th-straight win.

“I was very proud of my girls,” Cox said. “They knew what to expect and there was great sportsmanship on both sides.”

Franklin and Jones combined to give up no hits and struck out 6 of the 9 Fair hitters.

Benton was walked 10 times in the game while bashing out five hits including a three-RBI double from Taylor Atkinson in the second. Four Lady Panthers went 1 for 1 at the plate. Stevi Berg went 1 for 1 with an RBI and three runs.

With the win, Benton moves to 12-1 overall and 4-0 in conference. The Lady Panthers will be back in the friendly confines of Lady Panther Field when they take on El Dorado in another 6A match on Thursday. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.