Lady Bulldogs living up to expectations
By Richard White
Ever since winning the 6A state title two years ago, the Greenwood Lady Bulldogs have carried the enviable burden of high expectations, and 2017 is no different. But this current team is more than living up to those expectations, posting a 10-3 record so far, even after Monday's loss at Bentonville.
After three scoreless innings, Bentonville pushed across a single run in the bottom of the fourth, and that score held until the sixth when the Lady Tigers added three runs to seal their victory.
Starting pitcher Kaila Cartwright took the loss for the Lady Bulldogs, going six innings, giving six hits while fanning eight hitters. The defense made two errors behind her. The GHS girls managed just two hits against the Bentonville starter, who went the distance for the win.
On March 8th the Lady Bulldogs out-hit Heritage 11-8 on their way to an 8-7 road win, improving their record to 4-0. Falling behind 2-0 in the first, Greenwood scored twice in the third to tie the score, then plated five runs in the fourth to take a 7-3 lead, before holding off a late Heritage rally.
Pitcher Madison Lawler started the game for Greenwood and earned the win. Sophomore third baseman Miriah Hamilton led the team offensively with three hits and three runs batted in. Sydney Parker also plated three runs.
Two days later the GHS girls traveled to Benton in Central Arkansas for tournament play and suffered a 5-2 loss to the Lady Panthers. Greenbrier grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first and never trailed.
Two more Greenbrier runs scored in the top of the fourth before the Lady Bulldogs added two runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame.
But the Lady Panthers, who out-hit Greenwood 9-3, put the game away with two fifth inning runs. Pitcher Kimmie Colyer took the loss for Greenwood, while shortstop Rheding Wagoner had two RBIs.
Up next in the Benton tournament were the Lady Bulldogs of White Hall, and despite committing three errors, Greenwood pulled out a 3-2 victory, scoring the winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning in walk-off fashion.
White Hall scored first, plating two runs in the top of the third. Greenwood tied the game in the fourth before Miriah Hamilton's sixth inning walk-off single drove home teammate Hannah Booker.
Greenwood outfielder Erika Calderon also had a hit in the sixth and two for the game, along with Hamilton, who had two RBIs as well. Kimmie Colyer and Madison Lawler split the pitching duties, each going three innings.
Returning from the Benton tournament, the Lady Bulldogs traveled to Waldron on March 13th for a 13-0 win in tough weather conditions, moving their season mark to 6-1.
With a temperature in the 40s and a brisk wind blowing throughout the game, the Lady Bulldogs scored four runs in the second inning, one in the third, and two in the fourth before putting the game away with a six-run sixth inning. Greenwood's Madison Lawler pitched all six frames for the win.
At the plate, catcher Sydney Parker had three hits and outfielder Karter Langston had two hits. Erika Calderon had two runs batted in. Miriah Hamilton and Sidney Bieker also drove home runs.
The Lady Bulldogs returned to conference play the next day, hosting Farmington, dropping a 9-6 decision to the Lady Cardinals. The visitors led 4-0 midway through the fifth and put the game away with four runs in the sixth and one more in their last at bat.
Greenwood mounted a late rally, scoring all six of its runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. The Lady Bulldogs banged out nine hits, with Miriah Hamilton collecting three RBIs. Kimmie Colyer went 4.2 innings for Greenwood, and Madison Lawler threw 2.1 frames.
On Friday, March 17th, the last day of school before spring break, the Lady Bulldogs hosted Harrison for a varsity doubleheader, with Greenwood winning both ends of the twin bill.
In the opener, junior Kaila Cartwright toed the rubber in her first appearance after the end of basketball season. She pitched seven innings of one-hit ball, striking out eight Harrison hitters.
The Lady Goblins got their only run in the top of the second and led 1-0 until Greenwood broke through with two runs in the fourth, adding an insurance tally in the sixth for the 3-1 victory.
Greenwood had only four hits in the game, and Paxtyn Hayes had two of those, driving home a pair of runs. She had an RBI triple in the fourth inning and a solo homerun in the sixth.
Game two of the doubleheader was a different story, with Greenwood scoring big early en route to a 9-0 shutout win behind the strong pitching of Madison Lawler, who went all six frames. She fanned four Harrison batters and got plenty of help from her teammates on defense.
A two-run first inning was followed by a three-run second as Greenwood built an early 5-0 lead. That remained the score until the bottom of the sixth when the Lady Bulldogs pushed across four additional runs. The GHS girls tallied 11 total hits.
Miriah Hamilton had three of those hits and also knocked home four runs. Sydney Parker added two hits and three RBIs, while Erika Calderon also added a pair of hits and an RBI.
The following day the GHS girls hosted a split doubleheader, starting with an early afternoon tilt against the Lady Panthers. Greenwood assaulted Siloam Springs pitching for 14 hits in the 16-1 league victory.
It didn't take long for the bats to get going as the home team scored nine first inning runs, sending 13 hitters to the plate, the first four of which all had hits. Seven more second inning runs followed.
Paxtyn Hayes and Sydney Parker both had three hits in the contest. Erika Calderon added a pair of hits. Miriah Hamilton had three RBIs. Paxtyn Hayes and Hannah Booker both added two RBIs.
Kaila Cartwright pitched two innings with five strikeouts, followed by Madison Lawler with three scoreless frames. The Lady Panthers had just two hits in the contest.
Part two of the unusual doubledip was a late afternoon contest against conference rival Lake Hamilton. Kaila Cartwright was the starting and winning pitcher for Greenwood, going the distance in the 5-1 victory. She fanned five Lady Wolves along the way.
Two first inning runs were all that Cartwright needed. An RBI triple by Paxtyn Hayes was the key blow in the opening frame, driving home Erika Calderon, who had walked to lead off the game. Hayes later scored on a groundout.
The Lady Bulldogs added a solo tally in the third and two more in the sixth. Lake Hamilton's only run came in the fourth inning on a pair of singles sandwiched around a sac bunt.
Greenwood had just five hits, two of them by Hannah Booker. Miriah Hamilton and Paxtyn Hayes both had solo RBIs.
Following the back-to-back doubleheaders, the GHS girls enjoyed spring break before returning to action this past Monday at Bentonville. This coming weekend they will compete in tournament play at Van Buren.
They will be at home next week, hosting Russellville on Tuesday and Fayetteville on Thursday before traveling to Alma next Friday. Russellville and Alma are both conference games.