Lady Bulldogs still unbeaten in league play

Lady Bulldogs still unbeaten in league play

The Greenwood High School varsity girls softball team remains unbeaten (10-0) against 5A West opponents in Head Coach Ronnie Sockey’s ninth season at the helm. Most recently the Lady Bulldogs swept a doubleheader at Siloam Springs and will host Mountain Home this week on Tuesday for a conference twinbill. After that only one conference doubleheader remains, at Alma on April 27th. The Lady Bulldogs also have a couple more non-conference games left.

The GHS girls are 17-6 overall and 12-6 since returning from spring break. All their losses have come against non-conference foes, five of which were much larger Class 6A schools. Greenwood’s offense is generating over nine runs per game so far this season while GHS pitching has allowed about 3½ runs per game. That’s a winning formula.

Coach Sockey recently offered his assessment of the Lady Bulldogs as the season heads into the home stretch. “We are glad to be done with our long stretch of [games]. We played around 20 games (including junior varsity) in a two-week period [against] very tough opponents.  We found out a lot about the team and figured out some things about our line-up.  

“We are in the lead in the conference with just four games to go,” Sockey continued, “Mountain Home at our place on Tuesday then [we] finish on the road at Alma.  We need to win at least two of those games to assure [ourselves] first place in conference.  But our goal is to win out and build on that going into the state tournament. We hope to continue our hitting and playing good defense these final few weeks.”

Greenwood’s scheduled non-conference tilt against Beebe last Friday (at Morrilton) was washed out by wet weather, so the Lady Bulldogs are enjoying several well-deserved days off since their most recent action at Siloam Springs last Tuesday, April 13th, a doubleheader sweep for the visitors. The GHS girls won both games in convincing fashion, 22-1 and 15-0.

Siloam Springs

Greenwood out-hit the Lady Panthers by a margin of 17-0 as Haven Clements and Madelynn Cassat combined for a three-inning no-hitter. Greenwood scored nine runs in the top of the first, seven in the second inning, and six more in the third. The home team scored its only run in the first without a hit, taking advantage of a couple walks and wild pitches, scoring on a fielder’s choice. GHS pitching combined for five strikeouts and the defense was flawless.

The Lady Bulldogs got a two-run homer from Ally Sockey to jumpstart the offense in the opening frame. The coach’s daughter went on to lead the team with a 3-for-3 performance at the plate, including two doubles and the homerun. She had eight total bases and drove home four runs.

Others with multiple hits for Greenwood included Macey Cutsinger, Chelsi Possage, Haven Clements, Natalie Thomas, and Myia McCoy. Possage and Ireland Cooper scored three runs each and drove home two runs apiece. Thomas had three RBIs and Rylee Cowart also added two runs batted in.

In the nightcap, GHS freshman hurler Tori Howard continued to no-hit the Lady Panthers, who were clearly outclassed. The Lady Bulldogs needed just eight hits to score 15 runs in four innings, aided by some sloppy Siloam Springs’ fielding with four errors. The home team committed 11 errors in both games. Howard had five Ks in the game as well, going the distance.

The visitors scored eight times in the first inning, then added five runs in the third and two more in the fourth inning before the game ended early due to the mercy rule. The day’s results were what might be expected when the league’s top team faces the last place team. Siloam Springs is winless in the 5A West and has only one victory this season.

Once again Ally Sockey led the team in batting with three hits, duplicating her game one performance with two doubles and a homerun, accounting for five RBIs. Macey Cutsinger also belted a homerun and had three RBIs. Claire Chapple had a hit and drove home two runs while freshman Myia McCoy scored three times.

Greenwood Festival

Last weekend the Lady Bulldogs hosted Bentonville and Conway in a round-robin tournament, pitting themselves against some top-notch 6A competition. They lost both games, but the experience was good for the GHS girls, who have breezed through their conference opponents this season without facing much of a challenge.

The Lady Wampus Cats of Conway downed Greenwood 11-4 in the early game, outhitting the Lady Bulldogs by a 16-8 margin, but most of those hits came late as Conway broke open a close game to win by seven runs. Greenwood led 3-1 after three innings and 4-3 after four before the Lady Cats scored three times in the fifth and five times in the seventh.

Haven Clements took the loss for Greenwood, going 4.1 innings, allowing six runs on nine hits. She was relieved by Tori Howard who finished the game and was touched up for seven hits and five runs.

Offensively, Greenwood got multiple-hit games from Chelsi Possage, Natalie Thomas, and Ally Sockey. Thomas had a homerun and two RBIs among her two hits and Sockey had a triple among her two knocks. Seniors Possage and Sockey are both D-1 college recruits slated to attend the University of Arkansas in the fall.

Later that afternoon the Lady Tigers of Bentonville outlasted Greenwood in seven innings, 6-4. Trailing 3-0 after three innings, the Lady Bulldogs plated three runs to tie the score in the fourth, but the visitors responded with two runs in the fifth and another in the sixth for the win. Greenwood added an additional run in the sixth as well.

Greenwood’s fourth inning outburst was keyed by a two-run blast off the bat of Natalie Thomas after a leadoff hit by Ally Sockey. Charlize Taylor then singled and later scored on a double by Claire Chapple. Once again Sockey led the offense with three hits, followed by Thomas and Macey Cutsinger with two hits each.

In the circle, Madelynn Cassat went five innings for Greenwood, taking the loss, giving up 11 hits and five earned runs. She was relieved by Haven Clements, who gave up a run in two innings of work.

Greenbrier

On April 8th the Lady Bulldogs hosted Greenbrier in a conference get-together, winning both ends of the doubleheader in contrasting fashion, 10-0 and 7-6. Haven Clements mound performance was the highlight of the opener. The senior pitcher threw a five-inning no-hitter, retiring 15 of the 16 batters she faced, allowing only a first inning walk.

She got all the offensive support she needed in the first inning when the Lady Bulldogs pushed across six runs, four of them on a grand slam homer to centerfield by sophomore Mady Cartwright, who had three hits in the game along with four RBIs. Ally Sockey was the overall hits leader with four safeties, all singles, and two runs driven home.

Game two was much tighter with both teams scoring nearly all their runs in the early innings. The Lady Panthers plated two runners in the top of the first against GHS starter Tori Howard, who went five innings, yielding eight hits and five runs for the victory.

Greenwood tied the game in the bottom half of the frame on a trio of doubles by Ally Sockey, Charlize Taylor, and Mady Cartwright. The visitors then regained the lead with three runs in the second on four consecutive hits and a pair of Greenwood errors. Howard was relieved by Clements for the two-inning save.

In the bottom of the second Greenwood rallied back with two more runs on a pair of hits by Myia McCoy and Natalie Thomas, along with two walks, a hit batsman, and a Greenbrier error. Trailing 5-4, the Lady Bulldogs scored three more times in the third inning after leadoff hits by Clements and McCoy.

A walk followed and all three runners came home on a sacrifice fly by Ally Sockey and a single by Natalie Thomas. The Lady Panthers scored an unearned run in the sixth with the help of a Greenwood error, but fell a run short of tying the score.

At the dish, Greenwood pounded out a dozen hits with four players – Clements, Thomas, McCoy, and Cartwright – getting two each. Thomas had two RBIs while Cartwright, Sockey, and Taylor had one each. Cartwright, Sockey, and Taylor all had doubles in the contest.

Vilonia

On April 6th the Lady Bulldogs won a pair of home conference games against the Lady Eagles by lopsided margins, 11-1 and 7-0. Haven Clements and Tori Howard were the pitching stars for Greenwood, both turning in complete game victories. Clements toed the rubber in the opener and allowed just four hits and one run over five innings. Howard threw a shutout in the nightcap, going all seven frames while allowing just five hits and no runs.

In the opener Vilonia scored a run in the first and led 1-0 until Greenwood exploded for five runs in both the third and fourth innings then added a solo run in the fifth to invoke the mercy rule. Hits by Sockey and Cartwright were sandwiched around two walks and an error in the third to spark Greenwood’s first rally.

One-out doubles by Sockey and Thomas ignited the fourth-inning outburst, followed by another walk and error and RBI hits by Macey Cutsinger and Myia McCoy. Sockey led the team with three hits, while Possage and Clements had two each. Cartwright had two RBIs while five other players drove home single runs. Thomas and Sockey had the only extra-base hits.

In game two the Lady Bulldogs scored four times in the second inning before adding single runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Greenwood had nine hits in the game, led by Chelsi Possage with two and two RBIs on a double and triple. Ally Sockey had just one hit, but it came with the bases loaded and drove home three runs.

Fayetteville

On April 5th the Lady Bulldogs traveled north to Fayetteville for a non-conference contest, winning handily, 15-1, behind the solid mound work of starter Madelynn Cassat and Haley McAdams in relief. Cassat went four innings for the victory, allowing just two hits and one run. Cassat pitched a scoreless fifth inning.

After a scoreless first frame, the visiting Lady Bulldogs went to work on Fayetteville pitching, stroking 15 hits in the game, plating six runs in both the second and third innings, two in the fourth, and one more in the fifth. Eleven different players had at least one hit and three had multi-hit games. Cartwright had three hits while Thomas and Taylor had two each.

Greenwood belted five homers in the game. All three of Cartwrights hits were for extra bases, including two doubles and a homerun. Chelsi Possage had a three-run blast in the third inning. Fellow senior Kinley Fisher also whacked a long ball in the second as did Macey Cutsinger. Charlize Taylor launched a third-inning bomb.

Van Buren Tournament

On Friday and Saturday, April 2-3, the Lady Bulldogs played in a tournament at Van Buren against Springdale Har-Ber, Fort Smith Southside, Bentonville, and Rogers, going 3-2 against the much larger 6A schools. Greenwood beat Har-Ber 14-1, topped Southside 12-0, then split with Bentonville, losing 9-2 and winning 5-3, before falling to Rogers, 6-2.

In their tournament opener, the GHS girls broke out the bats with a 13-hit attack against Springdale Har-Ber. The Lady Wildcats were held in check by solid Greenwood pitching in the person of starter Haven Clements, who went three innings for the win, allowing four hits and one run. Madelynn Cassat pitched one perfect inning in relief.

Har-Ber led 1-0 after two frames, but the dam burst in the top of the third when the Lady Bulldogs erupted for 10 runs, adding four more in the next frame to end the game after four innings. A triple and three doubles were among the offensive highlights for Greenwood. Chelsi Possage had the triple and two RBIs while Haven Clements, Natalie Thomas, and Ally Sockey had the doubles. Sockey went 3-for-3 with three runs batted in. Charlize Taylor had two hits and an RBI while Kinley Fisher added a single and two RBIs.

Tori Howard pitched all three innings for Greenwood against the Lady Mavericks in game two on Friday night, allowing no hits in a contest cut short by the mercy rule. The GHS defense was perfect behind Howard, who had just one strikeout.

Offensively, Greenwood scored four times in the first inning and eight times in the second, totaling eight hits for the game. Seven different girls had hits, but only outfielder Macey Cutsinger had a two-hit game including a single, homerun, and four RBIs. Chelsi Possage and Haven Clements also had two RBIs each in the 12-0 victory.

On Saturday, the Bentonville Lady Tigers more than doubled Greenwood’s hit total (13 to 6) to earn a seven-run victory. The Lady Bulldogs also made two errors that allowed for a pair of unearned runs. Tori Howard started for Greenwood in the circle and took the loss in three innings of work. Haven Clements and Haley McAdams pitched one frame each in relief.

Greenwood scored solo runs in the second and third innings while the visitors put up crooked numbers in the second, third, fourth, and fifth innings. Kinley Fisher and Ally Sockey had two hits each for the Lady Bulldogs.

In game two against Bentonville, Greenwood took charge with a four-run outburst in the fourth inning, holding the Lady Tigers to single runs in the first, third, and fifth innings. Haven Clements started for Greenwood and pitched four innings for the win. Howard relieved in the fifth and final inning and allowed one run.

The Lady Bulldogs had only three hits in the game, but two of them left the yard. Charlize Taylor and Mady Cartwright both homered in the fourth inning. Cartwright’s blast was a three-run bomb.

In the day’s final contest, Greenwood fell to the Lady Mounties, 6-2, in five innings. Tori Howard started in the circle for Greenwood and took the loss, going three innings, yielding seven hits and all six runs before being relieved by Madelynn Cassat, who gave up one hit in two frames of work.

Each team scored in the opening inning with the visitors taking a 2-1 lead. But a four-run rally by Rogers in the third inning proved insurmountable for the GHS offense. All four Rogers’ runs came via the long ball, the first of which was a three-run blast. Greenwood scored a single run in the fourth but was limited to just five hits in the game. Macey Cutsinger had a solo homer in the first and Natalie Thomas had a double and RBI in the contest.

Farmington

On April Fool’s Day the Lady Bulldogs traveled to Farmington and were soundly beaten by the Lady Cardinals, 14-4. Greenwood was outhit 21-7 as Coach Sockey employed several hurlers over six innings of work, no doubt trying to preserve and prepare his arms for the weekend tournament at Van Buren.

The game was scoreless through two frames before Farmington put up five runs in the third and more crooked numbers in the three innings that followed. Greenwood scored single runs in the third and fifth innings and two runs in the sixth. Ally Sockey was the only Lady Bulldogs’ player with two hits, a single and double and three RBIs.

Van Buren

Back from spring break, the Lady Bulldogs extracted a pair of conference victories at Van Buren on March 30th, beating the Lady Pointers 7-3 and 11-0. Haven Clements pitched the opener and went the distance for the win. In game two the starting and winning hurler was Tori Howard, with relief help from Madelynn Cassat.

The first game was tight for three innings before the GHS girls scored four times in the top of the fourth, twice in the fifth, and once more in the sixth. Van Buren scratched out a run in the third and two more in the fifth, but came up short against Clements, whose defense backed her up with zero errors. The Greenwood hurler had three Ks and issued three walks.

With the sticks, the Lady Bulldogs racked up 10 hits, three of those by Claire Chapple, including a double and three RBIs. Kinley Fisher and Haven Clements had two hits each and Fisher drove home a pair of runs. Charlize Taylor had a solo homerun in the victory.

In game two, Howard gave up two hits and fanned nine Van Buren hitters, pitching five innings of shutout ball, with Cassat closing out the game with a perfect sixth, including a pair of strikeouts. The visitors outhit the home team by a 13-2 margin and both teams committed one error. Greenwood scored six runs in the first inning to take charge of the game early.

Natalie Thomas, Mady Cartwright, and Charlize Taylor all had two hits for the Lady Bulldogs. Thomas had a homerun and drove home three runs. Taylor also had two RBIs while Cartwright drove home one. Kinley Fisher also had two RBIs with a hit in her only at bat. Macey Cutsinger, Chelsi Possage, and Taylor all had doubles in the game.

Southside

On their first day back after spring break, on Monday, March 29th, the Lady Bulldogs hosted Fort Smith Southside and lost 1-0 in a classic pitching duel. Haven Clements was strong in her four innings of work, but allowed a second inning run and took the hard-luck loss. Tori Howard was excellent in her three innings of relief, keeping the score at 1-0.

But Southside’s pitcher was even better, blanking the Lady Bulldogs over seven innings of work, allowing just five hits. Both teams played flawless defense. Greenwood’s best chance to score occurred in the early innings. The Lady Bulldogs put runners on base in innings one, two, and three, but could not score. They then went down in order over the final four frames as the Southside hurler retired the last 13 batters she faced.

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