The Greenwood Lady Bulldogs have returned home after a productive road trip playing in Southhaven, Mississippi last weekend. The GHS girls improved their season marked to 13-3 overall.
They won three of their four contests in Mississippi and won four straight conference games before departing last Friday morning for their last tournament of the regular season. They remain unbeaten in league play at 6-0.
Head Coach Ronnie Sockey led his players to six straight wins between a 1-0 loss to Gravette on March 16th and last Saturday’s 6-4 loss to DeSoto Central. In between the Lady Bulldogs outscored their opponents by a whooping margin of 91-12.
Greenwood’s first two games, played back-to-back Friday evening, were blowouts. The Lady Bulldogs defeated Collierville, TN, by a score of 14-0, and followed that with a 15-1 shellacking of Briarcrest Christian, a private school near Memphis.
Saturday’s games were much closer, including the loss to DeSoto Central of Southhaven, MS, and a 4-2 win over Magnolia Heights of Senatobia, MS.
The Lady Bulldogs needed just 4½ innings to take down Collierville last Friday in a 5:30 p.m. contest. The home team, Greenwood scored in every inning, outhitting the opposition 12-1.
Haven Clements earned the shutout victory. The sophomore hurler gave just the one hit, walked two, and had three strikeouts. Her defense did the rest, playing errorless ball behind her.
Greenwood scored twice in the opening frame, four times in the second inning, seven times in the third, and once more in the bottom of the fourth. Three players led the way with two hits each.
Among them was freshman Macey Cutsinger with a single, double, and a run scored. Natalie Thomas also had two hits, including a triple, three RBIs, and a run scored. Paxtyn Hayes was the other two-hit player for the Lady Bulldogs with a single, double, two RBIs, and a run scored.
Other offensive contributors included junior Harley Terry with a hit and two RBIs, junior Angela Price with a hit, two RBIs, and four runs scored, and senior Mariah Hamilton with a triple, two RBIs, and a pair of runs scored.
Greenwood was also the home team in Friday’s second game on the heels of their earlier win over Collierville. The opponent was Briarcrest Christian of Shelby County, TN, and junior Rheding Wagoner toed the rubber for the Lady Bulldogs, earning the 15-1 pitching victory.
Wagoner gave up her only run of the game in the top of the first on a pair of hits and a couple of passed balls. She allowed just one other hit over the next three frames of work.
Her teammates scored four times in the bottom of the first, then put the game away with an 11-run outburst in the third inning. The game was called after 3½ frames.
Greenwood banged out 11 hits and got help from the Briarcrest defense that committed four errors. Harley Terry, Haven Clements, and Natalie Thomas all had two hits each to lead the way.
Terry had two singles, drove home three runs, and scored three times herself. Clements had a pair of doubles, plated two runs, and scored twice, while Thomas added two singles, two RBIs, and a run scored. Sophomore Chloe Creekmore also added a hit and two RBIs. Wagoner scored three times and Hamilton twice.
The GHS girls opened play last Saturday morning at 10:30 against DeSoto Central and found themselves trailing 6-0 after 4½ innings before mounting a late rally that fell short in a 6-4 loss.
Still the home team, the Lady Bulldogs and pitcher Haven Clements gave up three early runs in the top of the first. DeSoto Central added two more runs in the third and one more in the fourth, totaling nine hits for the game. Greenwood had seven hits and made one defensive error.
The Lady Bulldogs were quiet offensively until the fifth when Natalie Thomas and Angela Price led off with back-to-back doubles. Ally Sockey followed with a walk to load the bases and Mariah Hamilton drove them all home with a grand slam homer to center.
But the next three hitters were all retired and Greenwood never batted again. The game was called in the middle of the sixth due to time constraints dictated by the tournament format.
After a mid-day break the Lady Bulldogs returned to the diamond for their tournament finale against Magnolia Heights of Senatobia, MS, a 4-2 GHS victory behind pitcher Rheding Wagoner.
Both teams scored single runs in the second and fourth innings. Greenwood added solo runs in the third and fifth to secure the win on six total hits. The game lasted five innings.
The GHS girls were the visitors in Saturday’s finale. Wagoner went all five frames, giving two runs on five hits. She struck out four hitters and walked none. Her defense was solid behind her, with just one error.
Sophomore Ally Sockey had two hits, both singles, and scored a run for her dad’s team. Harley Terry had the only RBI for Greenwood on a single. Angela Price, Paxtyn Hayes, and Mariah Hamilton accounted for the other three GHS hits.
Last Tuesday the Lady Bulldogs won a pair of conference games at home over the Lady Eagles. Greenwood had also defeated Vilonia earlier this season in tournament play at Farmington.
“We had two starters out with injury and sickness, so we had a few changes in the lineup,” said Coach Sockey. “The defense made a few mistakes, but we made some big plays [too] to get out of some jams. Offensively, we had a lot of girls come up with big hits at different times in the games.
“We had a few new girls in the lineup that came up with some big two-out hits early in the game when we were behind and tied up,” Sockey said. “Then our top four hitters all at different times in the game had big hits, and all four ended up with two hits apiece in the second game.”
In the opener of the doubleheader, Haven Clements went all six innings to earn the pitching victory. She gave just two runs on three hits with a strikeout and no walks. She was also dynamite with the bat.
“She held Vilonia scoreless from the third through the sixth inning, then gave up a few runs in the seventh. But she gutted it out and finished the inning for us,” Sockey said.
The game remained close through three frames. Trailing 2-1, the Lady Bulldogs broke the contest open with five runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, adding a solo run in the sixth for the 12-2 victory.
The GHS girls tallied nine total hits, led by a red-hot Clements with a 4-for-4 performance at the plate, including three singles, a double, and two RBIs. The Vilonia defense helped out with five errors in the game.
In game two the Lady Bulldogs won a slugfest, 11-8, as both teams combined to bang out 26 hits. There were also six errors in the game, four by Greenwood.
Haven Clements continued a career performance, earning the win with five innings of relief work after Rheding Wagoner started the game and gave up five runs on eight hits in two innings. Clements yielded seven hits over five innings, but held the Lady Eagles to just three additional runs.
Greenwood scored four times in the first to lead 4-2, but Vilonia retook the lead, 5-4, with three runs in the top of the second. But the Lady Bulldogs scored once more in the second before adding two runs each in the third, fourth, and fifth frames to lead 11-2. Vilonia added three late runs to make it closer.
The middle of the order did most of the damage for Greenwood, Angela Price, Paxtyn Hayes, and Ally Sockey all had two hits each, as did Mariah Hamilton batting lower in the batting order.
Price had a single, double, RBI, and scored two runs. Hayes also had a single and double, with two RBIs. Sockey and Hamilton each added a single, double, two RBIs, and two runs scored.
“Our girls played super hard and fought through adversity to come up with two big conference wins,” said Coach Sockey.
A week earlier (March 26th) the Lady Bulldogs took to the road and outscored the Lady Cyclones 39-1 in another league doubleheader sweep. They also out-hit Russellville in the two games, 37-9.
In the opener Rheding Wagoner earned the 17-0 shutout win with seven innings of solid work in the pitching circle. She allowed five hits, no walks, and fanned six Russellville batters.
Greenwood scored twice in the first inning, once in the third, three times in the fourth, two in the sixth, and nine times in the top of the seventh. Five GHS players had a multi-hit game.
Those included Chloe Creekmore and Mariah Hamilton with three hits each, and Macey Cutsinger, Paxtyn Hayes, and Ally Sockey with two hits each. Junior Emma McCorkle also had a double and three RBIs, while sophomore Eden Hutchins had a triple and three RBIs.
But it was Hamilton who led the team with five runs batted in on a pair of singles and a homerun with three runs scored. Sockey also drove home three runs with a pair of singles. Angela Price had a single and three RBIs as well.
In the nightcap, just a three-inning affair, Haven Clements got the win, giving up one run on four hits, striking out three and walking none. Greenwood won 22-1, collecting 18 hits in just three innings.
The Lady Bulldogs scored an even dozen in the top of the first, adding eight runs in the second and two more in the third. Russellville scored its lone run in the bottom of the third.
Price and Hayes led Greenwood with three hits each. Each had two singles and a double. Price drove home two runs and scored three more. Hayes had three RBIs and scored once.
Chloe Creekmore added two hits, both singles, and Ally Sockey added a double and three RBIs. Harley Terry and Haven Clements also had two RBIs each.
Mariah Hamilton had another big game with six runs batted in on two hits, including a homerun in the 12-run first inning, and three runs scored.
This week the Lady Bulldogs played a conference doubleheader at Siloam Springs this past Wednesday, but results were not available at press time. On Friday they will play a non-conference game at Van Buren. Game time is set for 5 p.m.
Next Wednesday Greenwood will travel to Arkansas Tech University in Russellville to take on Beebe in a 5A West varsity doubleheader.
Next Friday the Lady Bulldogs will host Gravette in a varsity-junior varsity non-conference doubleheader. Game time for the varsity contest is set for 4 p.m.