The Viola Lady Longhorns traveled to Sherwood to take on the Pea Ridge Lady Blackhawks in the first round of the State A-AA Fast Pitch Softball Tournament on May 4.
A big third inning by the Class AA Lady Blackhawks was answered by an equally big fifth inning for the Class A Lady Longhorns, but was not enough to stave off a 6-5 Pea Ridge victory.
Both teams got out of the gate slowly with Lady Longhorn starter Hannah Benton fanning three Lady Blackhawks in the first three innings.
Viola put together back-to-back base hits in the bottom of the second from Melinda Guffee and Kyla Batterton, but they were left stranded as a strikeout and fielder's choice ended the frame.
The Lady Blackhawks lit the scoreboard for four runs in the visitors' half of the third.
A base hit started things off for Pea Ridge, followed by a pair of walks to load the bases.
A passed ball brought home the first run for the Lady Blackhawks.
Another ball in the dirt led to the second steal of home in the inning for Pea Ridge.
After a 2-RBI base hit, the Lady Blackhawks enjoyed a 4-0 advantage.
The Lady Longhorns tried to respond in the home half of the fourth as Lindsey Barker led off by smoking a double to left field.
The Lady Longhorn rally stalled as a flyout and two strikeouts finished the inning with Barker stuck on second base.
Viola let Pea Ridge know that they were not about to roll over by plating five runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Meghan Coggins and Jeana Shrable each posted a base hit to start the inning.
Hannah Benton followed by dropping a short infield single between the pitcher and second base.
Coggins hesitated from third and then decided to score on the play but was thrown out at home for the first Viola out of the inning.
Barker took care of business as her second hit of the game brought home Shrable and Benton.
Barker crossed the plate herself as Guffee reached first on an overthrow from short to first.
Batterton wrapped up the Longhorn comeback with a hit down the right field line that scored Brandi Shrable and Guffee to give the Lady Longhorns a 5-4 lead after five.
There was little time for a Longhorn celebration as Pea Ridge crossed the plate twice in the top of the sixth to wrest the lead back in their favor at 6-5.
The Lady Longhorns were retired in order in the bottom of the frame.
Lindsey Barker returned the favor for Viola by setting down the Lady Blackhawks 1-2-3 in the last inning as she relived Benton on the mound.
The Lady Longhorns managed just one hit in the bottom of the seventh as Pea Ridge held on for the 6-5 victory to move on in the state tournament.
Barker and Batterton paced Viola with two hits and two RBIs apiece.
Barker, Benton and Shrable were named to the Class A-AA Region 3 All-Tournament team the week before, with Barker being named Tournament MVP.