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Taylor, Barker rude to Rural

Thursday, April 1, 2004

Sports Editor

It's a safe bet that the Rural Special Lady Rebels got their fill of Chelsea Taylor and Lindsey Barker the afternoon of March 23.

The Viola Lady Longhorns' two flamethrowers completely dismantled Rural Special by combining for 14 strikeouts, while allowing only three hits and one run as Viola swept a twin-bill from Rural Special.

Taylor fanned seven in the Lady Horns' 15-0 four-inning game one win, while Barker rang up seven Ks in Viola's 5-1 three-inning victory in game two.

Viola put game one away early by striking for six runs in the bottom of the first.

Barker drove in the game's first run with a base hit and Melinda Guffey followed with a single that plated two more runs.

The big blow came when Kyla Smoot stepped to the plate and crushed a three-run homer to right, putting the Lady Rebels in a 6-0 hole after one.

While Taylor was keeping the Rural Special bats quiet, the Lady Horns grabbed total control of the contest with eight runs in the home-half of the third.

With the sacks full of Lady Longhorns, Gina Hodges and then Kyla Batterton, drew a pair of base-on-balls that walked in two runs.

Helping her cause on the mound, Taylor dug into the batter's box and jacked a shot to left-center that resulted in a grand slam, clearing the bases.

Jamie Dailey and Guffey finished off the frame with an RBI each that staked Viola to a commanding 14-zip lead heading into the fourth inning.

Taylor wrapped up the win in the bottom of the fourth by singling to left, bringing Hodges in to score and rounding out Viola's 15-0 blanking of Rural Special.

Taylor ended the game with two base hits and a grand slam, good for five runs-batted-in.

Smoot added three RBIs on two singles and a homer, while Barker logged three hits and one RBI. Guffey posted three ribbies on one hit, with Hodges, Batterton and Dailey all adding one RBI each.

Breann Wray started the Lady Horns off with a two-RBI double in the nightcap and Viola never looked back.

Up 2-0 after one-half inning of play, Barker retired the Lady Rebels in order in the bottom of the first.

She then came to the plate in the top of the second and punched a base hit that brought in one run as the Lady longhorns extended their lead.

Mandi Fore followed that with a single to center that was good for two more runs, boosting Viola to a 5-0 lead.

Rural Special did cross the plate in the bottom of the second for their lone run on the afternoon, but the Lady Longhorns emerged with a four-run win in game two, and a double-header sweep.

Wray led the Lady Horn hit parade with a double and pair of RBIs, while Hodges also posted a double. Barker's hit was good for two runs-batted-in, and Fore also had a hit and two ribbies.

The Lady Horns made it to the finals of the Jonesboro Westside Tournament March 20, only to find their matchup with the home-standing Lady Warriors canceled due to rain.

A game that was already scheduled between Viola and Westside for April 1 will be used to determine the tourney champ.

Viola advanced to the finals with a 15-1 smashing of Class AAA Rivercrest in the semis, with Barker earning the win. Taylor came on in relief and fanned three Lady Colts in two innings.

Taylor, Barker and Dailey each went four-for-four in the game. Barker and Dailey tallied two RBIs each, and Dailey added one.

Batterton went three-for-four, while Hodges went two-for-three with an RBI. Guffey posted a triple in the rout.



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