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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Lady Longhorns overcome long ball

Thursday, April 30, 2009

(Photo)
HELLO, BALL: Heather Simmons waits on a pitch in the district tournament finals. Photo/Mullins
You could see the disappointment in her face.

Hannah Wright had just smacked a ball down the right field line that was foul by mere inches. Had it been fair, she probably would have had a triple.

But Wright shook it off and stepped back into the batter's box.

And as it turns out, that hit being foul was a blessing.

For two pitches later, Wright drove the softball over the fence in center field for her first-ever, fence-clearing dinger.

Wright's first inning homer gave the Calico Rock Lady Pirates a quick 1-0 lead in the championship game of the 1A-2 West District Tournament at Viola City Park April 22.

It was also the only run that Calico Rock would score in the game and the regular season champs from Viola would go on to win by the score of 3-1.

Later in the week, both teams opened regional tournament play with wins, sending Viola and Calico Rock to the state softball tournament.

In the district tourney finals, Viola struck for all three of its runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Dedra Johnston earned the win for the Lady Horns, tossing seven innings of three-hit ball. She fanned eight while hitting one and walking two.

Miranda Jones took the loss for Calico Rock, allowing six hits while striking out two and walking one.

Viola started off the game-changing fourth inning with Chasidy Hutson reaching first via a walk.

Heather Simmons followed Hutson's walk by beating out a bunt hit to first base. With two on and no outs in the frame, Johnston drilled a hot shot to the fence in left. That shot plated both Hutson and Simmons.

And the Lady Longhorns were not yet done.

Leslie Barker plated Johnston with a sacrifice fly to give Viola a 3-1 lead after four innings of play.

Johnston then retired Calico Rock in order in the fifth, six and seventh innings to preserve the victory for the Lady Longhorns.

Simmons had two hits for Viola, with Johnston added a double and two ribbies. Barker had an RBI and Taylor Griggs hit safely twice. Lindsey Walker notched a hit for the Lady Longhorns.

Wright homered for Calico Rock's lone RBI, while Jones and Emily Johnson added a hit apiece for the Lady Pirates.

In the semis April 21, the Lady Horns ripped Norfork 17-2.

Johnston earned the win, giving up just three hits and two walks, while fanning five.

Simmons blasted an inside-the-park homer in the game.

Barker and Walker notched two ribbies each for Viola.

The Lady Pirates earned their way to the finals with an 18-3 rout of the Shirley Lady Blue Devils April 21.

Wright had a triple and six runs-batted-in in the game.

Jones added a double and pair of ribbies.

The Lady Longhorns opened play in the 1A Region 2 Tournament with a 15-0 pasting of Cushman April 25.

Calico Rock knocked off Black Rock 10-1 in the tourney's first round April 25.



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