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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Third time no charm for Lady Horns

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Viola pitcher Kiersten Moore fields a bunt and throws to first, while third baseman Lakynn Brown charges in the Class 1A State Softball Tournament's championship game May 18 at Bogle Park in Fayetteville. The Taylor Lady Tigers knocked off Viola 10-0 in five innings to win the state title. Photos/Mullins [Order this photo]
In racking up an impressive 31-win season, including another undefeated march through the 1A-2 West, a district title and a regional tournament title on the softball diamond this year, the Viola Lady Longhorns were able to avoid one of the most common pitfalls that spells disaster for most teams.

The bad inning.

It seemed like when things started to go bad for the Lady Horns this spring, they quickly had a remedy for what ailed them.

Unfortunate then, that Viola's ability to avoid trouble didn't make the trip to Fayetteville with the rest of the Lady Longhorns for the Class 1A State Softball championship May 18 at Bogle Park on the University of Arkansas campus.

The Taylor Lady Tigers broke open a tight game in the fourth and fifth innings to knock off Viola 10-0 in the contest.

It was Taylor's (28-4) second state title, after the Lady Tigers lost to Nemo Vista 5-3 in last year's final.

For the Lady Longhorns (31-3), it was their third trip to Fayetteville (2004, 2010) without bringing a championship trophy back.

"We can't hang our heads. It was a difficult thing just to get there and there are hundreds of schools in the state that would have loved to be here in our position," said first-year Viola Head Coach Bruce Adams. "The game just didn't go our way tonight, but I'm still proud of the girls for having a great season."

Scoreless after three innings of play, Taylor broke loose and scored all 10 runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

The real blow came in the top of the fifth, when Taylor crossed the plate seven times on four hits, batting around in the fifth. The Lady Horns didn't help their cause any in the frame by committing a pair of costly throwing errors.

Taylor pitcher Katelyn Sewell was named the tourney MVP, as she allowed just four baserunners and three hits against Viola.

Kiersten Moore, the Lady Longhorns' All-State pitcher, breezed through the first three frames, allowing a pair of hits and one walk, while fanning six Lady Tigers.

But the last two stanzas were a completely different story, as Moore gave up six hits and five walks, with no strikeouts, in the fourth and fifth innings.

Megan McMahnn drove in the first run of the seventh for Taylor with a hit up the middle and that was quickly followed by a two-run double off the bat of Savanna Scott that bounced off second base and into centerfield.

Taylor's next pair of runs came on passed balls and then the Lady Tigers' final tally of the night came on an overthrow of first base on a hit to third from Sewell.

In the home-half of the fifth, Sewell got a groundout, walked Hannah Duvall, and then ended the game with back-to-back strikeouts.

Viola's best chance at a score came in the bottom of the second inning, when Michaela Thompson led off with a walk.

Thompson advanced to third on a hard shot from Lakynn Brown, but Taylor catcher Carlee Mosley later threw behind Thompson and picked her off third, ending the frame and the Lady Horns' threat.

The Lady Tigers scored the game's first run in the top of the fourth, as Destiny Woods got on base with a walk.

She moved to second on a single off the bat of Morgan Cloud.

After both runners moved up via a passed ball, Foster came in to score on a groundout to first from Kayla Foster.

After another free pass, Halee Campbell dropped down a bunt and when Moore fielded it, she overthrew first, allowing two more runs to come in for Taylor.

Viola was unable to respond in the bottom of the second, as Sewell retired the Lady Longhorns 1-2-3.

"They just got all the breaks," said Adams. "Once they got momentum rolling in their favor, it just wouldn't stop."

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