Lady Golden Tigers go for the sweep
Russellville 2, Hatton 0
The Lady Golden Tigers scored twice in the bottom of the first and then held on from there, getting six huge innings from Jakari Suggs in Monday’s home win in softball action.
Senior Jess Guzman sparked a big run in the first-inning rally with a one-out single. After Kalli Beth Daniel singled for the first of her three hits, Megan Brockway got an RBI double to right to bring home Madison Lamon. Daniel then scored on a passed ball to make it 2-0.
Suggs allowed just two hits in six shutout innings, striking out one and walking none. Emma Whitfield also threw a scoreless inning.
Daniel finished 3-for-3 with a stolen base. Brooke Borden was 2-for-3 with a steal, and Kayla Cochran also went 2-for-3. Morgan George went 1-for-3 and stole two bases, and Lily Holt added a hit.
Russellville 8, Fairview High 4
Suggs had another strong game, striking out six batters and also hitting a two-run homer, Tuesday as Russellville opened area play with a big 8-4 victory over visiting Fairview.
The Lady Golden Tigers (11-5, 1-0 in Class 5A, Area 14) jumped out to an early lead with three runs in the bottom of the first. Junior centerfielder Cochran led off with a single and then stole second and third before coming home on Jess Guzman’s RBI double to center. After Lauren Rogers stole third, junior shortstop Daniel was hit by a pitch and stole second. Senior Megan Brockway then delivered a two-run single to make it 3-0.
Fairview got on the board on Jada Golden’s two-run double in the top of the third, but Russellville answered right back with three more runs in the bottom half.
Brockway sparked the rally with a triple to center, scoring on Lily Holt’s RBI single. Suggs followed with her first home run of the season, a two-run shot to left that made it 6-2.
Whitfield came in relief of Suggs and got a groundball for the second out. Golden came through with her second two-run double of the day for Fairview, however, to cut Russellville’s lead to 6-4. Whitfield avoided further damage by striking out the next batter.
Suggs (8-2) returned to the circle in the top of the sixth and retired the final six batters she faced, including four straight strikeouts to close the game. She allowed four earned runs on six hits in 6.1 innings, walking none and hitting one.
Brockway finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Guzman went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs. Holt was 2-for-4, and Cochran went 1-for-3 with two stolen bases and two runs scored. Daniel was 1-for-3 with a double, and Whitfield and Madison Lamon each added one hit.
Russellville 5, Fairview High 3
Russellville broke up a tie game with two unearned runs in the top of the seventh inning on Thursday and held on to beat Fairview 5-4, improving to 2-0 in Class 5A, Area 14, and moving their win streak to four games.
The Lady Golden Tigers (12-5 overall) led 3-0 before Fairview scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth. The game was still tied when Daniel led off the seventh with a single and then moved to second on a wild pitch.
Brockway scored when Brooke Borden reached on Fairview’s third error of the inning, making it 5-3.
The Lady Aggies rallied in the bottom of the inning, but Suggs escaped the jam, getting two groundball outs to preserve the win.
Suggs (9-2) allowed two earned runs on eight hits in five innings, striking out three and walking none. She allowed the first two batters in the bottom of the fourth to reach base before giving way to reliever Emma Whitfield. Fairview proceeded to score three runs on a single and an error to tie the game 3-3.
Whitfield finished the inning and then pitched a scoreless fifth before Suggs returned to the circle in the sixth.
Cochran finished 3-for-3 for Russellville with a triple and a double. Daniel was 2-for-4 with a run, and Brockway was 1-for-4 with two runs. Borden went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and George and Whitfield each had one hit.
“We played consistent softball all week. Pitching was very good. We had good, timely hitting, and our defense stepped up with some big plays,” Coach John Smith said.
“The key is that we do these same things at Area Tournament, Region Tournament and at State Championship Tournament time.”
The Russellville Lady Golden Tigers had key players who stepped up this past week, Smith added.
“It was somebody different every game. Megan Brockway had two big homers and big RBI’s; Brooke Borden went 3-for-3 in Thursday’s game; Jess Guzman homered and had two doubles in Tuesday’s game; and Kayla Cochran was 8-for-11 this week,” Smith said.
“We have got to be playing good ball at all times to give us the best chance to win.”