Lady Cougars Bring Home Tournament Title

Thursday, April 11, 2013
The Rector Lady Cougars brought home first place in the Heber Springs Classic after winning all three of their games this past weekend.

The Lady Cougars brought home the first place trophy after taking all three of their games in the 2013 Heber Springs Classic this weekend at Heber Springs. The 2A Rector squad topped three 3A schools, Lamar, Corning and Rose Bud, on the path to claiming the tourney title.

Rector defeated Rose Bud, who reached the Class 3A state finals in 2012, with ease in the Classic's title game Saturday, winning 18-4.

The Lady Cougars trailed 1-0 after the first inning, but the blue ladies' offense came through in a flood in the second frame. Rector scored 14 runs in the second inning, taking control of the contest.

"We were just locked in and focused," RHS head coach Louis Ernest said. "They (Rose Bud) had a good pitcher, it wasn't a situation where they weren't a good team. We just had our best hitting day, far and away."

Rector managed 14 hits in the second inning, with everyone in the lineup contributing.

The Lady Cougars added three runs in the third and two in the fourth. The game concluded after five innings due to the mercy rule.

"Top to bottom, offensively and defensively, that was the best we've played all year," Ernest said. "Prior to this tournament, we had scored one run in the past 14 innings,"

Kelly Fowler earned the win in the circle, working all five innings. Fowler allowed two earned runs on five hits with two walks and struck out eight.

Win Over Corning

Rector defeated Corning, 7-3, earlier in the day Saturday to advance to the finals.

Rector plated five runs in the first inning to take control early. The Lady Cougars secured six hits in the opening frame and added three walks in the inning to put the Lady Bobcats on their heels right out of the gate.

Corning closed the gap in the third; plating three runs to cut Rector's lead to two, 5-3.

The Lady Cougars added two more in the fourth inning. Anna Blackshare reached on an error to start the late surge. Kendal Gunn and Lindsey Ford both drew walks to load the bases. Johnna Lopez drew a walk to bring home Blackshare. Fowler singled in Gunn to score the second run of the frame.

Fowler picked up the victory in the circle, allowing two earned runs on five hits with seven strikeouts.

First Round

The Lady Cougars topped Lamar 7-1 in the first round of the Heber Springs Classic.

Fowler allowed one run on four this with six strikeouts and a walk in the victory.

Blackshare had a strong outing at the plate, leading Rector by going 3-4 with a double and two RBIs. Lopez finished the day 2-3 with a double and two RBIs. Ford was 2-4 with a big triple.

"That tournament was good for this team," Ernest said. "It was a chance to not overthink the games and just go out there and play. We played some of our best games. Hopefully, we can use this to build some momentum."

Marked Tree Loss

The Lady Cougars came up just short in action with the hosting Lady Indians of Marked Tree Monday, falling 2-1.

Rector scored its lone run in the first inning when Lopez hit a sac fly to bring home Blackshare. Ford also hit safely in the inning.

The Rector offense was slowed from there, with missed opportunities hurting the Lady Cougars.

"We had eight hits, but we couldn't put it together when we needed to," Ernest said. "We'd get on base, but we couldn't bring anyone else home. We left bases loaded two times. You can't do that against a team like Marked Tree. They're not going to give you that many chances to beat them."

Rector is slated to visit BIC at 4 p.m. Wednesday (today). If potential rains fall, the game may be moved to next Thursday. The Lady Cougars are slated to host Marmaduke beginning at 3:30 p.m. Monday and visit McCrory beginning at 4 p.m. Tuesday. The girls are set to visit Cross County at 4 p.m. next Wednesday. Make-up games will likely be scheduled later next week, depending upon weather conditions.

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