Cougar Baseball and Softball Update

Thursday, April 3, 2014
Rector's Josh Loveless drives in a run on a hard hit ball during Monday's Cougar win

The Cougars improved to 4-2 overall in varsity baseball play with a decisive 11-1 win over Cross County in six innings Monday in Rector.

Rector plated five runs in the final two innings to end the contest early. The Cougar bats were noisy throughout the contest, as the sound of Blue Thunder echoed the difference in the game.

Sophomores Garrett Buck and Lawson Ford led RHS at the plate, each finishing 3-5 in the batter's box. Buck had three RBIs on the day, including a two-run single in the fifth, and Ford drove in a run in the third. Brian Hufty also reached multiple hit status, finishing 2-4 at the plate. Josh Loveless, Nick Hardin, Blane Murray, Bryce Westbrook, Sam Westbrook and Adam Dinkins recorded a hit each for RHS. Hardin drove in two runs, while Loveless, Murray and Sam Westbrook added an RBI each.

"We hit the ball well and, really, we have been so far," head coach Nate Henderson said. "We've been able to put the ball in play with consistency. As a team, we're averaging one strikeout a game right now, which has helped us get out to a pretty good start."

Hufty picked up the victory on the mound. He worked six innings, allowing an earned run on six hits while ringing up five and walking four.

The Cougars defeated county rival Corning 5-1 in a rain-shortened five inning game on the road Friday.

Buck hit a base-clearing double in the first frame, knocking in three runs to set the tone. RHS added two more in the second frame to wrap up its scoring.

Buck finished the day 3-3 with three RBIs. Sam Westbrook, Ford, Loveless and Alec Scott each added a hit for RHS.

Corning scored on a defensive miscue in the fourth frame.

Hardin got the win on the mound, going all five innings in the shortened affair. He allowed three hits while striking out four and walking three in the effort.

The Cougars were slated to host Marked Tree Tuesday before taking part in the Glen Sain Duel on the Diamond tournament beginning Thursday at Paragould.

Meanwhile, the Lady Cougars fell to 2-3 overall and 1-3 in league softball play with a tough 11-1 loss to BIC Monday at Monette.

Rector trailed 5-1 heading into the sixth inning, but the Lady Mustangs exploded for a six-run sixth to end the contest an inning early.

"It seems like one inning in every game has got us in these last few games," RHS head coach Lewis Earnest said. "We'll be right there in it down the stretch and then the other team will have a big inning and put us away. We've got to stay focused and hopefully we can make it through this turbulence and get back to winning."

Kendal Gunn, Lindsey Ford, Johnna Lopez and Courtney Shepard each had a hit for the Lady Cougars.

The Lady Cougars posted an 11-8 victory over East Poinsett County this past Friday.

Gunn led the Rector hit parade, finishing 5-5 at the plate with a pair of doubles and two RBIs. Shepard and Lopez went 3-5 each, while Tori Hill and Cheyenne Ellis finished 2-4.

Lopez and Colby Lynch worked the mound for the Lady Cougars, earning the win and save, respectively.

"I'm proud of our two pitchers, Johnna and Colby, for how they've stepped up," Earnest said. "It's not been easy for them, with neither one of them pitched at the high school level before this season. It gets tricky at times, but they've both hung in there."

The Lady Cougars were set to visit McCrory Tuesday afternoon. Rector is slated to host Corss County for a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday.

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