Mohawk Spring Teams Bound for Postseason

Thursday, May 7, 2015
The Lady Mohawks celebrate their district championship, and show off the trophy.(courtesy photo)

Both the Mohawk softball and baseball teams advanced to the regional tournament at Bergman this week, but by very different methods. The baseball squad came from behind to beat Manila in the first round of the district, then lost in the semis and third/fourth place game. Meanwhile, the Lady Mohawks continued on their late season roll, taking the title and qualifying as a top seed.

The top-seeded Piggott Lady Mohawks squeezed out two wins in the district tournament at Rivercrest last week, beating the host Lady Colts in the semi-finals on Friday and then outlasting the Manila Lady Lions on Saturday for the conference title. The championship earned the Tribe a top seed in this week's regional tournament at Harrison, as they look to punch their ticket to the upcoming 3A state softball tournament.

Last week the Lady Mohawks wrapped up conference play with a sweep of Hoxie, as they entered the district tournament unbeaten in conference at 10-0. By virtue of the top seeding, they gained a bye in the first round and awaited the winner of Thursday's Rivercrest-Hoxie game. Meanwhile, in the lower half of the bracket Corning and Osceola squared-off, with the winner to face the Lady Lions in the semi's. In the first round of play both Rivercrest and Corning took care of business, and set up Friday's second round at Wilson.

Rivercrest

The Lady Mohawk's semi-final with the Lady Colts was a low scoring affair, as the Tribe notched a 3-1 win to advance to the championship game. Piggott pitcher Devyn Staples got the nod from Coach Nikki Speer, and took the win while fanning five of the Rivercrest batters. Meanwhile, Hannah Powell paced the Tribe at the plate with a double.

The win earned the Mohawks a showdown with the Lady Lions on Saturday, as Manila beat the Corning Lady Bobcats in the other semi-final.

Manila

The Tribe came out strong in the championship game, and ran out to a lead on the Lady Lions. But, down the stretch the Manila girls mounted a comeback, and cut the lead to just a single run late as the Mohawks took the title by a final of 8-7.

Powell once again had the hot bat for the Mohawks, as she went 3 for 3 with two doubles and an RBI. Meanwhile, Staples once again pitched the Tribe to the win, and also helped her cause at the plate as she went 2 for 3 on the day.

With the win the Lady Mohawks extend their season record to 14-6, and earn a trip to this week's regional at Harrison. Based on their first place finish, they're slated to take on Yellville-Summit, the fourth place finisher from 3A-1 East, at 3 p.m. this Friday, May 5. With a win they'll advance to the regional semi-finals, and a spot in next week's state tournament. Their second round game is set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday, with the regional championship and third place games set for Monday. The games are being hosted by Bergman High School and are being played at the Harrison Parks and Recreation facilities. The 3A state tournament will also be played at Harrison, with games set for next Thursday through Saturday, May 14 to 16.

The Mohawk baseball team extended what had been a lackluster regular season last week with a come-from-behind win over Manila in the first round of the district tournament at Piggott. With the win the Tribe earned a spot in this week's 3A regional at Harrison, and a chance to advance to next week's state tourney.

Facing the Lions for the third time this year, after splitting the regular season meetings, the Tribe sent ace right hander Bret Fuller to the mound as they looked to advance in postseason play. And, the Mohawks got off to a good start on the day, as leadoff man Quinton Reeves connected on a stand-up triple to start the ballgame, and by the end of the top of the first the Tribe enjoyed a 2-0 lead.

But, the Lions responded in the home half of the first with four runs of their own, as they took a 4-2 lead going into the second. The Mohawks answered with two more runs in the third, and the two teams stood knotted at 4 to 4.

In the fifth inning the Lions broke the deadlock, as they took a 5-4 lead into the late innings.

With Fuller getting stronger as the game progressed, while the Lion's starter was chased in the middle innings, the Tribe mounted their late inning comeback. It began in the top of the seventh inning, with the Mohawk still trailing by a run, as freshman Elijah Bellers started the rally with a base hit. The Tribe then went on to score six runs in the frame, as they took a 10-5 lead into the home half of the seventh.

Down the stretch Fuller held the Manila batters at bay, although they did tack on one run late, and the Mohawks took the win by a final of 10-6.

Friday evening the Mohawks' took on the top-seeded Rivercrest Colts in the semi-finals, and dropped a 16-5 decision. Then, on Saturday they fell to Corning 18-8 in the third-fourth place game to set the seedings for this week's regional.

By virtue of their fourth place finish in 3A-3, the Mohawks will be taking on Cotter at 10 a.m. this Friday, May 8, in the regional tournament at Harrison. With a win they'll advance to play at noon on Saturday, and will take on the winner of the Hoxie-Melbourne contest. The other first round games on Friday include Rivercrest and Green Forrest and Flippin and Corning, with the winners advancing to the semi-finals.

A win in the first round would also earn the Tribe a spot in the state tourney, being played at Geneoa Central High School with games set for next Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 14, 15 and 16. The state championship game will be played the following Saturday, May 23, in Baum Stadium on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

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