The defense must stay the same and the offense has got to finish better than they have in the past if Batesville’s soccer teams are going to take another first step in a state tournament, their coaches said.
The Pioneers and Lady Pioneers broke through last season, each collecting their first victories in postseason high school soccer.
Friday in Harrison, they will each take on teams from Hot Springs Lakeside in the first-round of the Class 5A event in Harrison. The Lady Pioneers and Lady Rams are scheduled to kick off at noon. The Pioneers and Rams are scheduled to follow at 2.
This time, the Batesville Lady Pioneer track team isn’t the lone contender for the Class 5A State Track and Field Championship.
Last spring, the Lady Pioneers piled up 148 points — more than doubling their nearest competitor — while winning their fifth straight state championship.
Friday in Paragould, the Vilonia Lady Eagles, Camden Fairview Lady Cardinals, Crossett Lady Eagles and Magnolia Lady Panthers are threats to end the Lady Pioneers’ reign.
At least that’s how Batesville Coach Stuart Smith and Vilonia Coach John Steward see it.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Doug Cauthen thought winning the Kentucky Derby would be easy.
After all, his older brother, Steve, won a Triple Crown as a teenager aboard Affirmed in 1978.
“I thought for sure I’d probably train a Kentucky Derby winner by the time I was 18, after watching him,” Doug said. “Then, once I got in the business world I figured it would take me awhile. I’ve paid my dues.”
Now the president of WinStar Farm, Cauthen is ready to end the operation’s Derby drought.
The Cedar Ridge Lady Timberwolves clinched second place in the Class 2A-2 District standings with a 7-3 win over the top-seeded Melbourne Lady Bearkatz Wednesday afternoon at Batesville’s North Complex.
Cedar Ridge finished the conference season with a 9-3 record. Midland is 8-3 with a game remaining, but Cedar Ridge holds the tiebreaker. The Lady Mustangs clinched the third seed with a win over Walnut Ridge Wednesday (see story below).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Despite a 1-hitter from Lyon senior pitcher Faith Richmond, the Pipers’ softball season ended here this morning with a 3-2 loss to the Bethel Lady Wildcats in the TranSouth Athletic Conference Tournament.
The tournament is being played at the Trojan Softball Complex on the campus of Trevecca Nazarene.
Richmond pitched six innings, walked one and struck out two. Three errors behind her were the difference.
Bethel’s lone hit came when Brittany Edmonds hit a solo home run over the center field fence on a 2-out, 2-strike count in the first inning.
WEST HELENA — The Batesville Lady Pioneers made short work of the West Helena Cougarettes here Tuesday, and then they got a little help in Jonesboro.
While the Lady Pioneers were winning 19-1 and 16-0, both in 3-innings, the Nettleton Lady Raiders took the nightcap from the Paragould Lady Rams for a split in another 5A-East District doubleheader.
With those happenings, the Lady Pioneers improved to 7-5 in the district and they are fifth, one game behind the Lady Rams. Those two will meet in Paragould next Tuesday on the scheduled last day of district doubleheader.
After three weeks of playing away from the North Complex, the Batesville Pioneer baseball team played a little bit here Tuesday.
That’s about the most anyone could say after two 3-inning run-ruled victories over the West Helena Cougars. The Pioneers won the opener 15-0. The score in the nightcap was 25-0.
The thoroughness and efficiency the Pioneers showed did please their coach. The first walloping didn’t take long, finishing in just a little under an hour. The second one took longer, but only because the Cougars committed 12 errors.
SALEM — The Salem Lady Greyhounds led 3-1 after three innings, but a 4-run surge in the top of the fourth inning and four more in the seventh led the Midland Lady Mustangs to a 9-5 win here Tuesday.
Midland remains in second place in the Class 2A-2 District with the win. The Lady Mustangs are 7-3 in the district. Cedar Ridge is in the hunt as well, but Melbourne secured the title with a 10-1 mark.
“I’ve been impressed all year with the level of play in our conference,” Midland Coach Rick McKinney said. “There are four really competitive and well-organized teams.”
SOUTHSIDE — Jared Dahl hit a grand slam and a solo homer and two teammates added fence clearers, but that wasn’t enough for the Southside Southerners in a 20-16 loss to the Bald Knob Bulldogs here Tuesday.
Dahl’s grand slam actually came Friday. Seconds after his trot around the bases, heavy rains fell and the Class 4A-2 District contest was suspended until Tuesday.
Dustin Phelps blasted a 2-run, pinch-hit home run and Kody Pinson drove in two runs to pace the Lyon Scots in a 7-4 victory over the Williams Baptist Eagles in nonconference play on Tuesday afternoon at Scots Field.
Lyon (28-17) has won three straight and seven of its last nine games. Williams Baptist (18-35) has lost its last 11 contests and has not won since a 4-2 decision over Missouri Baptist on April 10 at Walnut Ridge.
HEBER SPRINGS — Two Southside athletes qualified for one more track and field postseason event here Monday.
In the 4A-2 District meet, Lady Southerner freshman Ashlynne King placed second in the triple jump and Southerner junior Brandon Ritter did the same in the boys’ division of the same event.
In Class 4A, the top two finishers in district meets advance to the state event. Pocahontas is scheduled to host the state meet on Friday. The first event is slated to begin at 10:30 a.m.