In a game which decided second place in the 7A/6A-Central, Greenwood’s bats came out hot.
The Lady Bulldogs scored five first-inning runs and increased their lead to 6-0 an inning later as they beat Conway, 10-6, in conference softball Friday.
Greenwood (21-10, 11-3) clinched second place in the conference behind Russellville. However, Greenwood coach Ronnie Sockey said it still may not be enough to get the second seed at next week’s 6A State Tournament in Benton.
"That will put us second in our conference but I don’t think it’s going to give us enough (power ratings) points to jump Marion for second place in the 6A," Sockey said. "It’s going to be a tough road being the No. 3-seed instead of No. 2.
"We’re going to have to beat Benton in the second round at their place, we’ll have Siloam (Springs) again in the first round just like last year. So it’s going to be deja vu of last year probably, playing Siloam first game and the winner of Benton and somebody in the second round. But our goal is to get to that semifinal, give ourselves a chance to beat Russellville and get to the finals."
Conway retired the first Greenwood hitter in the bottom of the first, but the next seven Lady Bulldogs all reached base. Sydney Parker drove in the team’s first run, then Devyn Gregory followed with a two-run single. Phoebe Ulmer and Hunter Marquez added to the cause with back-to-back RBI singles, giving Greenwood its 5-0 advantage.
"We lost at their place and that’s what we talked about, we’ve got to come out and hit (Conway) and we did," Sockey said. "We had a lot of girls come through there in that first. … I’m proud of the way the girls are working and coming together right now and it’s the right time of the year to get through it."
Greenwood made it 6-0 in the second on a two-out RBI single from Parker.
The Lady Bulldogs’ biggest lead was seven runs, 10-3, after they scored two in the sixth. Conway made things interesting in the seventh by scoring three runs and had the tying run on deck with one out, but Greenwood pitcher Victoria Taylor retired the next two hitters to end it.
"We kept putting the pressure on them, but once again, we get that lead and we just kind of relax on defense and kind of nonchalant things out there and give them some runs back and let them back in it," Sockey said.
Parker and Mikayleigh Davis each went 3-for-4 for a Greenwood offense which registered 14 hits. Parker had an RBI double and Davis an RBI single during a two-run fourth. Gregory drove in three runs, including an RBI double in the sixth to go with her two-run single in the first.
Taylor struck out six in recording a complete-game win.