A District 1-5A game that attracted a standing room only crowd just a couple of years ago, drew just a smattering of parents on Friday night to the Byrd softball complex.
Still in the hunt for the league title, the Lady Jackets had trouble overcoming the Lady Gators, but pulled away in the fifth inning for a 6-0 win. Byrd (15-7, 7-2) will play a home doubleheader on Monday against Haughton and Southwood, then will play district leader Parkway on Tuesday, in an effort to win the title.
Captain Shreve (6-21, 3-8) visits Caddo Magnet (3-21, 0-10) on Monday in the league finale for both clubs.
“Shreve is a team that if you don’t jump on them early, they can beat you,” Byrd coach Emerald Doria said. “Lately we’ve been starting slow and taking to long to adjust.”
The Lady Jackets got started in the third inning when Kaylee Flowers, one of three Byrd seniors honored on Senior Night, singled to left field. Tara Schuler moved her up with a sacrifice, and Tia Timerding’s double scored Flowers for the first run. Emily Trice then reached on an infield error and Timerding scored on the play.
Both teams were largely silent until Byrd erupted in the fifth when Shelby Spruiell led off with a double to left center. Flowers was hit by a pitch and Schuler singled in Spruiell. Timerding’s bunt single plated Flowers followed by a walk by Trice to load the bases. A single by Autumn Poole and a sacrifice by Hannah Ellis pushed two more runs across for a 6-0 Byrd advantage.
“We gave them a couple of runs early with some errors,” Captain Shreve coach Tim Smith said. “According to some, they are the best team in America. But she does do a good job over here with these kids. Right now, they are a little better than we are.”
Also honored on Senior Night were Trice and Rikki Adams.
The Lady Gators managed just two hits off Byrd starter Hannah Lee, while the Lady Jackets picked up 10 off Shreve’s Mackenzie Morgan.
“We are still a young team just trying to get better every day,” Smith said.