HAUGHTON — The Haughton Lady Bucs and the Ruston Lady Bearcats battled each other as well as the elements here on Monday afternoon in an effort to get the first softball game of the season under their belts.
After playing in excess of three hours, including a 30-minute mandatory lightning delay, Ruston outlasted the defending Distrcit 1-5A champs 11-10 in a weird contest.
Haughton (0-1) lost despite home runs from Anna Dies, Natalie Smith and Brooke Payton. Ruston didn’t have any homers, but they did have UL-Lafayette signee Kendall Smith, who wrecked havoc on the bases. The speedster was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI. She also stole four bases.
Haughton coach Hal Harlan found plenty to dislike in his team’s initial offering.
“We have to get better pitching and better hitting,” Harlan said. “Playing defense during a rain storm didn’t help.”
The Lady Bucs had a 10-8 lead at the end of six when one bolt of lightning flashed above the softball complex. The umpires immediately suspended play, which was followed by a modicum of rain. Almost as soon as play resumed, however, the rain deluge returned.
Due to the constantly wet balls, Dies struggled with her control, issuing a pair of two-out walks, then hitting Smith and Sage Heard on back-to-back at-bats. Another walk to Casey Harrelson forced in the winning run. The rain stopped for Ruston’s half of the inning.
Dies led Haughton at the plate with a pair of hits and three RBIs, while Smith and Payton had two hits and a pair of RBIs apiece. Lani Woods contributed a double and a RBI, while Emily Edwards had a pair of singles.
Ruston pounded out 10 hits, but got just one extra base hit, while Shelby Webb had a pair of singles and two RBIs.