In game that mattered for nothing in the District 1-5A standings but mattered a lot in Bossier pride, Airline toppled reigning district champ Parkway 12-3 on Tuesday evening in south Bossier.
Due to District 1-5A changes, the first time league teams meet the game counts merely as a regular-season win. But there’s no “merely” when it comes to the Lady Vikings (6-5) and Lady Panthers meeting in any sport.
“We overlooked them last year and they 10-runned us, so we came over here really wanting to win this game,” said Airline shortstop Katie Smith. “The next time we play it will mean even more.”
The Lady Vikings got a masterful pitching performance from sophomore Jamie Roberts, daughter of Airline coaches Danny and Lynne Roberts, in stifling the potent Lady Panther bats. She scattered seven hits over seven innings with no walks and a pair of strikeouts. The plate damage was done by Smith, a Louisiana Tech-signee, who motors around the bases near the speed of sound, Mary Macaulay with a 4-for-4 effort and Miranda Young, who had a pair of doubles on a 2-for-3 day.
Smith had a near perfect day at the plate with two walks, a pair of hits, a ground out, scoring four times.
“This is a different group of girls than we had early in the season. They’re playing much more aggressive,” Lynne Roberts said. “We just kept hitting the ball. We’ve been playing good defense and we’ve had good pitching. Now we’re also adding some offense.”
The Lady Panthers were sluggish in the early going in trying to solve Roberts’ pitching style. Parkway (6-5) picked up a run in the first on consecutive singles by Mary Kate Bozeman and Kelsey Gallman. But that was all they could manage until the sixth when Brittany Bryant singled between doubles by Haydn Parker and Rebecca Lynch for a two-run inning.
“Right now we are starting six or seven sophomores and we’re trying to grow up,” Parkway coach Neil May said. “We have to grow up to compete in big games and we need to learn to fight harder.”
Already in front 2-1, the Lady Vikings added another run in the fifth when Smith singled and scored on a line single by Madison Rowland. But the real damage came in the sixth when Macaulay, Kayla Ranit, Carly McIntosh, Smith, Ashley Salinas and Lindsay Fronzaglio all scored. Smith and Young tallied the final two Airline runs in the top of the seventh.
Airline pounded 14 hits off two Parkway pitchers.
The teams will meet on March 24 with a mark in the district standings on the line.