VIOLA – The Norfork Lady Panthers avenged a loss from earlier in the week and clinched a regional tournament berth in the process Thursday night.
Norfork overcame a slow start and put an 18-3 whipping on the Mammoth Spring Lady Bears in the first round of the 1A-2 North District Tournament at Viola City Park.
The Lady Bears stunned the Lady Panthers with a quick 3-0 start, taking advantage of three Norfork errors. Meanwhile, the Lady Panthers put together a pair of hits in the first, but stranded both baserunners.
Norfork settled in and retired nine of 10 in the second, third and fourth innings combined, and the No. 4 seed finally got going offensively in the third.
With one out, Cheyenne Acklin and Makayla Irby each reached on errors and scored on a hit by Kelcy Acklin, who advanced to third on an error in left field. Jordan Standfield and Ivy McGowan each drew walks, and Abbie Belding drove in a pair with a double to make it 5-3.
Belding, Marleigh Dodson and Maggie Anderson each added runs, and Cheyenne Acklin, Irby, Kelcy Acklin and Standfield each added their second runs of the inning, stretching the lead to 14-3 before the frame came to a close.
Kelcy Acklin had a triple, and Belding added her second double of the inning and scored the final run of the 14-run frame.
Both of the Acklin sisters, Irby and Standfield each scored their third runs of the contest in the fourth inning to end the game due to the run rule.
The Lady Panthers had lost at Mammoth Spring earlier this week, which was a crucial setback, sending Norfork from third place to the No. 4 seed and sliding Izard County up to third. It also means the Lady Panthers, if they fail to upset Viola in the semifinals, will more than likely face the powerhouse host team, Armorel, in the opening round of next week’s regional.
Kelcy Acklin was 3 for 4, Standfield was 1 for 1 with three walks, and Belding was 3 for 3 to lead the Lady Panthers, who advance to face top-seeded Viola at 4 p.m. today in the semifinals.
Izard County 18,
Hillcrest 8, 6 in.
The No. 3 seed Lady Cougars let a 12-3 lead slip to 13-7 before claiming a six-inning victory over the No. 6 seed Lady Screamin’ Eagles.
Izard County will face the No. 2 seed Calico Rock Lady Pirates in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday.
Kristen Caraway, Brianna Denny and Amanda Hutchins each supplied two hits for the Lady Cougars, who led 9-3 after one inning and 12-3 after two.
Izard County led 13-4 after four, but the Lady Eagles scored three times in the fifth to cut the lead to six. The Lady Cougars led 15-7 after five, and after allowing one more run in the sixth, Izard County scored three more in the bottom of the sixth to end the game.
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