Ladycats Scratch Out Fourth Place Finish At Ozark Softball Classic


The Ozark Softball Classic in Harrison, Arkansas typically features some of the better teams in upper classes in the state and this year was no different as the field included Cabot, the defending Class 6 runner ups from a year ago, and Bentonville, who has won the Class 6 title in Arkansas four times in the past 5 years.

After a spot in the field was vacated last season, the Ladycats quickly pounced on the opportunity and, in their return this season, rounded up a fourth place finish after defeating a gritty Melbourne squad in the consolation game with a tight 1-0 final on Saturday afternoon.

Following a scoreless first inning, the Ladycats were retired in order in the second. Melbourne got a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning, but Brylee Brewster struck out the next 3 batters to get out of the inning with still no score.

With 2 outs in the third, Tanna Howe singled for Warsaw and stole second base on the next pitch, but the Ladycats threat was halted when the Bearkatz centerfielder made a nice play on a Haylee Cobb line drive to end the top of the third. They went down in order in their half of the inning and the score remained 0-0.

In the fourth, Elizabeth Winters drew a 1 out walk and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Adison Sherrill but she was stranded on second to end another threat.

Brewster sat down the first two batters in the bottom of the fourth but then a 2 out walk gave the Bearkatz a runner. A single by the next batter put two runners on but Brewster induced a ground ball out to end the fourth frame with the score still knotted at 0-0.

The Ladycats went down in order again in the fifth and the Bearkatz got a 2 out double but a pop-up to Howe ended the fifth with still no score.

With the game tied at 0-0 in the sixth, the Ladycats got a break when Howe was ruled safe after the first baseman pulled off the bag and advanced to second on a fielders choice by Cobb. With Howe standing on second, Brewster singled on a hard ground ball up the middle and Ladycats coach Megan Daleske ushered Howe around third with no hesitation. Howe was safe, Brewster advanced to second on the throw but one throw later was tagged out at third in an attempt to take the extra bag. Winters waved at strike three to end the inning but the Ladycats took a hard-earned 1-0 lead.

The Bearkatz first batter in the bottom of the sixth reached on an error but Brewster got a strikeout out for the first out, induced a ground ball out at second for out number two and then got the final out of the game on another three pitch strikeout to seal the 1-0 win for Warsaw.

Brewster went the distance for the Ladycats, pitching 6 full innings for the win. She yielded just 4 hits and surrendered just 1 base on balls while striking out 9.

Brewster also went 2 for 3 at the plate and collected 1 RBI while Howe was 1 for 3 with 1 stolen base and scored the only run.
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In their first game on Saturday morning, the Ladycats used a 4-run third to pickup a 5-2 win over Paragould.

With a 1-0 lead, the Ladycats third inning was led off by Adison Sherrill being hit by a pitch. Sherrill stole second base and then scored on a Tanna Howe single to centerfield to give the Ladycats a 2-0 lead. Brewster came to the plate next and singled thru the left side on an 0-2 pitch. With 1 out, Elizabeth Winters drew a walk to load the bases and then after a Jaylen McCullick base on balls, Howe scored to put Warsaw up, 3-0. With the bases still loaded, Maylee Slavens singled on a line drive to left field and picked up 2 RBI's on the hit when Brewster and Winters both crossed the plate to give the Ladycats a 5-0 lead at the end of three.

Warsaw went 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth and Paragould staged a late rally that plated 2 runs but the Ladycats held on for the 5-2 win.

Brewster recorded the win for Warsaw by going 3.0 innings. She gave up 0 runs on 1 hit and collected 5 K's.

Bri Fellers picked up the save for the Ladycats when she came on for the final inning. In her time in the circle, she surrendered 2 runs on 1 hit and struck out 3.

Brewster went 2 for 3 at the plate while 1 hit apiece was tallied by Howe and Slavens. Cobb and Sherrill each had 2 stolen bases.
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The Ladycats first game of the tournament was a tall order against Cabot and miscues in the field didn't help in the humbling 13-0 defeat.

Cabot scored 8 runs in the fifth en route to the lopsided victory.

Addison Sherrill and Tanna Howe collected 1 hit apiece, the only hits for Warsaw.

Brewster went 4.1 for the Ladycats, yielding 11 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits while striking out 7.

Bri Fellers came on for the final 2 outs and gave up 2 runs on 1 hit.

The Warsaw defense was shaky in their season debut with 6 errors in the field.
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Incidentally, Bentonville defeated Cabot, 2-0 in the championship game of the event on Saturday afternoon.
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Warsaw will host Lone Jack on Thursday in a rematch of last year's district championship game. That first pitch is scheduled for 5:00 PM on Spring Field at West Bledsoe Ferry Sports Complex in Warsaw.