Lady Tigers face formidable opponents

Mark Humphrey/Enterprise-Leader Prairie Grove's Jill Emerson takes a ball low. She drew a walk in the Lady Tigers' last at-bat in the seventh inning, but couldn't move around the bases and Prairie Grove lost 6-4 to Greenwood in nonconference softball action on Tuesday, March 7.

SPORTS EDITOR'S NOTE: This is part of a series evaluating how local teams performed against top teams in the state. Prairie Grove (13-9, 4-3) finished fourth in the 4A-1 Conference standings, but lost, 14-11, to Gentry on Tuesday, April 25, in the district tournament, while Class 5A State semifinalist Greenwood lost to eventual Class 5A champion, Benton, 1-0, in the state semifinals.

PRAIRIE GROVE -- Prairie Grove got Jill Emerson on with a walk but couldn't generate a hit in its last at-bat, left her stranded and took a 6-4 nonconference loss to Greenwood.

The Lady Tigers surrendered the lead when Greenwood scored a pair of runs in the fifth inning on Tuesday, March 8.

Charlize Taylor homered and was 2 for 4 at the plate for Greenwood, while Daisy Parker and Lani Coryell had two hits each for the Lady Bulldogs.

Ivey Sparkman led the Lady Tigers at the plate with a pair of doubles. Emerson and Chloe Hillian produced two hits apiece for Prairie Grove.

Van Buren 4, Prairie Grove 0

Emberline Caldwell allowed just two hits to lead the Lady Pointers to a shutout win on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Caldwell struck out 14 to earn the complete-game win. Riley Lowrey homered, doubled and was 3 for 3 at the plate for Van Buren (2-0). Kyleigh Kuykendall was 2 for 2 and Hailey Allen belted an RBI triple.

Kennison Hamilton was 2 for 3 for Prairie Grove.

Van Buren (26-4, 13-1) won the 5A West Conference championship and reached the Class 5A State semifinals before losing, 2-1, to eventual Class 5A State Runner-up, Greene County Tech.

Prairie Grove 3, Russellville 2

A three-run third inning was all the offense the Lady Tigers needed in a nonconference win against Russellville on Friday, March 10. Elizabeth Stoufer and Autumn Spatz had two hits each for Prairie Grove. Hillian earned the win in the circle, allowing five hits with five strikeouts. Russellville (13-14, 7-7) finished one rung on the 5A West ladder too low to qualify for state.

Earlier in the day, the Lady Tigers beat Fort Smith Southside, 8-0. The Lady Mavericks went 8-20 overall and 3-13 in the 6A West and didn't qualify for state.

Rogers Heritage 14, Prairie Grove 2

The Lady War Eagles scored eight runs in the first inning and rolled over Prairie Grove, 14-2, on Saturday, March 11. Karlee Earl was 2-for-3 with a double and four RBIs for Heritage and Ava DeFrates was 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs. Gabbi Kelly was 2-for-2 with two RBIs. Emily Carpenter earned the win in the circle, allowing one hit over two innings. Earl also pitched two innings and allowed two hits. Rogers Heritage went 16-16 0verall and 7-9 in the 6A West. The Lady War Eagles advanced to the second-round of the Class 6A State tournament, losing 14-0 to Bentonville.

Following that game, the Lady Tigers beat Siloam Springs, 17-0. The Lady Panthers (0-24, 0-14 5A West) didn't win a game all season.

Prairie Grove 9, Clarksville 2

The Lady Tigers pulled away in the fifth inning to claim a nonconference win on Tuesday, March 14. Prairie Grove (7-2) bashed 17 hits in the game and Hillian was solid in the circle, allowing seven hits with six strikeouts.

Hillian also helped her cause at the plate, belting three doubles. Rhiannon Umfleet was 2 for 4 with a homer, double and four RBIs. Emerson also homered and drove in two runs.

Adilyn Cummins was 3 for 3 for Clarksville and Gracie Dean added two hits. Clarksville went 6-1 in the 4A-4 and finished second in the league standings. The Lady Panthers got knocked out of postseason play with a 12-2 loss to eventual Class 4A State Runner-up, Pea Ridge, in the first-round of the 4A North Regional at Gravette on Friday, May 5.

Prairie Grove 7, Springdale 6

The Lady Tigers held off Springdale late to claim a nonconference win on Wednesday, March 15. Prairie Grove (7-3) took a 7-3 lead by scoring five runs in the top of the fifth, but Springdale fought back with three runs in the sixth to make it a one-run game. Emerson homered twice and hit a double for the Lady Tigers and drove in three runs. Umfleet had a three-run double.

Illeana Sauls and Lauren Taylor each homered and drove in three runs for Springdale (4-6) and Hadley James was 2-for-2. The Lady Bulldogs finished 6-19 overall and 2-14 in the 6A West and did not qualify for state.