HEBER SPRINGS — The Lonoke Lady Jackrabbits opened 4A-2 conference play with a 2-1 win over Heber Springs on Friday.
The game was scoreless until the fourth inning. Lonoke’s Hannah Murray led off with a walk. Kelsey Holder was her courtesy runner. Katelyn James followed with a hit. Haylee Whitehurst then singled, driving in Holder with the first run. James scored when Lindsey Roland reached on a bunt single, making the score 2-0.
Heber Springs cut the deficit to 2-1 with a run in the bottom of the fourth. McKenzie Cresswell singled and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Hannah Mangum.
After Cresswell’s single, Murray returned nine consecutive batters to end the game.
The biggest defensive play of the game came in the second when the Lady Jackrabbits turned an inning-ending double play. James threw out a batter from her third base position. Lonoke first baseman Charley Jo Chesney then threw to catcher Candace James, who tagged out Heber Springs’ Courtney Verser trying to score from third base.
Lonoke had a chance to add to its lead in the top of the sixth. With one out, Jessy Lewis and Whitehurst both singled but were stranded on base to end the inning.
Murray allowed five hits in seven innings of work.
"I think the girls were a little antsy knowing it was their first conference game," Lonoke coach Laura Park said. "But they stepped up and did a good job today."
Park said her team played "excellent" defense.
"I was proud of the girls," she said. "We really didn’t have any errors and everybody was making contact. They were doing their job."
Lonoke 18, North Pulaski 3
The Lonoke Lady Jackrabbits routed North Pulaski 18-3 last week.
Lonoke scored 10 runs in the first inning and four runs each in the second and third innings.
Charley Jo Chesney scored four runs to lead Lonoke. Jasalyn Truelove had three runs.