Town Crier Sports Staff
The Riverside-Buffalo Island Central rivalry is big enough when the two teams just play a regular season game. But as has happened so many times before, Friday afternoon's contest had much more riding on the outcome. The winner would advance to this weekend's regional tournament at Rector while the loser would pack their bats for the year and head home.
The Lady Mustangs got off to a fast start, scoring two runs in the first inning and then put three runs on the board in the second and third innings to gallop to an 8-0 lead on their way to a 12-2 five inning victory.
Karla Marroquin singled in the first inning and came home on an RBI double off the bat of Sammi Fowler. Fowler scored when senior Morgan Edwards drilled an RBI single, giving BIC a 2-0 lead.
Marroquin had an RBI double, giving BIC a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Lauryn Smith and Edwards drove in the other two BIC runs to push the lead to 5-0.
Kasey Garrett and Ashley Tate laced RBI singles in BIC's three run third inning rally to put the game away.
Riverside got a run in the fourth when Kelsey Turner doubled. Jesse Mann drove Turner home with a sacrifice fly.
The Lady Mustangs answered, scoring four runs in the fourth. Tate's two-run single was the big blow of the inning.
Marroquin went the distance to pick up the win as BIC improves to 10-14 on the year and will advance to Monday's semi-final where they Lady Mustangs will face regular season champion Bay.
"I am real proud of the girls," said BIC Coach Mark Hurst. "We really played well today and we are starting to swing the bats, which I have been expecting us to do. Karla Marroquin pitched a very good game and had a couple of big hits and I thought we played excellent defense. I don't think we committed any errors. We are very happy with the win and are glad to be moving on to the regionals."
BIC traveled to Marked Tree Tuesday afternoon and came up on the short end of a 4-3 decision in eight innings.
Marked Tree scored first with a run in the opening inning and held the 1-0 lead until BIC rallied for two runs in the top of the sixth inning to take a 2-1 advantage. Marked Tree tied the score in their half of the sixth to send the game into extra innings.
The Lady Mustangs took a 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth, scoring a run on a wild pitch, but the Lady Indians rallied in the bottom of the inning to win the game on RBI hits by Hannah Ghant and Emma Jo Terrell. Ghant picked up the win, striking out 10 Lady Mustangs.
BIC opened the week with a road game at Trumann where the Lady Mustangs dropped a 13-3 decision to the Lady Wildcats.