Typically, a softball team would not like seeing zeroes on their scorecard, thinking that it meant they just couldn’t score, but for the Lady Eagles, the zeroes are piling up in a good way. They hosted 4A Clarksville on Tuesday, who already logged wins over Fayetteville and Heber Springs, among others. It was a frustrating day at the plate for Paris as they could only turn 8 hits and three Clarksville errors into 2 runs, but that was plenty. With ace Sydney Ward on the mound, the Lady Eagles took over, not allowing a hit. Sophomore Jadyn Hart closed out the final inning and the Lady Eagles proved they could win without key contributors.
The Lady Eagles played all week and may for longer without the help of senior Sadie Stark. Stark has been key behind the plate but made a diving play in the Hope tournament that has landed her a role as the lead cheerleader in the dugout for a spell. Paris adjusted very well, and as any pitcher will tell you, a no-hitter doesn’t happen without a solid defense behind you. Paris moved the starting third baseman, senior Lexy Lee, behind the plate, the second basemen Carli Haller to third, and center fielder and freshman Karsyn Tencleve to second base. The changes worked and Paris won in style. Ward had 13 strikeouts before handing the ball over to Hart who struck out the side to close out the win.
Against conference foe Fountain Lake, Jadyn Hart was dealing from the circle and mowed down 16 batters. It was a lopsided affair again as Jadyn Hart threw a complete game no-hitter. She also stole 3 of Paris’ 7 stolen bases in the 12-1 win. Fountain Lake scored an unearned run in the 4th inning, but never held close to the Lady Eagles who look like the front runner in conference play. The key is pitching. Paris doesn’t just have an ace, which most teams hope to have. They have two, and the combination is lethal. The underhand fast pitch comes with different release points and has a movement that actually rises, something that seems contradictory to those who have only watched baseball. Add in that the pitching rubber is significantly closer, in the middle of 60-foot base paths as opposed to the 90 feet in baseball, and you get a glimpse of the task that batters face in trying to make contact.
Paris will host Hackett on April 1 and then travel to Lamar a day later. They will play a doubleheader against Two Rivers on Thursday before closing out their week at Atkins. The Lady Eagles are 12-3 on the season heading into their five-game week.