In a clash of lake area softball powers, Heber Springs rocked Rose Bud with four consecutive doubles while exploding with four runs in the third inning and the Lady Panthers held on down the stretch, doubling up Lady Ramblers 6-3 on Monday at the Heber Springs Sports Complex.

In a clash of lake area softball powers, Heber Springs rocked Rose Bud with four consecutive doubles while exploding with four runs in the third inning and the Lady Panthers held on down the stretch, doubling up Lady Ramblers 6-3 on Monday at the Heber Springs Sports Complex.
Combined with Tuesday’s 17-2 win over Southside Batesville, Heber holds a record of 13-7 overall and 2-1 in 2-4A conference play heading into Thursday’s game against Cave City.  Rose Bud fell to 15-2 overall with its only other loss coming against Valley View.
Kali Whitlow led off the first inning with a walk and she stole second and moved to third on a Tori Willborg sacrifice-fly to right field. Heber pitcher Courtney Rackley tallied a strikeout the she retired Destany Naquin on a fly-out to shallow center, where Alexis Ingram made a running grab.
Heber took a 1-0 lead in the bottom half as Madi Fires walked and moved to second on a wild pitch then to third on Skye Miller’s sacrifice-bunt. Fires scored on an RBI bunt by Ingram as third base player Marissa Holland took the out at first base. Destany Naquin, Rose Bud’s starting pitcher, got of the first with a strikeout.
With one down in the second, Rose Bud tried to stir up a one-out rally as Tori Lemieux pushed a bunt single down third base line and Madelyn Murphree smoked a single to center. Both base runners moved into scoring position on a wild pitch but Rackley responded with a strikeout, then retired Holland on a fly-ball to Ingram in center.
Heber added a run in the bottom of the second, starting when Hannah Mangum was hit-by-a-pitch. Skylar Johnson reached on a sacrifice-bunt turned error, which allowed courtesy runner Sarah Peeler to reach third.
After Johnson swiped second, Courtney Verser beat out a bunt single to load the bases. But, Murphree picked off Verser from her catcher’s position before McKenzie Cresswell’s RBI bunt plated Peeler, who alertly waited on Holland’s throw to first base before breaking to home plate.
Naquin got out of the inning when first base player Sara Sartin handled a bunt from Kaitlyn Bradke, leaving Heber’s lead at 2-0 entering the third inning.
Whitlow beat out a bunt single to start the third and Willborg followed with a sacrifice-bunt that moved a hustling Whitlow to third. With one out, Dana Naquin reached on a bunt turned fielder’s choice as the Lady Panthers refused to give up a run.
But, Rose Bud scored moments later when Destany Naquin ripped an RBI single to center, plating Whitlow and trimming the Lady Panthers’ lead in half at 2-1. Rackley settled down and retired Sartin on a fly-ball to Ingram in center, then she got Lemieux on a groundout to shortstop Peyton Vineyard, who flipped to third base for a force out.
In the bottom of the third, the Lady Panthers exploded with four runs on five hits, including four consecutive doubles. With one out, Miller drilled a double to deep left field then Ingram pulled an RBI double over third base and down the left field line, scoring Miller for a 3-1 lead.
Vineyard slammed an RBI double to the alley in right center as Ingram came around to score and Mangum belted an RBI double to right field that scored Vineyard and pushed Heber’s lead to 5-1, forcing Rose Bud to relieve Naquin with Lemieux.
Johnson singled up the middle and took second on Rose Bud’s throw home, which caused Peeler, a courtesy runner, to hold at third. After Cresswell walked, Peeler scored on a wild pitch as Heber pushed its lead to 6-1 before Lemieux worked around further trouble despite a Bradke walk.
The Lady Ramblers battled back with two runs in the top of the fourth as Jessi Mann beat out a bunt single placed down third base line and she advanced to second on a sacrifice-bunt by Holland.
Whitlow delivered an RBI singled past second that scored Mann and Willborg added a single through the hole on left side before Dana Naquin laced an RBI single to left field, scoring Whitlow as the Lady Ramblers sliced their deficit in half again, this time at 6-3.
With runners at first and second, Rackley retired Destany Naquin on a chopper to Vineyard, who made the charging play from her shortstop position.
Lemieux cruised through the bottom half of the fourth without allowing a base runner and Sartin led off the fifth with a walk before Rackley settled in, retiring the next three, starting with Lemiuex, who lifted to deep fly-ball to center, where Ingram made the play.
Peeler, who replaced Miller in left field to begin the inning, took care of a line drive off the bat of Murphree and Rackley recorded a strikeout, leaving Sartin stranded at first.
Lemieux sat down the Lady Panthers in order for the second straight inning but Heber held tight in the sixth as third base player Bridget Muse handled a Holland bunt for an out. Whitlow followed with a chopper to first base that turned into an error but Heber bounced back as Rackley retired Willborg on a fly-ball to Ingram in center.
After Whitlow stole second, Rackley got Dana Naquin on a fly-ball to Peeler in left field, ending the top half of the sixth.
Lemieux retired the side in order for the third straight inning in the bottom of the sixth. With Rose Bud down to its final three cracks, Destany Naquin belted a single up the middle to start the seventh then Sartin lined to right center, where Mackenzie Martin got a good jump and made a nice running grab.
Ingram took care of Lemieux’s fly-ball to center and Rackley, who scattered nine hits, closed out the game with her fourth strikeout.