Senior Tess Temple pitched a perfect game in the first-round of the district tournament at Southside on Monday, lifting the Heber Springs Lady Panthers to a 5-0 victory over the Central Arkansas Christian Mustangs.
Temple, who's signed a letter of intent to play for Williams Baptist in the fall, pitched a complete game and retired all 21 batters in order on Monday, finishing with 13 strikeouts. The Lady Mustangs managed to put the ball into play just four times in the first five innings.
“I think that's the first time in four years she's had a perfect game go seven innings,” said Lady Panthers' head coach Dusty West. “I'm super excited for her, especially for it to happen here in the postseason. She's the heart and soul of this team, like we've said so many times before, and she showed it tonight.”
Offensively, sophomore Hailey Vaughn, returning to the lineup after an injury, brought home fellow second-year player Abbi McBroome on a fielder's choice in the first inning.
McBroome hit a two-RBI triple in the second inning to score seniors Hali Bish and Savannah Childress. Vaughn added a triple of her own in the third inning to bring home junior Ashlyn Taylor.
Senior Toni Bryant scored the Lady Panthers' last run of the game on a sacrifice bunt in the top of the third inning.
“We hit the ball well and played good, fundamental softball. It wasn't flashy or pretty, but it got the job done,” said West. “When you've got Tess [Temple] pitching the way she did, you don't have to do very much offensively.”
With the win, Heber Springs (20-9), the tournament one-seed, secured its spot at next week's regionals in Trumann and moves on to play in the district semifinals tomorrow against either eStem or host Southside at 4 p.m.