Armorel baseball, softball teams end season with quarterfinal losses
PINE BLUFF— In the battle of the Lady Tigers, Taylor rallied in the last two innings to defeat Armorel, 5-0, in the Class A Softball State Tournament quarterfinals, Saturday.
Then, the two-time defending state champion Armorel Tigers also fell to the Taylor Tigers, 7-4, in the Class A State Baseball Tournament quarterfinals on Saturday evening. This will be the first year since 2013 that the Armorel Tigers baseball team will not be competing in the state championship game.
In the softball quarterfinal, both teams were locked into a pitchers duel between Armorel senior Brooke Trout and Taylor’s Lindsey Downs for 5 1/3 innings, before Taylor scored a run on a passed ball. Then, Armorel Lady Tigers head coach Deanna Carr pulled Trout heading into the top of the seventh and put in Trout’s classmate, Madison Beal. In the final inning, four Taylor batters scored to lead, 5-0. Armorel could not answer in the bottom of the seventh to fall, 5-0.
“Taylor had very good pitching today and they were hitting the ball. We struggled at the plate with only two hits,” Carr said. “When your top three hitters are striking out, you know it's going to be a tough day.”
Trout would finish with seven strikeouts and allowed one run on four hits.
Armorel was led offensively by Rylee Nelson (2-3).
The Armorel Lady Tigers finished their season with a 24-6 record. However, the Lady Tigers did collect some hardware this season by winning their first regional title since 2010 and repeated as conference and district champions.
The Armorel softball program will lose seven seniors (Amanda Allison, Olivia Luttrell, Emily Gentry, Beal, Katie Weld, Nelson and Trout) — five of whom have signed college softball scholarships.
“This season has been filled with ups and downs,” Carr said. “The girls never gave up on themselves or the team. Beating Viola and Calico Rock for the regional championship felt so good. The seniors were good leaders on and off the field. I knew the state tournament was going to be tough with new five region setup. With the Dierks game we hit and fielded the ball well; I believe having the rain delay hurt us. I don't feel we were as prepared mentally for today's game.
“Losing seven seniors is tough for any program but when they have been the heart of your program for four years it is going to be drastic,” she added. “I hope the underclassmen will take what they've learned and apply it in years to come. I will have to depend on a new pitching staff and new people in seven positions. Next year we will begin rebuilding to continue our success this group has left behind. I'm going to miss this very special group of seven. I'm excited five will continue playing at the next level. I wish each of them the best in their future plans. I know they are going to do great things. “