Carla Harris Special Correspondent
On Tuesday, the Class 2A No. 4 Latta Lady Panthers defeated local rival Byng 7-2 on Senior Night at Swanson Field.
Latta improved to 24-5 on the year, while Byng fell to 11-16. Latta will host a 2A District tournament today against Silo beginning at 4 p.m. The Lady Pirates, who will host local rival Ada in a 4A District matchup next Thursday, entertain Harrah tonight at 5 p.m.
Latta got on the board early in the contest. In the bottom of the first, Chelsea Alexander tripled and scored on an RBI double by Madison Abney. Abney raced home on an RBI groundout by Maria Priest to give Latta a 2-0 lead.
In the top of the second, Byng tallied a run. Rachel Benes was hit by a pitch, moved to second on an error and then went to third on a passed ball. Another Latta error scored Benes to get Byng on the board at 2-1.
Byng tied the game up in the top of the third. Layna Abbott was hit by another Priest pitch and moved to second on an error. Abbott scored on a single by Benes to knot the score at 2-2.
The Lady Panthers pushed across three more runs in the bottom of third. Shelbey Parnacher was walked and moved to second on a sacrifice by Alexander. Madison Abney then traded places with Parnacher after ripping her second double of the game for a 3-2 lead.
Priest followed that up with an RBI double of her own, and Maebree Abney drove in another Latta run with an RBI single to make it 5-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, Latta added two more insurance runs. Madison Abney reached on a fielder’s choice, and Priest singled to put two runners on base. Maebree Abney then recorded her second hit of the game, a double that knocked in two runs for the final 7-2 advantage.
Priest allowed only the Benes base hit and struck out eight in the contest. Latta pounded out 12 hits in the victory but stranded 11 runners on base.
“It was a good warm-up against a good team. We did some things we need to work on and eliminate. Hopefully we are ready for districts,” said Latta head coach Jimmy Foster.
Five Lady Panthers finished the game with two hits apiece. Alexander, Madison Abney and Maebree Abney all went 2-for-3, while Priest and Matison Worcester were both 2-for-4. The Abney sisters combined for five RBIs in the contest.
Latta 7, Byng 2
BYNG 011 000 0 — 2 1 2
LATTA 203 002 x — 7 12 3
Rachel Benes, Amy Frazier (4) and Tasia Nelson. Maria Priest and Maebree Abney. WP-Priest. LP-Benes. 3B-Chelsea Alexander and Madison Abney (L), 2B-Madison Abney and Priest. HL-Benes 1-2 (B). Shelbey Parnacher 1-3, RS; Alexander 2-3, RS; Madison Abney 2-3, 3 RS, 2 RBIs; Priest 2-4, 2 RS, 2 RBIs; Maebree Abney 2-3, 3 RBIs; Matison Worcester 2-4; Savanna Humphrey 1-4 (L).