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story.lead_photo.caption Graham Thomas/Herald-Leader Siloam Springs third baseman Ericka Galloway, left, anticipates the throw to third base during the first inning of Monday's 5A/6A District 1 softball game against Russellville. The Lady Cyclones defeated the Lady Panthers 18-3.

Pitching has been a struggle for Siloam Springs' softball team this season, and a muddy circle on Monday afternoon didn't help matters.

Russellville took advantage of nine walks and three hit-batters, and the Lady Cyclones added 11 hits in an 18-3 rout of Siloam Springs in a 5A/6A District 1 game at La-Z-Boy Softball Complex.

2018 Siloam Springs Lady Panther Invitational

Friday-Saturday

La-Z-Boy Softball Park, Siloam Springs

Friday’s games

Game 1: Van Buren vs. Gentry, 4:30 p.m.*

Game 2: Fayetteville vs. Cedarville, 6 p.m.*

Saturday’s games

Game 3: Siloam Springs vs. LR McClellan, 8:30 a.m.*

Game 4: FS Northside vs. Rose Bud, 8:30 a.m.#

Game 5: Loser G2 vs. Loser G3, 10 a.m.*

Game 6: Loser G1 vs. Loser G4, 10 a.m.#

Game 7: Winner G5 vs. Winner G6, 1 p.m.*

Game 8: Loser G5 vs. Loser G6, 1 p.m.#

Game 9: Winner G2 vs. Winner G3, 11:30 a.m.*

Game 10: Winner G1 vs. Winner G4, 11:30 a.m.#

Third place: Loser G9 vs. Loser G10, 2:30 p.m.#

Championship: Winner G9 vs. Winner G10, 2:30 p.m.*

"One thing the girls do is they fight hard," said Siloam Springs softball head coach Scott Wright. " They play hard for us. We've worked hard. We're just really inexperienced on the mound. We're learning. Over the last 14 months, we've probably never worked harder at developing pitchers, but it's taking them some time to develop. We know that they'll get there. It's just they're not quite there yet. But they're working hard, and I can't be disappointed with the effort that they give us."

It was the first home game of the season for the Lady Panthers (0-8, 0-5), who played their first seven games of the year on the road.

"It was good to get a home game and not have to travel one-and-a-half to two hours on the road," Wright said. "Like I said I thought our girls played hard and they gave us everything they've got."

Siloam Springs pitcher Kenlie Noel got two of the first three batters out in the first inning before experiencing some footing issues, which led to some control problems.

Russellville wound up scoring seven runs in the inning, including an RBI double from M.K. Duffield, a two-run single from Rebecca Betancur and an RBI single by Meredith Duffield.

Siloam Springs got a run back in the bottom of the first. Noel reached on an infield hit, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sydney Smith and reached third after a single by Danielle Boyster.

Noel scored after a successful double steal with Ailyah Hilbish, who pinch ran for Boyster, to make it 7-1.

Russellville added two runs in the second and nine more in the third to take an 18-1 lead.

The Lady Panthers got two runs back in the third. Tyler King walked and stole second base. King scored on an RBI double by Noel, who went 2-for-2. Noel came around to score on Boyster's RBI groundout to make it 18-3.

The Lady Panthers had two runners on with a chance to extend the game but were unable to score and fell via the 15-run 3-inning sportsmanship rule.

Betancur and M.K. Duffield each led Russellville (4-5, 1-4) with four RBIs, while Katlin Betancur and Emily Hipps each had two RBIs.

The Lady Panthers are scheduled to host Farmington on Thursday in a 5A/6A District 1 game, and the annual Lady Panther Invitational is set for Friday and Saturday, weather permitting, at La-Z-Boy Park.

"I really don't know what to think about the weather this coming weekend," Wright said. "The forecast isn't great but we'll see what happens."

Van Buren and Gentry are supposed to open the tournament on Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m., followed by Fayetteville against Cedarville. The tournament continues at 8:30 a.m. Saturday with Siloam Springs playing Little Rock McClellan and Fort Smith Northside playing Rose Bud. The tournament is a three-game guarantee with the championship game set for 2:30 p.m.

"We've got a lot of teams that we don't know a lot about them because we don't ever see them," Wright said. "But it will be good to get some brand new fresh teams in here. We have a good tournament field. We'll see how it goes."

Sports on 04/04/2018

Print Headline: Russellville downs Lady Panthers in first home game

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