Lethal Benton still going about business


No make a difference what the consequence ends up getting in present-day Class 5A softball state championship video game, Benton Coach Heidi Cox is going to feel some variety of way following she walks off the Everett Subject turf.

By natural means, she’ll be flooded with all types of emotions whether or not her major-ranked Girl Panthers get or reduce their showdown with Greene County Tech. But her heart will practically definitely be significant since of the seniors she will be coaching for the last time.

“I cannot even begin to describe how considerably this senior class signifies to me and this team,” Cox said. “To say I am tremendous psyched about what they have been able to achieve is an understatement. Just the total of function that bunch has put into this application. … They come out and perform hard, and that’s on leading of the truth that they are super talented.

“And this sport is a large offer simply because they’ll get to participate in their final sport on their property discipline in the condition championship recreation. It really is kind of insane.”

What is actually even crazier is the run the Girl Panthers have been on for more than two seasons. Benton (31-) has won 63 video games in a row, with the majority of those people contests resulting in blowouts. Twenty-six of the team’s 31 victories this time have come at no significantly less than 6 operates — a statistic that is eye-popping on any stage.

“These ladies enjoy the match and are often wanting to get better,” Cox mentioned. “Very last yr, we truly did not feel about getting undefeated right until in the direction of the conclude of the time when we had been like, ‘Man, we’re likely to have to go undefeated since we are in the condition tournament now.’ This year, we have just type of long gone about our enterprise of just actively playing ball.

“We get it one particular activity at a time, and the women have handled that approach incredibly perfectly.”

The Girl Panthers, behind the overpowering pitching tandem of senior Elana Scott and junior Alyssa Houston, have allowed a thoughts-boggling 21 operates on the year. Benton also beat Class 6A state champion Bentonville three occasions, as nicely as Class 6A runner-up Cabot. But Cox’s bunch has also overwhelmed the staff it’ll see right now, which may or may possibly not bode effectively for them.

Scott and Houston blended to throw a no-hitter in Benton’s 3- victory on April 14. The Lady Panthers obtained eight hits off Lady Eagles’ pitcher Karley Burrow, but Cox admitted that the junior saved her staff off balance at instances.

“I consider we got 8 hits off her, but she did a actually fantastic task in that recreation,” she reported. “We left some runners on foundation and did not produce the operates that I thought we required. But she was genuinely very good. That full staff over there is good.”

Coincidentally, the very last time Greene County Tech (27-4-1) shed was in that activity versus Benton. The Lady Eagles, who also saw their 2021 season conclude in a 4- loss to Benton in the semifinals, have considering that reeled off 11 wins in a row, together with a single in excess of Cabot just just before condition match participate in began.

“It really is going to be a dogfight,” she reported. “The adrenaline will be managing for absolutely sure, and I’m unquestionably energized about it. We’re anticipated a large amount of enthusiasts from the two sides in the seats, as well. It will be a superior 1.”

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