BENTON, Ar. — There wasn’t a dry eye on Nashville’s side of the field Friday at the Benton High School Athletic Complex. Unfortunately, they were tears of disappointment after the Scrapperettes lost, 2-1, to Valley View in the 4A State Championship softball game.
“I’m super proud of my team,” said Nashville coach Brian “Boomer” Brown. “We had some hard outs today. Everything we hit hard was right at them. At the same time all the credit in the world goes to Valley’s pitcher (Riley Smith). She’s a great pitcher, and very deserving of the MVP.”
Ashley Chambers started the game with a 10-foot single. She advanced to second on a passed ball, and scored when Mattison Steele reached safely on an error by the shortstop. Chambers was stranded at third when Jasmine Wakefield popped out.
The Scrapperettes (26-5) would not mount a serious threat again. Smith went the distance in the circle. She allowed two hits, only one out of the infield (Maci McJunkins’ single to center in the fourth. Smith walked none, while striking out three.
McJunkins brilliant against Valley View
Nashville’s McJunkins was also brilliant, going the distance. She scattered seven hits, walked one and struck out seven.
The Blazers (25-5) tied the game in the second when Sophie Newberry smashed a two-out double down the left field line. Grace Butler followed with a run-scoring single to center.
Valley View’s decisive run scored in the third after a two-out triple by Lexi Davis. Adrianna Winkfield then singled to left on an 0-2 pitch.
“Our sticks just went blank there for a while,” said Brown. “Valley played great defense after the first inning. They made plays that they had to make. I hate that we couldn’t get it done for these seniors. I’ve got to say goodbye to seven of them, who are phenomenal people, and I’m not just talking about softball. They were 86-13 the last four years, and that counting the Covid year
“We’ve got a good nucleus coming back. We played a jayvee schedule this year. My jayvees were in the finals of two varsity tournaments. The future looks bright for the Scrapperettes.”
Nashvlle also finished second in 2017, having won state in 2010, 2012 and 2013.