Softball: Hunter’s dominating performance helps Benton pull off upset in first round of 4A playoffs

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Ashley Hunter pitched a one-hitter as the No. 21 seed Benton Lady Tigers upset No. 12 Crowley 6-1 in the first round of the Class 4A baseball playoffs Saturday afternoon in Crowley.

Benton (17-14) will face the winner of Monday’s game between No. 5 Neville and No. 28 St. Martinville in the second round. Crowley, the third-place team in District 3, closed its season 24-7.

Hunter struck out 11 and didn’t allow an earned run. Crowley’s only hit was a leadoff triple in the bottom of the first. The Ladies scored their only run in that inning on an error. Crowley didn’t get another baserunner the rest of the game as Hunter retired 19 straight.

Hunter also went 2-for-4. Hallie Saintignan and Makenzie Chaffie had two hits each. Saintignan had a double and three RBI. Chaffin also had a double. Sarah Koeppen had a two-run double.

Benton got off to a fast start, scoring two in the first.

Abi Cole walked, stole second and advanced to third on a single by Saintignan. Koeppen followed with a double to left field, scoring Cole and Saintignan.

The Lady Tigers gave Hunter a big lead with four in the sixth.

Benton took advantage of a couple of errors and hits by Saintignan and Hunter.

Saintignan’s two-out double scored Taylor Jones, Siara Erickson and Cole to make it 6-1. Hunter had a single to left field earlier in the inning, and Mackenzie McEntee moved a runner over with a sacrifice.

NOTE: The above report is based on the box score and play-by-play on Benton’s official GameChanger account.

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com